The PEN/Pinter Prize, awarded annually to a writer who shows a "fierce intellectual determination ... to define the real truth of our lives and our societies," will go to Salman Rushdie, the organization announced Friday. Rushdie will be presented with the prize in London in October.
Rushdie is the author of more than a dozen books of fiction and nonfiction and an active advocate for free speech. His 1981 novel "Midnight's Children" won the Booker Prize, but it was his novel "The Satanic Verses" that brought him international fame.
After its publication, Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini declared a fatwa against the novelist, saying that the book was an insult to Islam, and called for his death. Rushdie went into hiding and lived in seclusion for almost a decade, an experience he chronicled in his 2012 memoir "Joseph Anton," which was his code name with the British forced that guarded him.