PRAGUE (AFP) — Czech author Arnost Lustig has been chosen as the eighth winner of the annual Franz Kafka literary prize, the Czech association commemorating the famous Prague author announced Tuesday.
"The decision to award the prize to Lustig was taken by the jury," Daniela Uherkova of the Franz Kafka association told AFP. He was selected by a 15-strong panel of world-renowned authors, she added.
Lustig follows in the footsteps of last year's winner, French poet Yves Bonnefoy. Previous recipients include British playwright Harold Pinter, American author Philip Roth and Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami.
Born into a Jewish family in 1926, Lustig was transported to Buchenwald and Auschwitz death camps as a teenager by the Nazis.
He escaped a train taking him to the Dachau concentration camp at the end of World War II to return to Prague in time for the uprising against the Germans. Many of his novels draw on his time in the death camps and immediately afterwards.
Following the war, he studied journalism and also worked as a scriptwriter. He left the then Czechoslovakia in 1968, eventually ending up in the US.
His novel 'Lovely Green Eyes' was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 2003.
The prize is accompanied by a 10,000 dollar (6,400-euro) cheque.
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