Man Booker International prize 2015 goes to Krasznahorkai

Hungarian writer László Krasznahorkai is the winner of the sixth Man Booker International Prize

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Krasznahorkai has won the Man Booker International prize for his “achievement in fiction on the world stage.”

The Man Booker International Prize, worth £60,000, 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 the English language. 

Previously Man Booker Prize was given to  Lydia Davis in 2013.

The Hungarian writer’s translator George Szirtes has described his writing as  “slow lava flow of narrative, a vast black river of type.”

Krasznahorkai and his translator George Szirtes were also longlisted for the 2013 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize for Satantango and Krasznahorkai has won the Best Translated Book Award in the US two years in a row, in 2013 for Satantango and in 2014 for Seiobo There Below. 

Krasznahorkai, born in 1954, gained international recognition in 1985 when he first published Satantango. 

Satantango made into a seven hour, black-white drama and directed by Hungarian director Bela Tarr in 1994.

Chair of judges Marina Warner compared Krasznahorkai’s work to Kafka, Dante and Beckett. She said “He’s difficult in the same way Beckett is difficult, or Dante is difficult. Kafka also has that quality.”

Warner said “I feel we’ve encountered here someone of that order. That’s a trick that the best writers pull off; they give you the thrill of the strange … then after a while they imaginatively retune you. 

She added “So now we say, ‘it’s just like being in a Kafka story’; I believe that soon we will say it’s like being in a Krasznahorkai story.”

László Krasznahorkai will be interviewed by Marina Warner at the Hay Festival on Sunday 24 May at 7pm.

TRTWorld and agencies