Tom Stoppard has won the 2013 Pen/Pinter Prize, which recognises a British writer of outstanding literary merit.
The prize, which was launched in 2009 by the freedom of expression charity English Pen, is given to a writer that shows, in the words of Harold Pinter’s Nobel literature prize acceptance speech, a “fierce intellectual determination … to define the real truth of our lives and our societies”.
Stoppard will receive the award at the British Library on October 7, when he will reveal the name of another writer that will share it with him.
This international co-winner will be someone who has been intimidated for speaking out about their beliefs.
Stoppard was chosen by a judging panel that included Pinter’s wife Antonia Fraser, Young Vic artistic director David Lan and last year’s prize-winner poet Carol Ann Duffy.
Gillian Slovo, who chaired the panel and is president of English Pen, said: ‘‘The judges agreed unanimously that Tom’s lifetime’s work meets the challenging criteria set by Harold Pinter when he described those characteristics he most admired in a writer – characteristics which English Pen shares in its campaigning and charitable mission – those of courage and truthfulness, a determination to tell things as they are.’’