80-year-old Aharon Appelfeld's novel wins UK Independent Foreign Fiction Prize

Israeli author Aharon Appelfeld and Jeffrey M Green, who translated the novel from the Hebrew into English, were each presented with £5,000 at a ceremony on Monday 14 May at the Royal Institute of British Architects in central London.

Aharon Appelfeld's novel Blooms of Darkness is based on his childhood during the second world war. The author was deported to a labour camp at the age of seven, later escaping and ending up in Palestine in 1946, aged 14. The author grew up speaking German, but chose, he said, to write in the Hebrew he learned from the age of 14, calling German "the language of the murderers".

At 80, Appelfeld is the oldest author to win the prize, following on from Santiago Roncagliolo, who at 36 won the Prize last year – the youngest ever winner.

The prize is run by the Booktrust, the UK-based independent reading and writing charity. Booktrust also organises the Orange Prize for Fiction, the David Cohen Prize for Literature, Prizes for short story writing, young women in publishing, the Roald Dahl Funny Prize and others.

For more information about the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, please click here


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