The Jerusalem International Book Forum (formerly the Jerusalem International Book Fair) will run 12-15 May this year, and for the first time will run concurrent with the International Writers Festival of Mishkenot Sha’ananim.
Founded in 1963, the then Jerusalem International Book Fair has long been the Israeli publishing industry’s public face, and the forum where the prestigious biennial Jerusalem Prize is awarded,
to a writer whose work best expresses and promotes the idea of “freedom of the individual in society.” Some of the authors who were awarded the Jerusalem Prize later received Nobel Prize for Literature, among them – Bertrand Russell , Octavio Paz, V. S. Naipaul, Mario Vargas Llosa and J. M. Coetzee.
This year’s winner, who will receive the $10,000 prize from the Mayor of Jerusalem Moshe Lion on 12 May, is poet, novelist and playwright Joyce Carol Oates.
Oates, who will be making her first trip to Israel, was unaware of her Jewish heritage until after her paternal grandmother’s death.
Oates has previously been the recipient of the US National Medal of the Humanities, bestowed on her by President Barack Obama in 2010.