(Alison Flood’s article appeared in the Guardian, 8/26.)
From the privatisation of the railways to the invasion of Iraq, the banking crisis to the British press, the "unflinching, unswerving" gaze which radical playwright David Hare has trained upon the world over the last 40 years is to be honoured with the PEN/Pinter prize.
Established by writers' organisation PEN two years ago to celebrate the late Harold Pinter, the prize is given to a British writer of outstanding literary merit who, in the words of Pinter himself on winning the Nobel prize in 2005, 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". Pinter's widow Lady Antonia Fraser, who selected Hare as this year's recipient along with judges Gillian Slovo, Claire Tomalin, Michael Billington and last year's winner the novelist Hanif Kureishi, called him "a worthy winner".
(Plays by David Hare and Gillian Slovo are included in ‘Acts of War: Iraq and Afghanistan in Seven Plays' from Northwestern University Press—above.)