The €25,000 ($32,275, 235,955 kronor) prize was given to him late on Sunday in
Salzburg by Austrian Culture Minister Claudia Schmied, who described the 76-year-old as "a great European storyteller."
"Accuracy and mastership define Enquist's diverse and rich literary oeuvre, which seems to have been written effortlessly and which involves the reader in a unique way in stories that he can tell like no other, somewhere between
fiction, reportage, essay and autobiography," Schmied said.
The author of novels such as "The Visit of the Royal Physician" about Danish
King Christian VII and "The Book about Blanche and Marie," centering around Polish-French Nobel physics laureate Marie Curie, Enquist has also written plays, essays and children's books.
Past winners of the Austrian prize, which has been awarded since 1965, include Spain's Jorge Semprun and Italian writer Umberto Eco, as well as Milan Kundera, Friedrich Duerrenmatt, Simone de Beauvoir and Harold Pinter.