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Arundhati Roy Awarded PEN Pinter Prize For Her Impactful Voice

Arundhati Roy Awarded PEN Pinter Prize For Her Impactful Voice

Indian author Arundhati Roy expressed her delight at receiving this year’s PEN Pinter Prize, established in memory of playwright Harold Pinter. The award recognizes writers of “outstanding literary merit” who provide an “unflinching” view of the world. The announcement follows the recent approval by Indian officials of actions against Roy under anti-terror laws for comments made 14 years ago.

Arundhati Roy, a Booker Prize-winning author, has written extensively on human rights issues in India and on global war and capitalism. English PEN chair Ruth Borthwick commended Roy for her ability to tell “urgent stories of injustice with wit and beauty.” Borthwick emphasized that while India remains a significant focus for Roy, she is an international thinker whose powerful voice must not be silenced.

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Arundhati Roy, 62, is known for her outspoken activism and faces potential prosecution by the Narendra Modi government for comments made in 2010 about Kashmir, a contentious topic in India. A polarizing figure, she has often been targeted by right-wing groups for her speeches and writings. Roy has been vocal in criticizing the BJP government for its alleged targeting of Muslims and the decline of press freedoms during Modi’s tenure.

She will be awarded the PEN Pinter Prize on October 10 in a ceremony co-hosted by the British Library. The prize, founded in 2009 by English PEN, defends freedom of expression and celebrates literature. Past winners include Michael Rosen, Malorie Blackman, Margaret Atwood, Salman Rushdie, Tom Stoppard, and Carol Ann Duffy.

Upon winning the prize, Roy remarked on the need to fill the shoes of Harold Pinter in addressing the world’s current challenges. She is best known for her novel “The God of Small Things,” which won the Booker Prize in 1997.