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The Most Insidious Censorship: A Conversation

K. ANTHONY APPIAH: As member’s of PEN’s Freedom-to-Write Committee, we’re heirs to a tradition of worrying mostly about the role of governments in restricting access to information, which is… More

How Should One Read a Book?

In the first place, I want to emphasize the note of interrogation at the end of my title. Even if I could answer the question for myself, the answer… More

First Love

Mrs. Dalloway is the first great book I ever read. I was fifteen, a not very promising student at a not very good public high school in Southern California,… More

The Play’s the Thing: A Discussion

BEGINNINGSCHARLES MEE: I had polio when I was a kid, and up until I was fifteen I had never read anything but comic books. Then a high school English… More

The Real Story: Literary Fact and Fiction

CHARLES MCGRATH: It seems fair to say that we’re living in an age of porosity; the traditional boundaries between fact and fiction have become permeable, with factual narratives borrowing techniques… More

One-Legged Walter

One-Legged WalterHe always made me wonder.Eyes crow-footed from sun,on snow.Body slumped,from slack times.He lived in Sullivan’s junk-yard,in a gutted ’51 Chevy.On the floorboard,tattered blankets, neatly sewn together,made his bed.Sunkist… More

1,001 Laughs

1,001 LaughsBack in the thirties, Borges worked for an Argentinean womens’ magazine called El Hogar—a magazine of middle-class attitudes and presumptions, roughly similar to Redbook in America today. I… More

Language of Labyrinth

A young aspiring writer, I discovered the work of Borges at about the same time that I began to read Beckett. Neither of these writers indicated directions I believed… More

Rosario Ferré: Reaching the Center

"Reaching the Center" was featured in PEN America 1: Classics, and was presented at a centenary celebration of Jorge Luis Borges, sponsored by the PEN Forums Committee and the New… More