June 30, 2017

Fintan O’Toole Receives European Press Prize and Orwell Prize for Journalism

fintan o'toole

Photo by Larry Levanti

Theater critic and Visiting Lecturer in Theater Fintan O’Toole has been awarded the European Press Prize and the Orwell Prize for Journalism for his commentary on the Brexit referendum and its aftermath.

On April 20, O’Toole became the first Irish recipient of the prestigious European Press Prize. Of his articles published in The Irish Times and The Guardian, the judges commended O’Toole for “his perspective, his acute observation, and his pungent writing style.”

At a ceremony at University College London on June 15, O’Toole accepted the Orwell Prize for Journalism. The prize is awarded annually by the Orwell Foundation for work that comes closest to George Orwell’s ambition “to make political writing into an art.” Dame Liz Forgan, a former BBC special correspondent and  judge, noted, “It’s not often that penetrating intelligence, a keen historical understanding and sparkling prose coincide in one journalist.”

O’Toole is one of Ireland’s leading public intellectuals. He has served as a drama critic for The Irish Times, New York Daily News, Sunday Tribune (Dublin), and In Dublin MagazineHe regularly contributes to several international publications and has authored more than a dozen books on theater that span a wide range of topics. O’Toole is currently an op-ed columnist and feature writer for The Irish Times.

Each spring at Princeton, O’Toole teaches courses as a lecturer in the Program in Theater in the Lewis Center. This past semester O’Toole, along with acclaimed actress Lisa Dawn, co-taught a Princeton Atelier course exploring Samuel Beckett’s prose writings, specifically the novel Ill Seen Ill Said. He also taught “Introduction to Irish Studies,” an interdisciplinary course that introduced students to Irish literature, history, and culture. He will serve as the Acting Chair of the Fund for Irish Studies lecture series in the spring of 2018.

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