Arundhati Roy Awarded PEN Pinter Prize


Arundhati Roy standing with her arms crossed wearing a blue cardigan and smiling.

Indian author Arundhati Roy has won this year’s PEN Pinter Prize for her ‘powerful voice’. The announcement comes just weeks after officials in India decided to take action against the outspoken writer.

The PEN Pinter prize is awarded annually to a writer of “outstanding literary merit” who poses an “unflinching, unswerving” overview of the world and shows a “fierce intellectual determination … to define the real truth of our lives and our societies”.

Arundhati Roy is a Booker Prize-winning author. Now at 62-years-old, she has been writing for decades about human rights issues in India as well as the effects of war and capitalism world-wide.

The prize comes just weeks after officials in India ruled for action to be taken against Roy under a controversial anti-terrorism law. This action is for comments she made 14 years ago about Kashmir – a controversial topic in India.

English PEN chair Ruth Borthwick told the BBC, “While India remains an important focus, she is truly an internationalist thinker, and her powerful voice is not to be silenced.”

Arundhati Roy joins a long list of powerful writers and previous winners including Michael Rosen, Malorie Blackman, Margaret Atwood, Salman Rushdie, Tom Stoppard and Carol Ann Duffy.

Arundhati Roy is “delighted” to win the PEN Pinter Prize

After being told she would be receiving the prize, Roy said: “I wish Harold Pinter were with us today to write about the almost incomprehensible turn the world is taking. Since he isn’t, some of us must do our utmost to try to fill his shoes.”

At her core Arundhati Roy is an activist, making her a polarising figure in India. She won the Booker Prize in 1997 for ‘The God of Small Things’, and has written many other books and non-fiction essays.

Book cover of The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy.

The PEN Pinter Prize was created in memory of playwright Harold Pinter and was set up in 2009 by English PEN, a charity aiming to defend freedom of expression and celebrate literature.

This year’s award ceremony will be held October 10, co-hosted by the British Library.

Read more news in our lifestyle section

Hannah McLaren

I've worked at DC Thomson for six years! I began as an intern at My Weekly and The Scots Magazine, which was extended by a few months to help out at The People's Friend. I then covered maternity as Celebrity Editor for My Weekly, before I became Multimedia Journalist at The Scots Magazine. Currently I'm writing digital content across each title.

Arundhati Roy Awarded PEN Pinter Prize

Arundhati Roy standing with her arms crossed wearing a blue cardigan and smiling.

Indian author Arundhati Roy has won this year’s PEN Pinter Prize for her ‘powerful voice’. The announcement comes just weeks after officials in India decided to take action against the outspoken writer.

The PEN Pinter prize is awarded annually to a writer of “outstanding literary merit” who poses an “unflinching, unswerving” overview of the world and shows a “fierce intellectual determination … to define the real truth of our lives and our societies”.

Arundhati Roy is a Booker Prize-winning author. Now at 62-years-old, she has been writing for decades about human rights issues in India as well as the effects of war and capitalism world-wide.

The prize comes just weeks after officials in India ruled for action to be taken against Roy under a controversial anti-terrorism law. This action is for comments she made 14 years ago about Kashmir – a controversial topic in India.

English PEN chair Ruth Borthwick told the BBC, “While India remains an important focus, she is truly an internationalist thinker, and her powerful voice is not to be silenced.”

Arundhati Roy joins a long list of powerful writers and previous winners including Michael Rosen, Malorie Blackman, Margaret Atwood, Salman Rushdie, Tom Stoppard and Carol Ann Duffy.

Arundhati Roy is “delighted” to win the PEN Pinter Prize

After being told she would be receiving the prize, Roy said: “I wish Harold Pinter were with us today to write about the almost incomprehensible turn the world is taking. Since he isn’t, some of us must do our utmost to try to fill his shoes.”

At her core Arundhati Roy is an activist, making her a polarising figure in India. She won the Booker Prize in 1997 for ‘The God of Small Things’, and has written many other books and non-fiction essays.

Book cover of The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy.

The PEN Pinter Prize was created in memory of playwright Harold Pinter and was set up in 2009 by English PEN, a charity aiming to defend freedom of expression and celebrate literature.

This year’s award ceremony will be held October 10, co-hosted by the British Library.

Read more news in our lifestyle section

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