Rushdie honoured with Pinter prize

Salman Rushdie is to be given an honorary literary prize for his years of outstanding work, awarded in memory of his friend the late playwright Harold Pinter.

Salman Rushdie has been awarded the Pinter prize named after his late friend Harold Pinter
Salman Rushdie has been awarded the Pinter prize named after his late friend Harold Pinter

The author, whose works include Midnight's Children and The Moor's Last Sigh, is to be the recipient of the 2014 PEN/Pinter prize.

Rushdie - who spent many years under guard in a secret location after receiving death threats as a result of the publication of his book The Satanic Verses - will be given the prize at a ceremony at the British Library on October 9.

It was established in 2009 by English PEN - the writers' association and freedom of expression charity - and is awarded annually to a writer of outstanding literary merit.

Rushdie follows Tony Harrison, Hanif Kureishi, David Hare, Carol Ann Duffy and Tom Stoppard as a recipient.

Pinter's widow Antonia Fraser, who is on the judging panel, said: "Harold admired Salman Rushdie's work profoundly long before he met him. This award would have meant a great deal to Harold who respected Salman twice over, both for his work and his great personal courage."

Mumbai-born Rushdie said: "It's very moving to receive an award named after my friend Harold Pinter, whose literary genius was matched by his passion for social justice, and to follow in the distinguished footsteps of the previous recipients."