Gomorrah author Roberto Saviano has won the Pen/Pinter International Writer of Courage Award for 2011.
The PEN/Pinter Prize was established in 2009 in memory of the Nobel-winning playwright Harold Pinter. In his Nobel Prize speech, Pinter spoke of a need for writers to cast an “unflinching, unswerving” gaze upon the world, and “to define the real truth of our lives and our societies”.
Saviano was chosen as this year’s winner for his work exposing the organised crime ring operating in Naples.
Saviano, who is under 24 hour police protection, was unable to attend the London ceremony to accept the award in person.
Saviano sent a message in his absence, dedicating the prize to his readers: “This prize goes to my readers. I owe it to them, if I have brought what is dear to my heart out of the pages and into the media and without too much hesitation, because when you feel that so many need to see, to know and to change, and not just to be entertained or comforted, then it is worth it to carry on writing”.