Indian author and poet Meena Kandasamy was announced as this year’s recipient of the Hermann Kesten Prize speak PEN Center in Darmstadt, Germany. The Hermann Kesten prize rewards personalities who, in the spirit of the charter of the PEN association, defend the rights of persecuted authors and journalists.
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The PEN Center, Germany will present the award to the Indian author at a ceremony in Darmstadt on November 15 this year. The winner will receive an amount of €20,000 ($19,996) as prize money. This year, the PEN Center is also honoring the website “Weiter Schreiben” (German for “Keep Writing”) with a Special Encouragement Award, for giving authors in exile and writers from conflict zones a platform form to express their thoughts.
Who is Meena Kandasamy?
- Meena Kandasamy was born in 1984 in Chennai, Kandasamy is a feminist and anti-caste activist whose work revolves around the issue of gender, caste, sexuality, patriarchy and oppression by the Brahmin system.
- Her novels have been shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction, the International Dylan Thomas Prize, the Jhalak Prize and the Hindu Lit Prize. She previously held an editorial position at the English-language magazine “The Dalit”. Kandasamy strongly criticized the arrest of other writers like Varavara Rao and former Delhi University professor GN Saibaba.
His notable works include:
- The Gypsy Goddess (2014)
- When I hit you: or, portrait of the writer as a young wife (2017)
- Ayankali (2007)
- Tamil Tigresses (2021)
- Touch (2006),
- Mrs. Militancy (2010).
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