Somewhere around the publication of the fourth or fifth volume of the Harry Potter series, I became convinced that J.K. Rowling deserved a Nobel Prize. And before you argue that fantasy fiction written for the pre-teen set cannot truly be deemed literature, let me make the case. What piece of "literature" has gotten so many people of any age to become avid readers? (Ok, perhaps Roth or Nabokov got those looking for racy images to turn off their TV's back in the day.)
I can still remember being at camp several summers in a row on the day when 300+ boxes from Amazon or Barnes and Noble showed up with the newest release. The whole camp got a little bit quiet for a few days as the kids devoured it as quickly as they could. And then I noticed that for many, the required summer reading books, which had been buried behind their socks or towels, made an appearance. With this letter, I am thinking the Peace Prize is looking even better. Of course, she one of many who signed. Thank God.
In February 2015 you published a letter from UK artists announcing their intention to culturally boycott Israel. We do not believe cultural boycotts are acceptable or that the letter you published accurately represents opinion in the cultural world in the UK.
Therefore we are writing to declare our support for the launch and aims of Culture for Coexistence – an independent UK network representing a cross-section from the cultural world.
We will be seeking to inform and encourage dialogue about Israel and the Palestinians in the wider cultural and creative community. While we may not all share the same views on the policies of the Israeli government, we all share a desire for peaceful coexistence.
Ultimately we all believe in a two-state solution so that the national self-determination of both peoples is realised, with the state of Israel and a Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security.
Cultural engagement builds bridges, nurtures freedom and positive movement for change. We wholly endorse encouraging such a powerful tool for change rather than boycotting its use.
Naomi Alderman Shay Alkalay Bennett Arron Jonathan Aycliffe
Daniel Battsek John Battsek Guto Bebb MP Gina Bellman
Michael Berg Josh Berger Bob Blackman MP Neil Blair
Iwona Blazwick Elli Bobrovizki Gabi Bobrovizki Melvyn Bragg
David Burrowes MP Teresa Cahill Colin Callender Simon Chinn
Danny Cohen Frank Cohen Prof Susan Collins Wendy Cope
Loraine da Costa Marcus Davey Oliver Dowden MP Daniel Easterman
Ruth Dudley Edwards Michael Dugher MP Brian Elias Yigal Elstein
Allie Esiri Michael Etherton Moris Farhi MBE Niall Ferguson
Stanley Fink Larry Finlay Amanda Foreman Michael Foster
Andrew Franklin Nick Fraser Mike Freer MP Julian Friedman
Sonia Friedman Jonny Geller Adèle Geras David Glick
Taryn Gold Amanda Goldman Richard Goldstein Michael Grade
Maurice Gran Linda Grant Miriam Gross Tom Gross
Stephen Grosz Peter & Martine Halban Jan Harlan
Ronald Harwood Noreena Hertz John Heyman Lilian Hochhauser
Tom Holland John Howell MP Judy Ironside David Japp
Andrea Jenkyns MP Zygi Kamasa Jack Kirkland Evgeny Kissin
Michael Kuhn David Kustow Norman Lebrecht Sam Leifer
Teddy Leifer Camilla Lewis David Levy John Levy
Maureen Lipman Andrew Macdonald Hilary Mantel Stephen Margolis
Dan Marks Laurence Marks Denis MacEoin Charlotte Mendelson
Yael Mer Ivan Moscovich Maajid Nawaz Anthony Newman
Gavin Newman Hayley Newstead Paula Noble Tracy-Ann Oberman
Matthew Offord MP Cosh Omar Martin Paisner Robin Pauley
Leo Pearlman Daniel Peltz Andrew Percy MP Eric Pickles MP
Stuart Polak Monica Porter Gail Rebuck Charlie Redmayne
Andrew Roberts JK Rowling Paul Ruddock Prof Carol Rumens
Marc Samuelson Charles Robert Saumarez Smith Prof Robert Saxton
Joanna Scanlan Kenny Schachter Simon Schama Simon Sebag Montefiore
Francesca Segal Anthony Seldon Rick Senat Zaab Sethna
Jonathan Shalit Bernard Shapero David Shelley Clive Sinclair
Daniel Silver Lucy Silver Dan Silverston Chloe Smith MP
Karen Smith Mark Smith Prof Ashley Solomon
Claire Speller Rob Suss George Szirtes Paul Trijbits
Kevin Tsjiuhara Gabe Turner Moni Varma Rebecca Wallersteiner
Minette Walters Zoë Wanamaker Angela Watkinson MP
George Weidenfeld Fay Weldon Heather Wheeler MP
Robert Winston Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg
David Young Toby Young