László Krasznahorkai Wins Man Booker International Prize 2015

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The Hungarian novelist László Krasznahorkai has been announced as the winner of the 2015 Man Booker International Prize. The prize, a global off-shoot of the celebrated Man Booker prize, has been previously awarded to Lydia Davis, Philip Roth, Alice Munro, Chinua Achebe, and Ismail Kadare. Krasznahorkai’s most famous novels, Satantango and The Melancholy of Resistance have been made into films by celebrated Hungarian director Béla Tarr.

Here’s what the judges had to say about their decision:

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. Violence soon erupts, and the book as a whole could be described as a vision, satirical and prophetic, of the dark historical province that goes by the name of Western Civilisation. 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.

In the United States, many of Krasznahorkai are translated and published by New Directions.

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