Open main menu

The Jerusalem Prize for the Freedom of the Individual in Society is a biennial literary award given to writers whose works have dealt with themes of human freedom in society.[1] It is awarded at the Jerusalem International Book Fair, and the recipient usually delivers an address when accepting the award. The award is valued at $10,000, a modest amount that "reflects that it was never intended to be anything more than a symbolic sum."[1] The prize's inaugural year was 1963, awarded to Bertrand Russell who had won the Nobel Prize in 1950. Octavio Paz, V. S. Naipaul, J. M. Coetzee and Mario Vargas Llosa all won the Jerusalem Prize prior to winning the Nobel.

Jerusalem Prize
Awarded forwriters whose works have dealt with themes of human freedom in society
Presented byOrganisers of the Jerusalem International Book Fair
First awarded1963

In the intervening even-numbered years there is also a National Jerusalem Prize to promote local Israeli authors. For example, in 1994 the Jerusalem Prize was won by Naomi Gal.

List of LaureatesEdit

Year Name Nationality Language(s) Refs
1963 Bertrand Russell United Kingdom English
1965 Max Frisch Switzerland German
1967 André Schwarz-Bart France French
1969 Ignazio Silone Italy Italian
1971 Jorge Luis Borges Argentina Spanish
1973 Eugène Ionesco Romania / France French
1975 Simone de Beauvoir France French
1977 Octavio Paz Mexico Spanish
1979 Isaiah Berlin Russia / United Kingdom English
1981 Graham Greene United Kingdom English
1983 V. S. Naipaul Trinidad and Tobago / United Kingdom English
1985 Milan Kundera Czechoslovakia / France Czech / French
1987 J. M. Coetzee South Africa / Australia English
1989 Ernesto Sabato Argentina Spanish
1991 Zbigniew Herbert Poland Polish
1993 Stefan Heym Germany German / English
1995 Mario Vargas Llosa Peru / Spain Spanish
1997 Jorge Semprún Spain French / Spanish
1999 Don DeLillo United States English
2001 Susan Sontag United States English
2003 Arthur Miller United States English
2005 António Lobo Antunes Portugal Portuguese
2007 Leszek Kołakowski Poland Polish
2009 Haruki Murakami Japan Japanese
2011 Ian McEwan United Kingdom English [2]
2013 Antonio Muñoz Molina Spain Spanish [3]
2015 Ismail Kadare Albania Albanian [4]
2017 Karl Ove Knausgaard Norway Norwegian [5]
2019 Joyce Carol Oates United States English


  1. ^ a b The Jerusalem Prize
  2. ^ "Israel boycotters target authors, artists". Ynetnews. 5 March 2011. Retrieved 23 March 2011.
  3. ^ Staff writer (January 9, 2013). "Spanish author Antonio Munoz Molina to receive Jerusalem Prize at book fair". JTA. Retrieved January 9, 2013.
  4. ^ Rebecca Wojno (January 15, 2015). "Albanian writer to receive Jerusalem Prize". The Times of Israel.
  5. ^ Gili Izikovich (May 28, 2017). "Karl Ove Knausgaard Named 2017 Laureate for Jerusalem Prize in Literature". Haaretz.

External linksEdit