Kamila Shamsie gives up German literary award in support for Palestine
A literary organization of Germany has withdrawn the award announced for writer Kamila Shamsie over her support for the Palestinian cause.
The UK-based Pakistani writer was announced winner of Germany’s Nelly Sachs Prize, worth $16,500, on Sept 10. The German literary award organisers have decided to review the decision over her support for the pro-Palestinian movement, Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), which seeks to put economic pressure on Israel over human rights violations in Palestine.
The concerns were raised after the writer had rejected an offer to get her one book published in Israel. “I’ve refused to have my books published by any publishing houses in Israel who aren’t BDS compliant – and unfortunately that appears to be all publishing houses in Israel,” Shamsie told Middle East Eye.
According to Spiegel magazine, the author herself pulled out, after she came to know about concerns of the organisers, and asked them to nominate somebody else for the award. The committee will soon make an announcement in this regard.
The biennial award is named after the Jewish Nobel Prize laureate and poet Nelly Sachs and funded by Dortmund. It had last year declared that support for the BDS movement would be deemed as anti-Semitic.
Dortmund city council said the jury members were oblivious about the novelist’s stance when they gave her the Nelly Sachs Prize.
Kamila Shamsie has written seven novels, which have been translated into several languages across the globe.