Yet another artist smeared by pro-apartheid lobby for standing up for Palestinian rights receives honour for courage and ‘lesson in humanity’
Writer Michael Rosen has received the PEN Pinter literature prize for his ‘fearless’ writing and for giving a ‘lesson in humanity’. The writer of children’s classics such as ‘Bear Hunt’ as well as about the death of his son, his family’s loss in the Holocaust and of his near-death experience from Covid, is widely loved but has for years been relentlessly smeared and attacked by the Labour and pro-Israel right for his outspokenness on Palestinian rights and for standing with Jeremy Corbyn against the mass smear campaign that sought to topple Corbyn as Labour leader and which has been thoroughly exposed by the ‘Labour Files’ and ‘Oh Jeremy Corbyn/The Big Lie’ documentary series, as well as on sites such as Skwawkbox.
English PEN, one of the world’s oldest non-governmental organisations, said the prize had been awarded for ‘national treasure’ Rosen’s ‘fierce intellectual determination’ to show the real truth of our lives and society. Rosen, who will receive the award in October and select a ‘Writer of Courage’ to receive an award alongside him, paid tribute to those who have suffered for standing against injustice around the world:
I feel greatly honoured to have been offered the PEN Pinter prize. “It immediately brings to mind the many people all over the world incarcerated, tortured or executed for being brave enough to write about what they perceive to be injustice.
We might say that such punishments serve to prove the injustice that the writers expose, or to show the weakness of the regimes who’ve inflicted these cruelties, but nevertheless, the pain and suffering is all too real and ever-present.
Rosen is the second left-wing great to receive recognition that will have his attackers gnashing their teeth. On Friday, film-maker Ken Loach was one of a group of artists honoured at the Vatican by Pope Francis as ‘prophetic’ characters confronting injustice and lies. The Pope’s comments triggered a mass, anti-Catholic tantrum by right-wingers, so it will be interesting to see whether the award to Rosen – who has been shamefully targeted by them for years – causes a similar petulant backlash.
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