The Laureate of the Franz Kafka Prize 2015 is the Spanish Writer Eduardo Mendoza
On Monday, 1 June 2015, at its meeting at the headquarters of the Franz Kafka Society, the international expert jury selected the fifteenth laureate of the literary Franz Kafka Prize, namely the Spanish writer Eduardo Mendoza Garriga (1943). One of the most respected and translated contemporary Spanish writers is very honoured to be awarded the prize and will come to Prague in October to collect it in person.
The international literary Franz Kafka Prize has been awarded by the Franz Kafka Society since 2001. Its laureates so far include the writers Philip Roth, Ivan Klíma, Péter Nádas, Elfriede Jelinek, Harold Pinter, Haruki Murakami, Yves Bonnefoy, Arnošt Lustig, Peter Handke, Václav Havel, John Banville, Daniela Hodrová, Amos Oz and Yan Lianke.
The jury included Petr Demetz, André Derval, Marianne Gruber, Oldřich Král, Kurt Krolop, Lorenzo Silva, Jiří Stránský and Hans Dieter Zimmermann. At its meeting, the jury chose between ten remarkable figures of contemporary world literature.
Eduardo Mendoza was born in Barcelona in 1943. He graduated in Law. In 1973–1982, he worked as an interpreter for the United Nations in New York. In 1975, he published his debut novel La verdad sobre el caso Savolta (The Truth about the Savolta Case), in the words of a member of the SFP jury ‘a masterful depiction of social and political struggles in Barcelona, Catalonia and all over Spain in the first half of the 20th century.’ In Czech, it came out as Pravda o případu Savolta in the Odeon publishing house in 1983. Catalonia has remained a frequent scene of his thirteen other novels, of which only El asombroso viaje de Pomponio Flato (The Amazing Journey of Pomponius Flatus) has been published in Czech (by Garamond in 2008; translated by Jana Novotná as Podivuhodná cesta Pomponia Flata). According to the jury, Mendoza is, for his masterful storytelling, human view of the events depicted and trenchant sense of humour, one of the masters of contemporary literature in Spanish. Among other things, he is the laureate of the European Book Prize 2013.
Eduardo Mendoza will arrive in Prague at the end of October to attend the traditional ceremony in the Brožík Hall of the Old Town Hall, where the laureate will receive the main symbol of the prize – a bronze statuette of Franz Kafka by the sculptor Jaroslav Róna. The financial award is $ 10,000.
The partner of the Franz Kafka Society in organising the Franz Kafka Prize is the Capital City of Prague; the award ceremony regularly takes place under the patronage of the President of the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic and the Lord Mayor of the Capital City of Prague. The mission of the Franz Kafka Prize is to award artistically exceptional literary production of a contemporary author whose work addresses readers regardless of their origin, nationality and culture, like the work by Franz Kafka. The Prize is presented for the entire work so far of the author.
2 June 2015
Franz Kafka Society and Centre