Ian McEwan to receive 2011 Jerusalem Prize
19th January 2011
Atonement author Ian McEwan is to receive the highest literary honour Israel awards to foreign writers.
On February 20th, the Jerusalem International Book Fair's opening evening, McEwan will be given the 2011 Jerusalem Prize, which has a 'modest' award of USD 10,000 (GBP 6,250) attached.
The biennial prize is granted to an author whose work champions the idea of 'freedom of the individual in society' and is chaired by Professor Menahem Ben-Sasson, president of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Commenting on its decision, the prize's judging panel cited McEwan's popularity in Israel and noted that his works often deal with the theme of self-expression amidst political and social difficulties.
'For his love of people and concern for their right to self-realisation, and in recognition of his artistic achievements, we have decided to award Ian McEwan the Jerusalem Prize,' the judges explained.
The award has previously been given to writers such as Bertrand Russell, Arthur Miller and Haruki Murakami. Several of its recipients, including Russell, Mario Vargas Llosa and J.M. Coetzee, went on to win the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Last year, McEwan was presented with the Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award, which is given by the Tulsa Library Trust to acclaimed writers who have made a major contribution to literature.