Hungarian Wins Man Booker International Prize!
“Visionary” Hungarian writer Laszlo Krasznahorkai has been announced as the winner of the sixth Man Booker International Prize.
The judges praised the “extraordinary intensity and vocal range” of his work.
Krasznahorkai, who writes in Hungarian, was chosen from a list of 10 contenders from around the world.
The prize, worth £60,000, is awarded every two years for “an achievement in fiction on the world stage”.
Krasznahorkai’s win was announced at an award ceremony at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London on Tuesday night.
The judges said of Krasznahorkai’s work: “What strikes the reader above all are the extraordinary sentences, sentences of incredible length that go to incredible lengths, their tone switching from solemn to madcap to quizzical to desolate as they go their wayward way.”
Born in 1954, Krasznahorkai gained recognition in 1985 when he published Satantango, which he adapted for the big screen in 1994.
The black-and-white drama, by Hungarian film-maker Bela Tarr, is notable for its seven-hour running time.
Krasznahorkai’s other books include:
The Melancholy of Resistance (1989)
War and War (1999)
Seiobo There Below (2008)
Announcing the winner, Marina Warner, who chaired the judging panel, said: “Laszlo Krasznahorkai is a visionary writer of extraordinary intensity and vocal range who captures the texture of present-day existence in scenes that are terrifying, strange, appallingly comic, and often shatteringly beautiful.
“The Melancholy of Resistance, Satantango and Seiobo There Below are magnificent works of deep imagination and complex passions, in which the human comedy verges painfully on to transcendence.”
Krasznahorkai has chosen to split the separate £15,000 translator’s prize between two translators of his work, the Hungarian-born poet George Szirtes and literary critic Ottilie Mulzet.
Other winners of the international Booker include:
Alice Munro (2009)
Philip Roth (2011)
Lydia Davis (2013)
Krasznahorkai will be interviewed by Marina Warner at the Hay Festival, in Powys, on Sunday 24 May.