Zimbabwe’s internationally renowned novelist Tsitsi Dangarembga has been awarded the PEN Pinter prize, praised for her “ability to capture and communicate vital truths even amidst times of upheaval”.
Dangarembga, a filmmaker, playwright and activist who was arrested last year in Harare while protesting against corruption, was hailed by judges as a “voice of hope we all need to hear”.
The prize is given by free speech campaigners, English PEN, in memory of the Nobel laureate Harold Pinter.
It goes to a writer of “outstanding literary merit” who, as Pinter put it in his Nobel speech, shows a “fierce intellectual determination … to define the real truth of our lives and our societies”.
Since Dangarembga’s arrest last summer while protesting in Harare, her case has not progressed, hence free speech organisations, along with fellow writers, have called for the charges against her to be dropped.
The Guardian associate editor for culture and English PEN trustee Claire Armitstead praised Dangarembga’s “unusual and exemplary career”, which has seen her make “things happen for other people as well as achieving in her own right”.
Dangarembga will deliver a keynote speech at a ceremony on October 11, when she will announce the co-winner of her prize