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Last Updated: Thursday, 28 April, 2005, 12:14 GMT 13:14 UK
Israeli author wins Goethe prize
Israeli writer Amos Oz
Oz is an internationally acclaimed writer
Israeli writer Amos Oz has been awarded the 2005 Goethe cultural prize for his life's work.

Oz, a peace activist, was honoured for his novels and "impressive moral responsibility", said Frankfurt mayor and jury president Petra Roth.

Previous winners of the prize include authors Herman Hesse and Thomas Mann and Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman.

Oz's novels Black Box and To Know a Woman, have been translated into some 30 languages.

His most recent work, A Tale of Love and Darkness, an account of three generations of a family growing up in Jerusalem in the 1940s and 1950s, has been a best-seller.

"I didn't even know I was a candidate," Oz said from Israel. "I am greatly moved for this a very prestigious prize which has been awarded in the past to the likes of Thomas Mann and Sigmund Freud."

The prize, worth 50,000 euros and named after the great German poet and dramatist Johann Wolfgang Goethe (1749-1832) will be awarded on August 28, Goethe's birthday.

It is awarded every two or three years by the west German city of Frankfurt.

Oz was born in 1939 in Jerusalem. He has published 18 books in Hebrew, and about 450 articles and essays in Israeli and international magazines and newspapers.

He is strongly identified with the Israeli left, and has been one of the leading figures in the Israeli Peace Now movement since it was founded in 1977.

He was awarded his country's most prestigious prize, the Israel Prize for Literature, in 1998, the 50th year of Israel's independence, and the Frankfurt Peace Prize in 1992.

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