Berger picks up Golden PEN award

<p>John Berger has been presented with the Golden PEN award, which celebrates an author whose &quot;body of work has had a profound impact on readers&quot;. </p><p>The writer, who won the 1972 Booker Prize for his novel <em>G.</em> (Bloomsbury), and whose most recent novel <em>A-X</em> (Verso) was longlisted for the Booker last year, was awarded the &pound;1,000 prize money and commemorative golden pen last night (7th December) by fellow author Geoff Dyer. </p><p>Lisa Appignanesi, president of English PEN, said: &quot;His novels have enlivened readers of fiction for generations. So, too, have his luminous essays, which bring the far as near as your hand: they make us look afresh at the world, at animals, at politics, at all our relations... </p><p>&quot;Throughout, his passion for justice shines: most recently that has taken him into &#39;the world&#39;s largest waiting room&#39; which is the West Bank, and &#39;the world&#39;s largest prison&#39;, Gaza. I can think of no better life in writing and no writer who does more honour to the Golden PEN than does John Berger by accepting it.&quot;</p><p>Dyer, who has previously edited a collection of Berger&#39;s essays, added: &quot;In the unparalleled range of his work, in his extraordinary originality and innovation, in his unflagging commitment and limitless compassion, John Berger is exemplary both as a writer and as a human being.&quot;</p><p>Previous winners of the annual award include JG Ballard, Josephine Pullein-Thompson, Michael Holroyd, Doris Lessing and Harold Pinter. </p><p>As well being &quot;accomplished writers&quot;, all recipients of award must have an &quot;ethos [that] is consistent with, and supportive of, the values upheld by English PEN&quot;. The winner is elected by the trustees of English PEN, who represent a membership of more than one thousand writers and literary professionals. </p>