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The Man Booker Prizes / David Grossman and Jessica Cohen
On 14th June 2017, David Grossman was announced the winner of the prestigious Man Booker International Prize for his novel A Horse Walks Into a Bar .
Born and still based in Jerusalem, David Grossman has been writing for years. His works have been translated into 36 languages and won several other awards such as the French Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, Germany’s Buxtehuder Bulle, Rome’s Premio per la pace e l’azione umanitaria, the Frankfurt Peace Prize, and Israel’s Emet Prize.
A Horse Walks Into a Bar is about a failing stand-up comic, Dovaleh Greenstein, and his final performance.
Nick Barley, the chair of judges and director of the Edinburgh international book festival said “David Grossman has attempted an ambitious high-wire act of a novel, and he’s pulled it off spectacularly. A Horse Walks into a Bar shines a spotlight on the effects of grief, without any hint of sentimentality. The central character is challenging and flawed, but completely compelling. We were bowled over by Grossman’s willingness to take emotional as well as stylistic risks: every sentence counts, every word matters in this supreme example of the writer’s craft.”
His fellow judges, Daniel Hahn, Elif Shafak, Chika Unigwe, and Helen Mort, commended Grossman’s novel as “an extraordinary story that soars in the hands of a master storyteller”. They added, “Written with empathy, wisdom and emotional intelligence, A Horse Walks into a Bar is a mesmerising meditation on the opposite forces shaping our lives: humour and sorrow, loss and hope, cruelty and compassion, and how even in the darkest hours we find the courage to carry on.”
His novel was selected as the winner from amongst 126 titles, which was cut down to a 13-book longlist and a six-book shortlist. The shortlist included writers from Denmark, France, Norway and Argentina. Fellow Israeli heavyweight Amos Oz was among the final contenders, who also included the Norwegian Dorthe Nors and Argentinian debut author Samanta Schweblin. Finally, Grossman was announced the victor at a ceremony at the V&A Museum in London.
The prize for the victory is £50,000, which Grossman will share with his English translator, Jessica Cohen.Source: Times of India