Dave Eggers Will Not Attend Gunter Grass Foundation Award Ceremony

Dave Eggers Gunter Grass

Via JTA.org

Author Dave Eggers will not travel to Germany to accept a prize awarded to him by the Guenter Grass Foundation, due to controversy surrounding Grass’ latest poem. The piece in question is highly critical of Israel, specifically in regards to escalating tension between the Jewish state and Iran. The publication has been denounced as anti-Semitic by several prominent organizations (both Israeli and German) and Grass has been barred from traveling to Israel for the time being.

Eggers, author of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, was invited to accept the Albatross Prize for his novel Zeitoun. In a statement released by his German publisher, the author declined to attend the award ceremony:

I felt it best if I did not attend in person…The issues raised in Grass’ recent poem are not issues I am prepared to speak about, and I would have been expected to comment on them repeatedly.

Eggers has asked that the award, worth approximately $56,000, be distributed amongst German organizations that promote interfaith dialogue.

John Jarzemsky

News by John Jarzemsky

John is a freelance writer who has been with LitReactor since the days of its halcyon youth. You can check out John's blog, the poorly titled Super Roller Disco Monkey Hullabaloo!, for other reviews, random musings, and ill-thought out rants. He was recently published in Bushwick Nightz, a collection of short stories about the Brooklyn neighborhood in which he resides.

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dleighly's picture
dleighly April 19, 2012 - 8:17am

I was a little confused until I saw his comment as to why, that sounds like very typical Eggers. He barely likes to comment on his own work, let alone something that would be "controversial" and not concerning his own writing at all.

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like April 19, 2012 - 8:57am

He wants to contribute to dialogue, but not travel there and engage in it with the foundation.  OK.

JasmynMaria's picture
JasmynMaria September 17, 2014 - 6:13am

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