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Wingate winner

by: Leslie Bunder - Last updated: 2006-05-04

Imre Kertesz

Imre Kertesz

Fatelessness, a novel about the fate of Georg Koves, a teenager transported from Budapest in Hungary to Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz has won this year's Jewish Quarterly Wingate Literary Prize.

Written by Hungarian Imre Kertesz, the book beat a short list of authors which included Michael Arditti, Paul Kriwaczek, Jean Molla, Nicholas Stargardt and Tamar Yellin.

It tells the story of how Georg deals not just with Nazis, but also with how other Jews at the camp treat him.

The book, while fiction draws on Kertesz's own experiences.

He was born in 1929, and deported to Auschwitz from Budapest by the Nazis in 1944 and was then sent to Buchenwald where he was eventually liberated in 1945.

In 2002, he won the Nobel Prize in Literature.

"Imre Kertesz views the Holocaust from the inside-out, forcing readers to leave their preconceptions and hindsight at the concentration-camp gates.  Utterly absorbing and transformative,” said Oona King, the former MP and chair of the judges.

As well as winning the award, Kertesz received £5,000.