Hungarian author Laszlo Krasznahorkai wins Man Booker Prize

Best known in Germany and Hungary, Krasznahorkai is the author of Satantango (1985), which was later made into a film, The Melancholy of Resistance (1998) and Seiobo There Below (2008).
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Updated on May 20, 2015 11:38 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | By, London

Hungarian writer László Krasznahorkai was announced as the winner of the sixth Man Booker International Prize at an award ceremony at the Victoria and Albert Museum on Tuesday night, beating Amitav Ghosh and eight other contenders from around the world.

The Man Booker International Prize, worth £60,000, is awarded for an achievement in fiction on the world stage. It is presented once every two years to a living author for a body of work published either originally in English or available in translation in English.

Born in 1954, László Krasznahorkai gained considerable recognition in 1985 when he published Satantango, which he later adapted for the cinema in collaboration with the filmmaker Bela Tarr.

In 1993, he received the German Bestenliste Prize for the best literary work of the year for The Melancholy of Resistance and has since been honoured with numerous literary prizes, amongst them the highest award of the Hungarian state, the Kossuth Prize.

The judges said of Krasznahorkai’s work, “In László Krasznahorkai’s The Melancholy of Resistance, a sinister circus has put a massive taxidermic specimen, a whole whale, Leviathan itself, on display in a country town”. “Here, however, as throughout 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; epic sentences that, like a lint roll, pick up all sorts of odd and unexpected things as they accumulate inexorably into paragraphs that are as monumental as they are scabrous and musical.”

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Prasun Sonwalkar was Editor (UK & Europe), Hindustan Times. During more than three decades, he held senior positions on the Desk, besides reporting from India’s north-east and other states, including a decade covering politics from New Delhi. He has been reporting from UK and Europe since 1999.

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