The PEN Pinter Prize 2016: Margaret Atwood

Author Margaret Atwood photo by Liam Sharp

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The annual award in memory of Harold Pinter

The 2016 PEN Pinter Prize will be awarded to Margaret Atwood. She will be presented with the prize at this event and will deliver an address. There will also be a reading from her novel The Handmaid’s Tale by actress Elizabeth McGovern. A limited edition booklet containing the presentation will be published by Faber & Faber and available on the night.

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 writer 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 define the real truth of our lives and our societies.’ This year, for the first time, the prize is open to writers from the Republic of Ireland and the Commonwealth, as well as from the UK. This year’s judges, Vicky Featherstone, Peter Stothard, Zia Haider Rahman, Antonia Fraser and President of English PEN and Chair of Judges, Maureen Freely, selected Margaret Atwood.

The prize will be shared with an International Writer of Courage: someone who is active in defence of freedom of expression, often at great risk to their own safety and liberty, selected by Margaret Atwood from a shortlist of international cases supported by English PEN. The co-winner will be announced and will accept their award on the night.

Margaret Atwood, born in Ottawa,Canada, in 1939, is the author of more than 40 books of fiction, poetry and critical essays. In addition to the classic The Handmaid's Tale, her novels include Cat's EyeAlias Grace,The Blind Assassin, winner of the 2000 Booker Prize, and the MaddAddam trilogy, Oryx and Crake, The Year of the Flood and MaddAddam. She is the winner of many awards, which, in addition to the Booker, include the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the Prince of Asturias Award for Literature, France's Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, Italy's Premio Mondello and, in 2014, the Orion Book Award for Fiction. In 2012, she was awarded the title of Companion of Literature by The Royal Society of Literature. She is a Vice President of PEN International. Her latest novel, The Heart Goes Last, was published in September 2015. Due in 2016, look forward to Hag-Seed, a novel revisitation of Shakespeare’s play The Tempest, for the Hogarth Shakespeare Project, and Angel Catbird – with a cat-bird superhero – a graphic novel with co-creator Johnnie Christmas. Atwood lives in Toronto, Canada.

In association with English PEN


Name: The PEN Pinter Prize 2016: Margaret Atwood
Where: Conference Centre
The British Library
96 Euston Road
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When: -
Price: Full Price: £15.00
Senior 60+: £12.00
Student: £10.00
Registered Unemployed: £10.00
Under 18: £10.00
Friend of the BL: £10.00
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546