HARRY Potter author JK Rowling is to receive a prestigious award from literary and human rights group PEN America
Rowling will be presented with the PEN/Allen Foundation Literary Service Award on 16 May at the group’s annual spring gala in New York. Previous
winners include Toni Morrison, Sir Salman Rushdie and Sir Tom Stoppard.
PEN cited Rowling’s advocacy for free expression, her founding of the charitable trust Volant, which supports multiple sclerosis research and other causes, and her non-profit organisation Lumos, which works to reconnect institutionalised children with their families.
“I’m deeply honoured to receive this award and humbled that my work has been recognised as having moral value by an organisation I so admire,” Rowling said in a statement.
“I’ve long been a supporter of PEN, which does invaluable work on behalf of imprisoned writers and in defence of freedom of speech.”
PEN America president and prize-winning author Andrew Solomon said in a statement that Rowling’s writing provides a wealth of “imagination, empathy, humour, and a love of
reading, along the way revealing moral choices that help us understand ourselves”.