English writer wins Goethe medal

English writer wins Goethe medal


norman lebrecht

June 20, 2011

It’s John Le Carre, and about time, too.

The medal is given for outstanding service to the German language and international cultural dialogue. Ever since he wrote A Small Town in Germany nearly half a century ago, no English language novelist can match Le Carre’s acute inside view of Europe’s central nation.

Here’s the announcement.

John le Carré awarded Goethe Medal

< BACK TO NEWSJohn le Carré 

John le Carré is the recipient of one of the three Goethe Medals awarded this year. The Goethe Institute awards medals each year for outstanding service to the German language and international cultural dialogue.

The Goethe Medals will be presented to John le Carré, Ariane Mnouchkine and Adam Michnik on the 28th August 2011 in Weimar, Germany. Ariane Mnouchkine is an icon of European theatre and Adam Michnik a Polish intellectual who has contributed greatly to dialogue between Poland and Germany in particular.

The first Goethe Medal was awarded in 1955 and since then 326 people from 58 countries have been honoured. Le Carré joins an impressive list of Goethe Medal recipients including Billy Wilder, Karl Popper, Daniel Barenboim and Jorge Semprún.

The medal honours John le Carré’s life work. The author, who is fluent in German, set one of his best known novels, The Spy Who Came in From the Cold in Germany.