The Associated Press reports that Gore Vidal, author, playwright and general provacateur, has been named the first winner of the PEN/Borders Literary Service Award, given to “a truly distinguished American writer whose critically acclaimed work helps us to understand the human condition in original and powerful ways.

“The breadth and depth of Gore Vidal’s brilliant work, his courage in speaking out, even at times when free speech has been at risk in our country, and his lifelong commitment to democracy, justice, reason, and common sense make him the ideal recipient of the inaugural PEN/Borders Literary Service Award,” Borders Group CEO George Jones said Tuesday in a statement.

The award, which has no cash prize, will be given to Vidal as part of the PEN Gala on April 30.