The PEN Pinter Prize
When: Mon 7 Oct 2013, 18:30-19:45
Where: Conference Centre, British Library
Price: £7.50 / £5 concessions
This year’s PEN/Pinter Prize will be awarded to playwright Tom Stoppard. He will be introduced by Trevor Nunn and presented with the prize at this event before delivering an address. A limited edition booklet containing his presentation will be published by Faber and Faber and available to the audience.
The PEN/Pinter Prize was established in 2009 by the worldwide writers’ association and freedom of expression charity English PEN in memory of Nobel-laureate playwright Harold Pinter. The prize is awarded 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 selected by this year’s judges Christopher Bland, 2012 winner Carol Ann Duffy, Antonia Fraser, David Lan and President of English PEN and Chair of Judges, Gillian Slovo.
The prize will be shared with an International Writer of Courage: a writer who has been intimidated for speaking out about their beliefs, selected by Tom Stoppard in association with English PEN’s Writers at Risk Committee. The co-winner will be announced at the event, where they will accept their prize alongside Tom Stoppard.
Tom Stoppard was born in Zlin, Czechoslovakia in 1937 and moved to England, via Singapore and India, with his family in 1946. He began his working life in 1954 as a junior reporter on the Western Daily Press. In 1967 Stoppard’s first full-length play, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, was staged by the National Theatre. This play was followed by other award-winning works, including Jumpers, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour (with Andre Previn), Travesties, Night and Day, The Real Thing, Hapgood, Arcadia, Indian Ink, The Invention of Love, The Coast of Utopia (a trilogy) and Rock’n’Roll. His many stage adaptations and translations include Undiscovered Country (Schnitzler), On the Razzle (Nestroy), Rough Crossing (Molnar), The Seagull (Chekhov), Henry IV (Pirandello), Heroes (Sibleyras), Ivanov (Chekhov) and The Cherry Orchard (Chekhov). Tom Stoppard has also written for radio, television and film. His screen credits, as writer and co-writer, include Brazil, Empire of the Sun, Enigma, Shakespeare in Love (winner of an Academy Award for best original screenplay) His most recent work includes, for screen, Anna Karenina and for television Parade’s End (a five part series). He also directed his own screenplay of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (1990), which won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. Stoppard received a knighthood in 1997 and in 2000 was awarded the Order of Merit by Her Majesty the Queen.
English PEN is the founding centre of a worldwide writers’ association with centres in more than 100 countries. Its members work to promote literature and to defend free expression. English PEN’s Writers at Risk Committee (formerly known as Writers in Prison Committee) was established in 1960 to campaign on behalf of imprisoned writers around the world. www.englishpen.org
The PEN Pinter Prize is supported by the generosity of Ruth Maxted, The Thomson Family Charitable Trust and an anonymous donor.