Posted on 09/23/2019 at 03:00 PM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Over 250 writers have signed a public letter in support of author Kamila Shamsie, whose political views led a literary prize panel to revoke her win.

Shamsie received, then lost, the Nelly Sachs Prize because of her support for the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement against Israel.

The Guardian reports that Arundhati Roy, Sally Rooney, Yann Martel, Jeanette Winterson, Noam Chomsky, and previous Nelly Sachs winner Michael Ondaatje are among those criticizing the prize panel for choosing to “punish an author for her human rights advocacy.”

The BDS movement wants an end to the Israeli presence on Palestinian land and seeks to use nonviolent methods — such as withholding economic support — to achieve this.

Shamsie called the revocation of her prize “a “matter of outrage that the BDS movement (modeled on the South African boycott) that campaigns against the government of Israel for its acts of discrimination and brutality against Palestinians should be held up as something shameful and unjust.”

Prize administrators have decided not to provide any further statements, according to the Guardian.

Shamsie’s novel Home Fire, a reimagining of Antigone set among British Muslims, won the 2018 Women’s Prize for Fiction, was a finalist for the 2019 International Dublin Literary Award, and was longlisted for the 2017 Man Booker Prize.

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