Arnost Lustig has won the Franz Kafka Prize. Details are sketchy, but it is reported that the Czech will take home a $10,000 check (or, if you prefer, cheque). You might think that there’s some favoritism at work here, but, in the eight-year history of the prize, Lustig is only the second Czech to win it.
The prize, though prestigious, carries with it a unique burden. Previous winners report recurring nightmares of living in a bureaucratic and impersonal world, and also persistent sensations of having undergone unsavory transmogrifications. But, even for prize-winning authors, writing can sometimes be a trial.