“In his novels, essays and stories, Grossman has consistently sought to understand and describe not only his own position, but also the opinions of those who think differently,” the German Publishers’ and Booksellers’ Association said.
Grossman’s literary work has dealt largely with Israel’s identity and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He has often called for a peaceful solution and for restraint from his country.
In his acceptance speech in the Church of St Paul in Frankfurt, Grossman, 56, said Germany was an example of a country that had risen from destruction and educated its youth in the spirit of peace.
“I wish that my country Israel will find the strength to rewrite its history again,” he said. “… that it will learn to meet its history and its tragedy in a new way, and that from that it will create itself anew.”
Grossman’s novels, stories, essays and children’s books have been translated into more than 30 languages.
The 25,000 euro prize is traditionally awarded on the final day of the Frankfurt Book Fair, the world’s largest.
Previous winners of the prize include Turkish Nobel literature laureate Orhan Pamuk, US writer Susan Sontag and former Czech president Vaclav Havel. Italian author Claudio Magris won the prize last year.