Poet and author Meena Kandasamy won the Hermann Kesten prize of the German chapter of the PEN International writers’ association.
“Honestly, I am not sure how to process it. Previous recipients include Günter Grass and Harold Pinter, and the weight of what this prize means is actually still sinking in,” Kandasamy told DW in a statement shortly after she heard she had won the award.
Since 1985 PEN Centre Germany has awarded the Hermann Kesten Medal for outstanding services to persecuted authors.
PEN Centre Germany is part of the worldwide association of writers founded in London in 1921, now known as PEN International. One of over 140 autonomous PEN centres around the world, PEN Centre Germany is based in Darmstadt, Hesse.
Hermann Kesten was a German novelist and dramatist. He was one of the principal literary figures of the New Objectivity movement in 1920s Germany.
Kandasamy who was born in 1984 in Chennai, won many prestigious awards previous years and her books include “The Gypsy Goddess,” (2014) and “When I Hit You: Or, A Portrait of the Writer as a Young Wife” (2017). She has also published anthologies of her poems, most notably “Ms Militancy” (2010) and “#ThisPoemWillProvokeYou and Other Poems” (2015).