Harold Pinter wins 2005 Nobel Prize for literature.

Harold Pinter wins 2005 Nobel Prize for literature.

Playwright Harold Pinter, 75, has won the 2005 Nobel Prize for literature.

Pinter, whose plays include "The Birthday Party" and "Betrayal", was announced as the winner of the $1.3m (£723,000) cash prize on Thursday 13 Oct 2005.

The Nobel academy said Pinter's work "uncovers the precipice under everyday prattle and forces entry into oppression's closed rooms".

Harold Pinter said: "I've been writing plays for about fifty years and I'm also pretty politically engaged. And I'm not at all sure to what extent that fact, that fact had anything to do with this award. "I am both deeply engaged in art and deeply engaged in politics and sometimes those two meet and sometimes they don't. It's all going to be very interesting."

He has been a big critic of US and UK foreign policy for many years, including the bombing of Afghanistan in 2001 and the Iraq war.

Tom Stoppard said: "As a writer, Harold has been unswerving for 50 years. With his earliest work he stood alone in British theatre up against the bewilderment and incomprehension of critics, the audience and writers too."

Alan Ayckbourn said: "It couldn't have happened to a nicer person and it's a most fitting award."

David Hare said: "He has blown fresh air into the musty attic of conventional English literature by insisting that everything he does has a public and political dimension."

Peter Hall said: "A great prize for a great and original poet of the theatre...I'm delighted at the news"

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