Last night Four Colman Getty worked with English PEN to announce the winners of the PEN Pinter Prize 2013.
This year’s prize was awarded to British playwright Tom Stoppard and Belarusian journalist Iryna Khalip. The prize is presented annually to a British writer or writer resident in Britain of outstanding literary merit, who, in the words of Harold Pinter’s Nobel Literature Prize speech, casts an “unflinching, unswerving” gaze upon the world and shows a “fierce intellectual determination...to define the real truth of our lives and our societies.’’
Tom Stoppard was the British winner who then chose Iryna as the International Writer of Courage to share the prize with him – Iryna’s award recognises a writer who has been intimidated for speaking out about their beliefs. As the Belarus correspondent for Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta Iryna has for a long time written about and protested against human rights abuses committed by the Belarus government, recently resulting in her arrest and imprisonment by the KGB.
Tom and Iryna formally accepted their prizes at an event at the British Library last night. They were then interviewed by the Today programme this morning, and there has been coverage of their award across UK media and around the world.
Dotti Irving and Four Colman Getty have a long history of supporting the work of English PEN, both in promoting the PEN Pinter Prize, and in supporting the annual PEN Quiz to raise funds for the organisation.