Just Press Play

At a time when the COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting millions of people’s lives in unprecedented ways, PEN America’s World Voices Festival launches a new playlist series with songs selected by some of our favorite authors from around the world.

Every week, Just Press Play brings the soundtracks of poets and novelists’ writing lives into homes and offices everywhere. From the balconies of Milan to the speakers of our smartphones, these playlists remind us all that music, like books, can connect humanity from a distance.

Just Press Play with Szczepan Twardoch

This week, Polish novelist Szczepan Twardoch—whose first novel translated to English, The King of Warsaw, was just released on April 21—offers a playlist that navigates us through his day:

“This playlist is as eclectic as my needs and musical taste. I’ve lined it up so that it somehow reflects my daily schedule: starting with the music I often listen to while working, Swans and electro; afterwards, Polish rap, Johnny Cash, RATM, and Rammstein, in which I find emotions that somehow correspond with emotions that can be found in my novels; and later on, time for quietness and reflection. Enjoy.”

Check out his playlist on Spotify and YouTube today, and order his recent book, The King of Warsaw, on Amazon or Indiebound.

Szczepan’s Favorite: “Children of God” from Swans

About Szczepan twardoch

Szczepan Twardoch is the author of the best-selling novels Morphin, Drach, and The King of Warsaw. He is the recipient of numerous honors for his work, including the Brücke Berlin Preis, Le Prix du Livre Européen, and Nike Literary Award for Audience Choice. Rights to his novels have been sold in over a dozen countries. The King of Warsaw is the first of his books to be translated into English, by Sean Gasper Bye. A TV series based on the novel is being produced by Canal+. He lives in Pilchowice, Upper Silesia.

Join us next week for a playlist from leading Ukrainian author Oksana Zabuzhko, whose new short story collection, Your Ad Could Go Here, comes out in English on April 28.