- Associated Press - Monday, October 10, 2011

LONDON (AP) - An Italian writer who has lived in hiding since exposing the violent world of the Naples mafia has won a major freedom-of-speech prize.

Roberto Saviano shares the 2011 PEN/Pinter prize with British playwright David Hare.

Saviano’s 2006 book “Gomorrah” exposed the vast reach and ruthless methods of Naples’ criminal underworld. It has sold 4 million copies and was turned into a movie.

The book brought death threats that have forced Saviano to live in hiding with round-the-clock police protection.

Saviano could not attend Monday’s ceremony in London, but sent a message thanking his readers for ensuring “that my words became dangerous for certain powers that need silence and shade.”

The prize was established in 2009 by writers’ organization PEN.

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