David Hare Named PEN/Pinter Prize Recipient

News   David Hare Named PEN/Pinter Prize Recipient The 2011 PEN/Pinter Prize will go to British playwright David Hare, the writers' charity English PEN announced on Aug. 26.

Hare will be presented with his prize at a public event at the British Library on Oct. 10. English playwright and theatre and film director Hare wrote the plays Plenty, The Absence of War, The Blue Room, Amy's View and Stuff Happens, among other work.

His awards include a BAFTA, a Golden Bear and an Olivier Award. He was knighted in 1998.

Lady Antonia Fraser, playwright Harold Pinter's widow, said in a statement, "In the course of his long, distinguished career, David Hare has never failed to speak out fearlessly on the subject of politics in the broadest sense; this courage, combined with his rich creative talent, makes him a worthy winner of the PEN/Pinter Prize."

The PEN/Pinter Prize was established in 2009 by the writers' charity English PEN in memory of the Nobel-winning playwright Harold Pinter. The Prize is awarded annually "to a British writer or a writer resident in Britain of outstanding literary merit who, in the words of Harold Pinter's Nobel 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.'"

This year's judges were Hanif Kureishi, Lady Antonia Fraser, Gillian Slovo, Claire Tomalin and Michael Billington. The prize is shared with "an imprisoned writer of courage" selected by English PEN's Writers in Prison Committee in association with David Hare. This half of the prize is awarded to someone who has been persecuted for speaking out about his or her beliefs. The winner will be announced at the public event Oct. 10, where the writer will accept the prize alongside David Hare.

The British Library is the home of Harold Pinter's archive. Hare will make a speech at the British Library event. The speech will be published by Faber and Faber.

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Hare was a co-founder of the Portable Theatre Company. His first play Slag was produced in London at the Hampstead Theatre Club in 1970. He was a resident dramatist at the Royal Court Theatre, London and later at the Nottingham Playhouse. In 1975 he co-founded the Joint Stock Theatre Company. He began writing for the National Theatre in 1978. He became an associate director of the National Theatre in 1984.

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