Norwegian author Karl Ove Knausgård

The 2017 Jerusalem Prize was awarded to Karl Ove Knausgård by Mayor of Jerusalem (at the time), Mr. Nir Barkat, in an official ceremony held at the YMCA hall, marking the opening of the 2017 Jerusalem International Book Fair.

Knausgård was chosen by by unanimous decision. The jury of the prize – Prof. Ruth Fine (Chair), Dr. Diana Lipton and Mr. Ioram Melcer – found many reasons to name Knausgård its recipient:

“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