African Literature the Focus at the 2015 PEN World Voices Festival, Co-curated by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The 11th annual PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature, taking place in New York from 4 – 10 May 2015, will be focusing on African literature and culture.
The programme, which is co-curated with Grammy-nominated Americanah author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, features a stellar list of writers including Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Teju Cole, Binyavanga Wainaina, Chris Abani, Nnedi Okorafor, Michael Ondaatje, Yusef Komunyakaa, Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor, Richard Flanagan, Daniel Handler (Lemony Snicket), Mona Eltahawy, and many more.
Topics to be discussed during the festival include scenarios for where the world will be in 2050; the landscape of the burgeoning African gay rights movement; the hidden literary and political realities of Africa; the value of age and wisdom when it comes to artistic expression, a dicussion led by African elders; how the West perpetuates misunderstandings of African culture; and how to get more than “the single story” out of Africa.
“Focusing on the African continent is an ambitious undertaking,” said Orsós. “We cannot, in one week-long Festival, even come close to presenting the entirety of the riveting literary landscapes throughout Africa, but we’re excited to present a select group of writers and artists who, I believe, will inspire New York audiences with their uncompromising and brilliant work. It’s our privilege to put the spotlight on these writers, and it is my hope that they will challenge all of us to create art that is bravely subversive and relevant to our time.”
Besides co-curating the programme, Adichie will be delivering the annual Arthur Miller Freedom to Write Lecture on the closing night of the festival. A hallmark of the Festival, the Lecture has previously been delivered by Festival founder Salman Rushdie, Christopher Hitchens, Wole Soyinka, Umberto Eco, and Justice Sonia Sotomayor, among others.
Have a look at the schedule of events for the 2015 PEN World Voices Festival