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Opening Night: Written on Water


April 25, 2011 | The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers | New York City

With Gioconda Belli, Iva Bittová, Mircea Cărtărescu, Deborah Eisenberg, Evan Fallenberg, Malcolm Gladwell, Hanif Kureishi, Andrea Levy, Agi Mishol, Amélie Nothomb, Salman Rushdie, and Wallace Shawn 



 LISTEN | Download the mp3

CLIPS: Gioconda Belli | Mircea Cărtărescu | Evan Fallenberg | Malcolm Gladwell | Hanif Kureishi | Andrea Levy | Agi Mishol | Amélie Nothomb | Salman Rushdie | Deborah Eisenberg & Wallace Shawn

 PHOTO GALLERY | View the photo gallery on Flickr

Taking place in the stunning Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers, the opening event of the Seventh Annual PEN World Voices Festival explores the living nature of writing with a stellar lineup of authors and actors. Participants included Festival Chair Salman Rushdie and Malcolm Gladwell, a duo-reading by Wallace Shawn and Deborah Eisenberg, a special appearance by renowned Czech violinist-vocalist Iva Bittová, and readings from the PEN Prison Writing Program.


• Anelise Chen: The Opening Night Reading “Written on Water” was held in The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers, which peered over a very foggy Hudson River last night. [More]

 Deji Olukotun: By the time the opening night started at the Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers, a literary celebration was already well underway. [More]

• Yehudit Mam: Perhaps the theme is meant as a reflection on the precarious state of literature these days, what with bloggers instead of writers, and screens instead of pages, and book shops going out of business. [More]

• Richard Mason: It was a potent moment: Salman Rushdie, a man who knows a thing or two about the personal impact of censorship, placing an empty chair on a spotlit stage. [More]

• Lyn Miller-Lachmann: Much about this event was new—the downtown venue, the Stand-Up Critics who introduced their recommended books in five categories before the main event, and the energetic new Festival Director Laszlo Jakob Orsas who greeted the capacity crowd. [More]

• Judith Benét Richardson: The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers was perfect for this PEN event celebrating the arrival of many writers from all over the world for the Festival. [More]

• Jane Ciabattari: Location location location. The Standard Hotel, the High Line, the Lighthouse on Chelsea Piers, created a fluid sense of community for writers gathered from around the globe for PEN World Voices #7. [More]

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