Jerusalem Prize

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Jerusalem Prize
Awarded forwriters whose works have dealt with themes of human freedom in society
Presented byOrganisers of the Jerusalem International Book Fair
First awarded1963

The Jerusalem Prize for the Freedom of the Individual in Society is a biennial literary award given to writers whose works have dealt with themes of human freedom in society.[1] It is awarded at the Jerusalem International Book Fair, and the recipient usually delivers an address when accepting the award. The award is valued at $10,000, a modest amount that "reflects that it was never intended to be anything more than a symbolic sum."[1] The prize's inaugural year was 1963, awarded to Bertrand Russell who had won the Nobel Prize in 1950. Octavio Paz, V. S. Naipaul, J. M. Coetzee and Mario Vargas Llosa all won the Jerusalem Prize prior to winning the Nobel.

In the intervening even-numbered years there is also a National Jerusalem Prize to promote local Israeli authors. For example, in 1994 the Jerusalem Prize was won by Naomi Gal.

List of Laureates[edit]

Year Name Nationality Language(s) Refs
1963 Bertrand Russell  United Kingdom English
1965 Max Frisch   Switzerland German
1967 André Schwarz-Bart  France French
1969 Ignazio Silone  Italy Italian
1971 Jorge Luis Borges  Argentina Spanish
1973 Eugène Ionesco  Romania /  France French
1975 Simone de Beauvoir  France French
1977 Octavio Paz  Mexico Spanish
1979 Isaiah Berlin  Russian Empire /  United Kingdom English
1981 Graham Greene  United Kingdom English
1983 V. S. Naipaul  Trinidad and Tobago /  United Kingdom English
1985 Milan Kundera  Czechoslovakia /  France Czech / French
1987 J. M. Coetzee  South Africa /  Australia English
1989 Ernesto Sabato  Argentina Spanish
1991 Zbigniew Herbert  Poland Polish
1993 Stefan Heym  Germany German / English
1995 Mario Vargas Llosa  Peru /  Spain Spanish
1997 Jorge Semprún  Spain French / Spanish
1999 Don DeLillo  United States English
2001 Susan Sontag  United States English
2003 Arthur Miller  United States English
2005 António Lobo Antunes  Portugal Portuguese
2007 Leszek Kołakowski  Poland Polish
2009 Haruki Murakami  Japan Japanese
2011 Ian McEwan  United Kingdom English [2]
2013 Antonio Muñoz Molina  Spain Spanish [3]
2015 Ismail Kadare  Albania Albanian [4]
2017 Karl Ove Knausgaard  Norway Norwegian [5]


  1. ^ a b The Jerusalem Prize
  2. ^ "Israel boycotters target authors, artists". Ynetnews. 5 March 2011. Retrieved 23 March 2011.
  3. ^ Staff writer (January 9, 2013). "Spanish author Antonio Munoz Molina to receive Jerusalem Prize at book fair". JTA. Retrieved January 9, 2013.
  4. ^ Rebecca Wojno (January 15, 2015). "Albanian writer to receive Jerusalem Prize". The Times of Israel.
  5. ^ Gili Izikovich (May 28, 2017). "Karl Ove Knausgaard Named 2017 Laureate for Jerusalem Prize in Literature". Haaretz.

External links[edit]