Writer Ebba Haslund awarded the 2006 Ossietzky prize

Norwegian PENs prize for outstanding contribution to free expression, the Ossietzky-prize, awarded noted writer Ebba Haslund.

Haslund, born in 1917, made her debut with a collection of short stories in 1945.  She has studied literature in Germany, United Kingdom, France, Denmark and U.S.A., been an editor for the literary magazine «Ordet» («The Word»), worked as a critic in a number of Norwegian newspapers and as a translator.  She has written a number of novels, also for children, and more than 40 plays for the Norwegian Broadcasting Systems´ «radio theathre».

Haslund has received a number of awards for her books.  She has been translated into 16 languages.  She was the chair of the Norwegian Writers´ Union from 1971 until 1975 and is now one of its honorary members.

Haslund, who considers herself conservative, has been critically outspoken regarding the war in Iraq and, in particular, the Norwegian involvement.  As a PEN-member since the 1950ies she has demonstrated a long lasting engagement for freedom of expression, for instance through her work in the Norwegian Writers in Prison Committee.

Haslund will receive the prize at a ceremony in connection with the Day of the Imprisoned Writer at Fritt Ord in Oslo later today.

Oslo 15. November 2006