Salman Rushdie wins 2014 PEN Pinter prize
Prasun Sonwalkar, Hindustan Times
London, June 20, 2014
First Published: 16:44 IST(20/6/2014)
Last Updated: 16:48 IST(20/6/2014)
Noted writer Salman Rushdie is to receive the 2014 PEN Pinter prize that was established in 2009 in memory of the legndary playwright, Harold Pinter, the prize organisers here said.
The prize is given annually to a writer who, in the words of Pinter's speech on receiving the Nobel prize, casts an "unflinching, unswerving" gaze on the world and shows a "fierce intellectual determination ... to define the real truth of our lives and societies".
Previous winners included Hanif Kureishi, David Hare and Carol Ann Duffy. The prize will be presented to Rushdie at the British Library on 9 October.
In a statement, Rushdie said both PEN and Pinter had been active in his defence when he needed it. "It's very moving to receive an award named after my friend Harold Pinter, whose literary genius was matched by his passion for social justice."
Maureen Freely, who chaired the panel of judges, said: "This prize is English PEN's way of thanking Salman Rushdie not just for his books and his many years of speaking out for freedom of expression, but also for his countless private acts of kindness. When he sees writers unjustly vilified, prosecuted or forced into exile, he takes a personal interest."