PEN America 15: Maps
In his very short story “On Exactitude in Science,” Borges imagines a map the size of an empire. In Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, the Great Khan’s atlas has maps of “the promised lands visited in thought but not yet discovered.” Jhumpa Lahiri’s Mr. Pirzada studies the map of his homeland from afar, his family’s identity obscured by shifting national borders. In Recyclopedia, Harryette Mullen maps the edges of interior topographies: “my skin but not my kin / my race but not my taste / my state but not my fate / …how a border orders disorder.”
In the latest issue of PEN America, we wanted to explore how writers encounter and examine the fictional topographies of their lives. Forrest Gander, Billy Collins, and Susan Bernofsky, among many others contributed original pieces to our forum. Also featured in this issue are conversations with Amélie Nothomb, Dale Peck, Abdellah Taïa, and Buket Uzuner. Plus poetry, fiction, essays, drama, and graphic narratives from around the world. PEN America 15: Maps is due out soon, and we’ll be posting excerpts online over the coming weeks.