Ian McEwan Wins Jerusalem Prize

Ian McEwan has won Israel’s prestigious literary award, the Jerusalem Prize, with the jury hailing him as “one of the most important writers of our time.” The prize will be awarded at the 25th International Jerusalem Book Fair this February. It is given biennially to a writer whose works have dealt with themes of individual freedom in society. Past winners include Bertrand Russell, Simone de Beauvoir, JM Coetzee, Milan Kundera, Susan Sontag, Arthur Miller, Haruki Murakami, and this year’s Nobel winner Mario Vargas Llosa.

The jury for the 2011 prize said they had chosen McEwan because the protagonists of his novels – which include Atonement, Saturday, the Man Booker-winning Amsterdam and last year’s global-warming-themed Solar – “struggle for their right to give personal expression to their ideas, and to live according to those ideas in an environment of political and social turmoil.”