Israeli author Amos Oz and former U.S. vice president Al Gore are among the recipients of this year's Dan David Prize for influential scientific, technological, cultural or social achievements, the prize administrators announced in Tel Aviv yesterday.
The winners will receive the award in Israel in May. The prize, which is based at Tel Aviv University, awards three prizes of $1 million each in categories representing the past, present and future.
Oz, who is one of the most widely read Israeli writers in the world and has won the Goethe and Israel prizes for his writing, was chosen "for portraying historical events while emphasizing the individual, and for exploring the tragic conflict between two nations from a very human point of view," stated a statement from the Dan David Prize.
Several of Oz's works represent the pre-state era "as a backdrop for his psychological insights and his thoughtful in-depth characterizations," according to the statement.
Oz has written both fiction and non-fiction, and his books include "The Hill of Evil Counsel," "My Michael" and "A Tale of Love and Darkness."
Speaking from his home in Arad, Oz said he is working on a new collection of stories, though he wouldn't say what the book is about.
"I'm reluctant to expose my pregnancy to X-rays," Oz said.
Oz will share the prize money with the two other winners in his category, called "Creative rendering of the past: Literature, theater, film": British playwright Tom Stoppard and Canadian-Armenian filmmaker Atom Egoyan.
Gore, a Nobel Prize laureate who wrote "Earth in the Balance" and produced and starred in the Oscar-winning "An Inconvenient Truth," both about climate change, was the sole winner in the Present category, which focused on social responsibility and the environment.
He was honored "for his multiple contributions in raising the conscience of the world to the challenge posed to the continuing sustainable function of the global environment and life support system."
The Future category went to researchers Ellen Moseley-Thompson and Lonnie G. Thompson at Ohio State University for their studies of geological and environmental records in ice cores and Geoffrey Eglinton of Britain's University of Bristol for findings on inhabitants and climates of ancient worlds through his studies of organic chemical fossils.