This week’s PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature will provide an excellent opportunity for New Yorkers to get a feel of how vast the “Latino” book world is.

“It’s about fighting stereotypes,” author Eduardo Lago said some of the festival events taking place at Instituto Cervantes, which he presides.

“North Americans say ‘Latino’ and associate it with certain things. And here we have writers who are just as much — if not more — sophisticated than North American [writers], and who are developing completely new literary guidelines.”

The fifth annual PEN festival will feature 160 authors from 41 countries speaking 18 different languages, who will attend panel discussions, readings and performances, through Sunday.

“A lot of the writers that we bring, people have never heard of here in the U.S.,” says festival director Caro Llewellyn. “They are very well known in their countries, but not necessarily here because America publishes Americans and not much else.”

It’s estimated that less than 3% of books published in the U.S. are translations into English.

This year’s events, most of them free of charge, will take place in venues throughout the city, such as the 92 Street Y, Joe’s Pub and the Galapagos Art Space in Dumbo, Brooklyn. For a full list of events, visit

Some highlights include:

— Basque writer Bernardo Atxaga (“The Accordionist’s Son”), Peruvian Santiago Roncagliolo (“Red April”) and Catalans Javier Calvo (“Wonderful World”) and Enrique Vila-Matas (“Bartleby & Co.”) discuss “Tendencies in Spanish-language Literature,” this Thursday at Instituto Cervantes, 211 E. 49th St., at 4 p.m.

— “Anagrama: Celebrating 40 Years of Independent Publishing in Spain,” featuring prestigious publisher Jorge Herralde, founder and director of Editorial Anagrama, and authors Vila-Matas, Francisco Goldman and Daniel Sada. This Wednesday at Instituto Cervantes, at 6 p.m.

— Vila-Matas will also speak Saturday with Paul Auster, U.S. author of the “New York Trilogy,” at the French Institute, 22 E. 60th St., at 2:30 p.m.

— On Friday, a panel titled “Macondo: Imaginary and Real,” will discuss the influence of the fictional town in Gabriel García Márquez’s “One Hundred Years of Solitude” and the Austrian refugee camp by the same name. At the Austrian Cultural Forum, 11 E. 52nd St., at 1 p.m.

— Some activities will be presented jointly with the festival “Catalan Days: Arts, Food and Literature from Catalonia and the Balearic Islands,” taking place through May 20. Among them, a panel celebrating the lives and work of Cuban writer Reinaldo Arenas and Majorcan poet Blai Bonet, Thursday at CUNY’s Elebash Recital Hall, 365 Fifth Ave. For a full schedule, visit

The PEN Festival is the brainchild of author Salman Rushdie who, after 9-11, felt the U.S. was becoming more cut off from the world, more insular looking.

“[He thought] that this was a way to open up the discussion again with the world,” said Llewellyn, “and that writers are very well placed to do that.”

Last year, roughly 15,000 people attended the festival.

Americans “want to hear world voices and different opinions,” says Llewellyn. “It’s for all those reasons [that the PEN festival] has touched a nerve and caught the imagination of New York.”