Sweden's Enquist awarded Austrian literature prize

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The Independent Culture

Sweden's Per Olov Enquist, a prolific writer of historical novels and one of his country's most famous authors, has been awarded Austria's State Prize for European Literature.

The 25,000-euro (32,275-dollar) prize was given to him late Sunday in Salzburg by Culture Minister Claudia Schmied, who described the 76-year-old as "a great European story-teller."

"Accuracy and mastership define Enquist's diverse and rich literary oeuvre, which seems to have been written effortlessly and which involves the reader in a unique way in stories that he can tell like no other, somewhere between fiction, reportage, essay and autobiography," Schmied said.

Author of novels such as "The Visit of the Royal Physician" about Danish king Christian VII, and "The Book about Blanche and Marie", centering around Nobel physics laureate Marie Curie, Enquist has also written plays, essays and children's books.

Past winners of the Austrian prize, which has been awarded since 1965, include Spain's Jorge Semprun and Italian writer Umberto Eco, as well as Milan Kundera, Friedrich Duerrenmatt, Simone de Beauvoir and Harold Pinter.