The Jerusalem Prize

2017 Winner

Since 1963 the Jerusalem Prize is awarded biennially, as an integral part of the JIBF, to a writer whose work best expresses and promotes the idea of “freedom of the individual in society.” Some of the authors who were awarded the Jerusalem Prize later received Nobel Prize for Literature, among them – Bertrand Russell , Octavio Paz, V. S. Naipaul, Mario Vargas Llosa and J. M. Coetzee.

The 2017 Jerusalem Prize Winner:

Norwegian author Karl Ove Knausgård

The Prize has been awarded to Mr. Knausgård by the Mayor of Jerusalem, Mr. Nir Barkat, in an official ceremony held at the YMCA hall, marking the opening of the 2017 Fair.

By unanimous decision, Knausgård was chosen by the prize’s jury for many reasons-

“Over a period of nearly two decades, the writing of the Norwegian novelist Karl Ove Knausgård has become a literary sensation, a phenomenon in itself. First published in 1998, this critically acclaimed and immensely popular author has managed to provoke some powerful reactions and spur debates over pivotal issues: differences of interpretation; the boundaries of social discourse; the blurred line between fiction and autobiography; and the role of the family unit in collective and individual self-perception.”

“Knausgård’s best-known project is a series of six novels, originally published in Norwegian and translated into many languages, in which the author subjects his own life to an unflinching, profound, meticulous and comprehensive literary gaze. As readers throughout the world now know it’s hard to look away.”

“For his artful craft, for his challenge to accepted notions private and public, and above all for his elevation of the ordinary lives of ordinary people, we are honored to award Karl Ove Knausgård with the 2017 Jerusalem Prize.”

Norwegian author Karl Ove Knausgård
Photo by Thomas Waagstroem