Israeli author David Grossman won the 2017 Man Booker International Prize, which recognizes "a single work of fiction, translated into English and published in the U.K.," for his novel A Horse Walks Into a Bar, translated by Jessica Cohen. Both author and translator receive £25,000 (about $31,885).
Nick Barley, chair of the 2017 judging panel, said Grossman "has attempted an ambitious high-wire act of a novel, and he's pulled it off spectacularly. A Horse Walks into a Bar shines a spotlight on the effects of grief, without any hint of sentimentality. The central character is challenging and flawed, but completely compelling. We were bowled over by Grossman's willingness to take emotional as well as stylistic risks: every sentence counts, every word matters in this supreme example of the writer's craft."
The Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Foundation will present merit awards to three pioneers in their fields at the 2017 Legacy Awards on October 20 in Washington, D.C. Receiving the North Star Award "for career accomplishment and inspiration to the writing community" is Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. U.S. Congressman and author John Lewis will be honored with the Ella Baker Award, given to a writer "for work that advances social justice." Haki Madhubuti, poet and founder of Third World Press, will receive the Madam C.J. Walker Award for "his dedication to supporting and sustaining Black literature."
The evening will culminate with the announcement of the winners of the juried awards for books by black authors published in 2016. The complete list of Hurston/Wright Legacy Awards nominees in the debut fiction, fiction, nonfiction and poetry categories is available here.