David Grossman claims Man Booker Prize for novel about tragic comedian
A Horse Walks Into A Bar was selected from 126 titles by a panel of judges.
David Grossman has scooped the Man Booker International Prize for his novel about a stand-up comedian who falls apart on stage.
A Horse Walks Into A Bar was selected from 126 titles by a panel of judges, with the £50,000 prize divided equally between the author and the translator.
Set in a small Israeli town, the novel sees a comedian “disintegrate” in front of his audience, who are drawn to his “personal hell”.
Israeli author Grossman, 63, was born in Colchester but raised in Jerusalem and is the author of numerous works, which have been translated into 36 languages.
Chair of the 2017 judging panel Nick Barley said: “David Grossman has attempted an ambitious high-wire act of a novel, and he’s pulled it off spectacularly.
“A Horse Walks Into A Bar shines a spotlight on the effects of grief, without any hint of sentimentality.
“The central character is challenging and flawed, but completely compelling.
“We were bowled over by Grossman’s willingness to take emotional as well as stylistic risks, every sentence counts, every word matters in this supreme example of the writer’s craft.”
The book was translated by Jessica Cohen.
Books eligible had to have been published in English in translation by UK publishers between May 1 2016 and April 30 2017.