Watch JK Rowling’s PEN acceptance speech and Sarah Jessica Parker’s amazing tribute to her

Both women delivered moving speeches filled with emotion and insight

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Sarah Jessica Parker said she felt she was speaking for all children and adults who love Hogwarts at the 2016 PEN Literary Gala with the words, “JK Rowling changed the landscape of children’s literature forever – and for the better – with her introduction of Harry Potter to the world.” 

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Each year, the PEN American Center, a literary society and human rights organisation devoted to defending free speech, honours writers, journalists and publishers who try to abolish censorship around the globe.

Presenting the author with the 2016 Literary Service Award for the “extraordinary inspiration her books have provided to generations of readers and writers globally”, Parker said it was hard to believe we’d only known Rowling for twenty years. 

During her speech, Rowling said she was “blushing” before going on to discuss, with wit and emotion, how crucial she had personally experienced free speech to be. 

“Protected as I am by citizenship of a liberal nation where freedom of expression is a fundamental right, my critics are at liberty to say I am trying to convert children to satanism, and I am free to explain that I am exploring human nature and morality. Or to say you’re an idiot.”

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Watch the brilliant speech and tribute here from 1 minute 40…