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Israeli author David Grossman wins the Man Booker International Prize

Israeli author David Grossman has won the Man Booker International Prize for his novel “A Horse Walks Into a Bar.”

The award was announced Wednesday in London.

Grossman beat out five other finalists, including fellow Israeli author Amos Oz for the counterpart to Britain’s prestigious Booker Prize.

Grossman’s novel is about a failing standup comic and his final performance.

The award has a prize of 50,000 pounds ($64,000) that is split evenly between Grossman and translator Jessica Cohen.

Cohen has pledged to donate half of her prize to the extreme-left B’tselem organization.

Grossman is no stranger to awards, and not just Israeli ones, having won, among others, the JQ Wingate Prize twice, the 2010 Frankfurt Peace Prize, Italy’s Premio Flaiano and been awarded the French Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. His fiction has been translated into 36 languages but he is also a poet, a children’s writer, an opera librettist, and a former child actor and radio host.

Grossman is the first Israeli to receive the prestigious award.

The prize was previously a career honor, but changed last year to recognize a single book in a bid to increase the profile of international fiction in English-speaking countries. Last year the prize was awarded to “The Vegetarian” by South Korea’s Han Kang.


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