Arundhati Roy wins PEN Pinter Prize

Set up in memory of playwright Harold Pinter, the award is for writers of “outstanding literary merit” who take an “unflinching” look at the world.

Roy is best known for her 1997 Booker Prize-winning novel The God of Small Things. She has written about human rights issues in India as well as war and capitalism globally.The 62-year-old could face prosecution by the Narendra Modi government for comments she made in 2010 about Kashmir.

English PEN chair Ruth Borthwick praised Roy for telling “urgent stories of injustice with wit and beauty”. “[…] She is truly an internationalist thinker, and her powerful voice is not to be silenced,” he said.Roy is a polarising figure and has often been targeted by right-wing groups for her speeches and writings.

She has been outspoken in her criticism about the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government’s alleged targeting of Muslims and has also spoken about India’s declining press freedoms during Modi’s tenure.She will receive the PEN Pinter Prize on October 10 in a ceremony co-hosted by the British Library, reports BBC.

The prize was set up in 2009 by English PEN, a charity that says it defends freedom of expression and celebrates literature.Previous winners include Michael Rosen, Malorie Blackman, Margaret Atwood, Salman Rushdie, Tom Stoppard and Carol Ann Duffy.

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