Czech author shortlisted for Booker Prize

19. 3. 2009
Arnošt Lustig among the most prestigious writers of the world

London - Czech author Arnošt Lustig has made the shortlist for the esteemed international literary prize.

Among the candidates for the Booker award are 2001 Nobel Laureate V.S. Naipaul, American Evan S. Connel, Peruvian Manuel Vargas Llosa and Australian Peter Carey who has won the prize twice before.

Indian Mahasweta Devi, Croatian author Dubravka Ugresic and Russian writer Ludmila Ulitskaja are among the nominees as well.

The award is given every two years for the whole body of work to a living author. The work may be written in any language but must be translated into English.

The Booker prize winner who will receive will be announced in May and will receive 60,000 pounds.

The first ever Booker prize awarded in 2004 went to an Albanian author Ismail Kadare.

Harsh life

Prague-born Lustig whose works often revolves around the Holocaust was imprisoned for three years in the Theresienstadt concentration camp during the World War Two. He escaped from the camp in 1945 but his entire family died there.

Among his most renowned books are Prayer for Kateřina Horowitzová (1974), Dita Saxová (1979) and Night and Hope (1985). The latter two were filmed.

In 1967 he gave up his membership in Czechoslovakia's Communist Party and left the country following the Soviet invasion in 1968 first for Israel, then Yugoslavia and later for the United States. He lives in Prague and is a recipient of Franz Kafka prize.

Jane Smiley, the head of the Booker prize panel told BBC that all the books "have turned out to be some of the best books" the judges have ever read.

"It makes me wonder who else is out there untranslated into English," the winner of Pulitzer Prize added. 

autor: CzechNews | 19. 3. 2009

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