A standup comedian’s public breakdown by the Israeli author has won the prestigious literary award, Man Booker International prize. David Grossman’s A Horse Walks Into a Bar set around a standup comic’s rambling and confessional routine in an Israeli comedy club, has managed to win the Man Booker International prize for the year’s best fiction in translation. The prize worth £50,000 prize will be shared with its translator Jessica Cohen. His novel was selected as the winner from 126 titles, which were whittled down to a 13-book longlist and a six-book shortlist.
Set in a small Israeli town, the novel is focused entirely on the act of comedian Dovaleh Greenstein. Greenstein’s repellent performance begins to shatter as he reveals a fateful and gruesome decision he once made, which has haunted him ever since.
“David Grossman has attempted an ambitious high-wire act of a novel, and he’s pulled it off spectacularly,” said the chair of judges and director of the Edinburgh international book festival Nick Barley.
Grossman is born and currently based in Jerusalem, he has long been recognized as one of the world’s great novelists, honoured with French Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, Germany’s Buxtehuder Bulle, Rome’s Premio per la pace e l’azione umanitaria, the Frankfurt peace prize, and Israel’s Emet prize.