Margaret Drabble wins Golden PEN Award 2011

We are pleased to announce that the winner of the 2011 Golden PEN Award is Margaret Drabble. The award is given annually to an accomplished writer whose body of work has had a profound impact on readers and who is held in high regard by fellow writers and the literary community. It is also important that the recipient’s ethos is consistent with, and supportive of, the values upheld by English PEN.

The winner is elected by the Trustees of English PEN, who represent a membership of more than one thousand writers and literary professionals. The award was presented to Drabble, along with a golden pen and a cheque for £1,000, at the English PEN Christmas Partyon Monday 5 December at the Free Word Centre in London. Lisa Appignanesi, author and former president of English PEN, presented the award and paid tribute to Drabble’s work. Previous winners of the award include Salman Rushdie, JG Ballard, Josephine Pullein-Thompson, Michael Holroyd, Doris Lessing and Harold Pinter.

Gillian Slovo, President of English PEN said, “I am absolutely delighted that Margaret Drabble is going to join the list of wonderful writers to be awarded the Golden PEN. We awarded it to her for two of the best reasons: her work on behalf of other writers and for PEN, and her brilliant career as a novelist. She is our perfect combination of art and conscience – a role model whom we can all aspire to match.”

Upon receiving the award, Margaret Drabble said: “I am delighted and honoured by this award from an organisation to which I have belonged for so many decades. PEN continues to do remarkable work for writers round the world and many owe it their freedom. I owe it many friendships, and it is wonderfully cheering for me to feel such support and encouragement as dark winter closes in. I send my warmest thanks to all at PEN.”

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