Freedom Fighter

As an international organization dedicated to the advancement of literature, PEN works to spread literacy in all communities, and to defend freedom of expression. For that reason it is… More

Going Out for a Walk

It is a fact that not once in all my life have I gone out for a walk. I have been taken out for walks; but that is another… More

The Subtleties of Violence

As in the movies, there are in literature certain kinds of violence that themselves seem to do harm, that seem be acts of violence committed upon the reader as… More

On Wise Blood

As Flannery’s friend, as well as her editor and publisher from the start, I marveled at her excellence as a writer and regretted her early death. I first met… More

After the Fall

Without official approval, I should like to dedicate these proceedings to the reading groups and secret Proust readers who are here tonight, and who have produced something called a… More

The Invisible Parade

The pleasure that I get from Flannery O’Connor is so intimate that it’s difficult to share. I’ve been trying to think of how to get at her, and it… More

Blues to Be there

I have a prepared statement, and then there’ll be an improvisation. I hate to do a fully prepared speech in New York, because you never know. This is called… More

The White Problem

In Go Tell It on the Mountain, the young protagonist, John Grimes, stands on a hill in Central Park: “He felt like a long-awaited conqueror, at whose feet flowers… More

On Solid Ground

When I first met the wide smile of James Baldwin face to face, I just burst into tears. In less than a heartbeat, he opened his arms as wide… More