Writer spurns Mail award over asylum

The Refugee Council has said that novelist Hari Kunzru's refusal last week to accept a literary prize sponsored by the Mail on Sunday because of its hostility to asylum seekers could mark a turning point in how refugee issues are represented in the media.

Kunzru, one of Britain's most promising novelists, turned down the John Llewellyn Rhys award and asked that the £5,000 prize be donated to the Refugee Council.

He won the award for his debut novel, The Impressionist, which explores themes of race and identity.

In a statement read out at the ceremony, Kunzru explained why he couldn't accept the prize: "As the child of an immigrant, I am only too aware of the poisonous effect of the Mail's editorial line. The atmosphere of prejudice it fosters translates into violence. I have no wish to profit from it."

Imran Hussain, advocacy manager for the Refugee Council, said: "We welcome his recognition of the effect that the misrepresentation of asylum seekers is having on all sectors of our society".

See News in Focus, p12.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in
RSS Feed

Third Sector Insight

Sponsored webcasts, surveys and expert reports from Third Sector partners

Third Sector Logo

Get our bulletins. Read more articles. Join a growing community of Third Sector professionals

Register now