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David Grossman wins 2018 Israel Prize for Literature

Award-winning author hailed as one of the most 'profound and influential voices in Israeli literature'

    David Grossman recieved an honorary doctorate at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 2017
    David Grossman recieved an honorary doctorate at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 2017 (Photo: Flash90)

    David Grossman, the acclaimed Israeli author, has been announced as the winner of this year’s Israel Prize for Literature.

    Naftali Bennett, Israel’s Minister of Education, made the announcement in a tweet on Monday morning.

    "A short while ago I informed David Grossman he would be awarded the Israel Prize on the country’s 70th anniversary," Mr Bennett said in a later statement.

    "He was very moved, as was I.

    "Grossman is one of the most moving, profound and influential voices in Israeli literature.

    "With great wisdom, human sensitivity and a unique language he became a world-renowned author."

    Mr Grossman has previously won Israel’s Bernstein prize twice, as well as the JQ Wingate Prize in 2004 and 2011 for his books Someone to Run With and To the End of the Land.

    Last year he won the International Man Booker Prize for his book A Horse Walks into a Bar, which was praised by the chair of the judges panel for its “willingness to take emotional as well as stylistic risks: every sentence counts, every word matters in this supreme example of the writer’s craft.”

    An outspoken left-wing peace activist, Mr Grossman lost his son Uri, an Israeli tank commander, during the 2006 Lebanon War. He later wrote about his son in his novel Falling Out of Time.

    Regarding his activism and link to the Lebanon war, Mr Grossman told The Guardian in 2010 that “there were people who stereotyped me, who considered me this naive leftist who would never send his own children into the army, who didn't know what life was made of.

    “I think those people were forced to realise that you can be very critical of Israel and yet still be an integral part of it; I speak as a reservist in the Israeli army myself.”

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