Italian Writer Who Exposed Mafia Wins British Literary Prize

Posted October 10th, 2011 at 6:25 pm (UTC-5)
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An Italian writer living in hiding under round-the-clock police protection for exposing the Mafia has won Britain's 2011 PEN-Pinter International Writer of Courage Award.

Roberto Saviano's 2006 best-selling novel Gomorrah is an expose of the Naples Mafia. Millions of copies have been sold and it was also made into a movie.

British playwright David Hare, who shares the 2011 Pinter prize, says Saviano wrote Gomorrah at great risk to his own safety. He said he hopes the recognition from PEN will make Saviano's life easier.

Saviano sent a message thanking the writers' group, saying the prize belongs to his readers.

The PEN/Pinter prize was founded in 2009 and named for the late Nobel prize winning playwright Harold Pinter. It is awarded jointly every year to an outstanding British author and a writer who has been persecuted for speaking out.