Roy angers Aussies with plan to donate her Peace Prize in promotion of, er, well, peace . . .
Indian writer Arundhati Roy has stirred up a controversy in Australia, where, according to a Sydney Morning Herald report, she will be donating her $50,000 Sydney Peace Prize to Aboriginal political activists. “It’s funny,” she says, “I’ve spent so much time in South Africa recently, and the white South Africans have a fascination for Australia. So, I was talking to some black friends and they laughed and said, ‘Yeah, it’s because they think the Australians got it right. They just killed the blacks. The South Africans let us survive’.” The article notes that Roy won the prize “for her advocacy in demanding justice for the poor and people displaced by dam projects, as well as her opposition to nuclear weapons.” It also notes that she has criticized Australia for its involvement in the Iraq war, which she says is “inexcusable.”
Dennis Johnson is the founder of MobyLives, and the co-founder and co-publisher of Melville House.