Close
Enter your search into one or more of the boxes below:
You can refine your search by selecting from any of the options below:
Search
Your Shopping Basket
Total number of items: 0
Sub total: £0.00
Go to Checkout
Our Birmingham Shop
Our Bristol Shop
Animators Survival Kit

Aharon Appelfeld wins Independent Foreign Fiction Prize

15th May 2012

The 2012 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize has been won by Holocaust survivor Aharon Appelfeld for his semi-autobiographical novel Blooms of Darkness.

At 80 years old, Appelfeld because the oldest ever winner of the GBP 10,000 prize, which is shared equally with Jeffrey M. Green, translator of the English version of the book.

It tells the story of an 11-year-old boy who escapes the clutches of the Nazis during World War II and is kept safe in the ghetto by a prostitute until the conflict is over.

Appelfeld based the plot partly on his own experiences of the war, when he was sent to the Transnistria labour camp at the age of eight after his mother was murdered by Romanian troops and his father was sent to a refugee camp in Be'er Tuvia.

He managed to escape the camp three years later and was picked up by the Red Army in 1944, before finally making his way to Palestine in 1946, where he has reunited with his father and began to learn Hebrew, soon becoming an established writer.

Speaking of the novel, Appelfeld said he was keen to highlight how it is possible to triumph even in the face of the greatest adversity.

'I wanted to explore the darkest places of human behaviour and to show that even there, generosity and love can survive; that humanity and love can overcome cruelty and brutality,' he added.

Upon receiving his GBP 5,000 prize, Green was keen to praise the author's source material.

'Clearly, if Blooms of Darkness had not been excellent, even an excellent translation would not have won this prize, but a bad translation would certainly have destroyed the excellence of the original,' he continued.

Appelfeld follows in the footsteps of Santiago Roncagliolo, who won the 2011 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize for Red April, translated by Edith Grossman.

Latest Blog
#FoylesFive: Children's Pride
26/06/2017

Andi from our Birmingham branch shares her favourite children's books that are perfect for Pride.

How to Change the World: Stop Harming Women
22/06/2017

Human rights barrister and a researcher at the Gender and Social Justice Centre at Cambridge University, Dexter Dias introduces his new book and explains how we can change the course of the 21st century if we can stop harming women.

The Book that Inspired Pink Floyd and Walt Disney
20/06/2017

We're celebrating the opening this month at the London Palladium of The Wind in the Willows: the Musical with a selection of things you might not know about the bok and its author, Kenneth Grahame.

View all Blog Entries
Twitter
Show/Hide Tweets
© W&G Foyle Ltd