Writer Arundhati Roy has been awarded the 45th European Essay Prize for lifetime achievement for the French translation of her compilation of essays titled Azadi: Liberté, Fascisme, Fiction (Azadi: Freedom, Fascism, Fiction in English). Roy will receive a cash prize of CHF 20,000 (about Rs 18 lakh), at a ceremony on September 12, 2023 in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The jury of the Prix Europeen de l’Essai said that Roy uses the essay as a form of “combat, analysing fascism and the way it is being structured.” The jury also acknowledged Roy’s “commitment to political action”. In Azadi, she tackles issues of language, public as well as private, and on the role of fiction and alternative imaginations of the present times.

Since its inception in 1975, the award has honoured a book or the work of an author “who, through their writings, contributes to nourishing and spreading the evolution of thought”.