Stoppard wins PEN/Pinter Prize

Stoppard wins PEN/Pinter Prize

Tom Stoppard is to be awarded the the 2013 PEN/Pinter Prize.

The annual prize is given to a British writer, or writer resident in Britain, of outstanding literary merit, who fulfils playwright Harold Pinter's exhortation in his Nobel Literature Prize acceptance speech to be "unflinching, unswerving", and show "a fierce intellectual determination… to define the real truth of our lives and our societies."

Stoppard, author of plays Arcadia and Rozencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, was selected as the winner by a jury made up of Christopher Bland, former winner Carol Ann Duffy, Antonia Fraser, David Lan, and president of English PEN Gillian Slovo.

Slovo said: "We are delighted to award this year's PEN/Pinter Prize to Tom Stoppard. The judges agreed unanimously that Tom's lifetime's work meets the challenging criteria set by Harold Pinter when he described those characteristics he most admired in a writer - characteristics which English PEN shares in its campaigning and charitable mission – those of courage and truthfulness, a determination to tell things as they are."

Stoppard said: "'Harold was one of the reasons I wanted to write plays. His work dominated the foreground of my thoughts about theatre in the few years before I sat down to try to write a play in 1960."

He will be given the prize at an event at the British Library on 7th October, delivering an address that will be printed as a limited edition booklet by Faber The playwright will also select an International Writer of Courage, who has been intimidated for speaking about their beliefs, who will receive the prize alongside him.