Writer Margaret Atwood wins PEN Pinter free-speech prize

LONDON (AP) — Canadian novelist and poet Margaret Atwood has won the PEN Pinter Prize for her work championing environmental causes.

The award announced Thursday was established in 2009 in memory of Nobel Prize-winning playwright Harold Pinter. It goes jointly to a British, Irish or Commonwealth writer seen as sharing Pinter’s “unflinching, unswerving” social gaze and to an international writer who has faced persecution.

Pinter’s widow, Antonia Fraser, said he had admired Atwood “as a writer, a campaigner and a person.”

Atwood, whose novels include “MaddAddam” and “Oryx and Crake,” said she was honored to receive an award named for Pinter, who wrote the screenplay for an adaptation of her dystopian novel “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

The second winner — chosen by Atwood and writers’ group English PEN — will be announced Oct. 13.