4: Fact/Fiction

Features tributes to John Steinbeck and writing by Jeanette Winterson, Alice Munro, Tim O’Brien, Agha Shahid Ali, Milan Kundera, Lorrie Moore, and Charles Simic. PEN Members explore unreliable narrators in politics and literature.

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Fact/Fiction: A Forum

PEN Members, Unreliable Narrators: In Politics, In Literature


Jeanette Winterson, Heartless
Franz Kafka, The Truth About Sancho Panza
Jorge Luis Borges, Cervantes and the Quixote
Miguel de Cervantes, The Whole Truth
Julio Cortázar, Continuity of Parks
W. G. Sebald, Strange to Say . . .
Lewis Carroll, Who’s Dreaming Whom?
Peter Carey, The Last Days of a Famous Mime
Grace Paley, A Conversation with My Father
Alice Munro, What She Wanted
William Maxwell, A Time to Mourn and The Memory of All That
Penelope Fitzgerald, Passion Flowers 
Robert Olen Butler, A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain
Ismail Kadare, Against Interpretation
Tim O’Brien, True War Stories


Lynn Emanuel, inside gertrude stein
Robert Desnos, I Have Dreamed of You So Much
Agha Shahid Ali, Farewell
Rashid Hussein, Lessons in Parsing
Carolyn Forché, The Colonel


Michael Ondaatje, The Passions of Lalla
Paula Fox, Foreign Relations
Sheila Munro, ‘Want to Love You’
Graham Greene, Dear Frere
Jorge Luis Borges, Partial Magic in the Quixote
James Wood, Sebald’s Uncertainty
Philip K. Dick, Building a Universe That Doesn’t Fall Apart Two Days Later
Simon Schama, Breezy Stream of Time
Alice Munro, What Is Real?
Lorrie Moore, Better and Sicker
Randall Jarrell, At the Washington Zoo
Janet Malcolm, The Deaths of Anton Chekhov
Mario Vargas Llosa, The Truth of Lies
Richard Holmes, The Shortcomings of History
Novalis, Last Fragments
Milan Kundera, Shadowlands
Plato, The Allegory of the Cave


Grace Paley and Ann Charters, Open Destiny of Life’
William Maxwell, John Seabrook, and George Plimpton, Imagined Landscape
Lorrie Moore and Elizabeth Gaffney, The Story of the Story
Tim O’Brien, Daniel Bourne, and Debra Shostak, ‘This Is True’

Tributes to John Steinbeck

Arthur Miller, William Kennedy, Dorothy Allison, Studs TerkelPeter MatthiessenMichele Serros, George Plimpton 


Charles Simic sees the worlds.