Entertainment & Arts

Hanif Kureishi wins Pinter literary prize

Hanif Kureishi
Image caption Kureishi was presented with the £1,000 prize money at the British Library

Novelist Hanif Kureishi has been presented with the Pen/Pinter prize for speaking the truth "about life in our multicultural world".

The writer, whose work includes The Buddha of Surburbia, was given the award at a London ceremony.

The prize was set up by the writers' charity Pen in 2009 in memory of the Nobel-winning playwright Harold Pinter.

His widow Lady Antonia Frasier said he would have been "proud" of Kureishi's honour.

Courage prize

Lady Antonia was one of the judges on the panel.

She said: "Hanif Kureishi courageously and irreverently speaks the truth about life in our multicultural world, beyond any platitudes of political correctness."

The Pen/Pinter prize is given to a British writer who, in the words of Pinter's Nobel Prize winning speech, casts an "unflinching, unswerving" gaze upon the world.

The international writer of courage prize went to Mexican journalist Lydia Cacho.

The award is presented to writers who have been persecuted for their beliefs.

Cacho was harassed and tortured after publishing Los Demonios del Eden (Demons of Eden), a book which exposed a child pornography ring involving business figures in Cancun.

She was arrested, charged with libel and received death threats.

"Over time, I learned a lesson that many journalists and writers have learned before me - that becoming the news is a doubled-edged sword," she said.

"It can weaken and wound, it unsettles us and sets us apart from our colleagues and loved ones. The threats somehow become as important as the original story.

"This dilemma dominates the rest of lives, because for us to come through safely we need to be out there, in public and never be silenced."

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