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Vaclav Havel wins Franz Kafka Prize

9th June 2010

Former Czech president Vaclav Havel has been handed the Franz Kafka Prize.

The Prague-based Franz Kafka Society awards the prize annually and winners receive USD 10,000 (GBP 6,900), a diploma and a bronze model of the Kafka monument that is found in the Czech capital.

Its organisers stated: 'The mission of the Franz Kafka Prize is the evaluation of artistically exceptional literary creation of contemporary authors whose work addresses the readers regardless of their origin, nationality and culture.'

Havel was chosen by an international judging panel that featured British publisher John Calder and German literary critic Marcel Reich-Ranicki. The playwright will receive the honour on October 28th - the eve of the Czech state holiday.

Previous winners of the prize include Philip Roth, Haruki Murakami, Harold Pinter and Elfriede Jelinek.

The Franz Kafka Society also oversees the Max Brod Prize, a student literary competition that seeks to recognise essays championing independent thinking and reflecting on the issues facing society.

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