John le Carré awarded Germany's Goethe Medal
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John le Carré awarded Germany's Goethe Medal

22nd June 2011

John le Carré is to be awarded one of the highest honours in Germany for his contribution to international peace and creativity.

The 79-year-old, who famously excluded himself from the Man Booker International Prize shortlist earlier this year, will be presented with the Goethe Medal for 'the development of coalescence, peace and creativity in Europe'.

Making the announcement, the Goethe-Institut described the author as 'the master of the political and psychological crime novel' and praised him for his sensitive portrayal of the role Germany played during the cold war in his writing.

'His novels captivate the reader with their painstaking psychological depiction of the characters and their wealth of historical details – Le Carré broke with stereotypical viewpoints and criticised the betrayal of western ideals,' the Institut said.

It went on to describe Le Carré as 'Great Britain's most famous speaker of German' and praised his belief that language learning is the key to understanding foreign cultures.

Le Carré will be presented with the award at a ceremony in Weimar on August 28th, along with French theatre director Ariane Mnouchkine and Polish intellectual Adam Michnik

© W&G Foyle Ltd