“I don't think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones in the right order, you might nudge the world a little or make a poem that children will speak for you when you are dead.” – Tom Stoppard
A Czech-born playwright (in 1937), Tomas Straussler escaped the Nazis as a child, ending up in Great Britain. He changed his name and started writing journalistically in 1954. Then in 1960 he decided to try writing plays and his first effort, A Walk on the Water, not only made it to the stage but was televised by the BBC. But it was his second play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead that earned him international acclaim from which he never looked back, earning 4 Tony Awards in the process.
Also a writer for radio, television and film, he co-wrote the Academy Award winning script for the 1998 film Shakespeare in Love, which also won best actress for Gwyneth Paltrow in her first starring role.
In July 2013 he was awarded the prestigious PEN Pinter Prize for both his lifetime achievement as a writer and for his ability to (as the award states): “to define the real truth of our lives and our societies” by putting the words in the right order so that they effectively “nudge” our world.
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