Budapest, 18 November 2008 Press release

Austrian State Prize for European Literature 2008 goes to Agota Kristof

Budapest, 19 November 2008 – In 2008, the Austrian State Prize for European Literature will be awarded to writer Agota Kristof, who was born in Hungary in 1935. This was announced by the Austrian Minister for Culture, Claudia Schmied, at the opening of the ‘Reading Festival’ in Vienna. The Minister said that the 25,000 euro award was going to one of the “really great writers of contemporary literature.”

Agota Kristof, daughter of a village schoolmaster, was born on 30 October 1935 in the Hungarian village of Csikvand. After the 1956 uprising she fled first to Austria and then to Switzerland, where she has lived ever since. In 1978, she started to write radio dramas and plays in French. Her book ‘The Notebook’ was awarded the European Book Award in 1987. Among the accolades she has received so far are the Gottfried Keller Prize and the Schiller Prize for her life’s work. Following the big success of her first book Agota Kristof became a freelance writer. Her books have been translated into over 20 languages.

Austrian Embassy Budapest
H-1068 Budapest, Benczúr utca 16
Tel.: 0036-1-479 70 10