Pen America heeft een persbericht uitgebracht waarin ze haar afkeer uitspreekt over de toekenning van de Nobelprijs aan Peter Handke. Het persbericht:

PEN America does not generally comment on other institutions’ literary awards. We recognize that these decisions are subjective and that the criteria are not uniform. However, today’s announcement of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Literature to Peter Handke must be an exception. We are dumbfounded by the selection of a writer who has used his public voice to undercut historical truth and offer public succor to perpetrators of genocide, like former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic and Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic. PEN America has been committed since the passage our 1948 PEN Charter to fighting against mendacious publication, deliberate falsehood, and distortion of facts. Our Charter further commits us to work to “dispel all hatreds and to champion the ideal of one humanity living in peace and equality.” We reject the decision that a writer who has persistently called into question thoroughly documented war crimes deserves to be celebrated for his ‘linguistic ingenuity.’ At a moment of rising nationalism, autocratic leadership, and widespread disinformation around the world, the literary community deserves better than this. We deeply regret the Nobel Committee on Literature’s choice.

Ook Salman Rushdie, Hari Kunzru, Slavoj Žižek en Aleksandar Hemon hebben kritiek op de toekenning. Kunzru: ‘He is a fine writer, who combines great insight with shocking ethical blindness.’ Aleksandar Hemon:

De juryvoorzitter verduidelijkte de keuze voor Handke ondertussen op de volgende opmerkelijke wijze: