PEN International Fest Announces Line-Up
From The New York Times
Authors will temporarily give up the writing life for the speaking life when PEN American Center launches its weeklong Voices Festival of International Literature on April 26. Familiar literary stars like Toni Morrison and Salman Rushdie (the festival chairman) are part of the lineup, as are musical performers like Patti Smith and Natalie Merchant, who have recently tried their hands at book writing.
A few of the writers are pairing up to interview each other: Ms. Smith and Jonathan Lethem, Colum McCann and Roddy Doyle, and Shirley Hazzard and Richard Ford. Richard Price will be appearing with Jean-Philippe Toussaint, Philippe Djian and Barry Gifford to talk about how their books were made into films. Sherman Alexie, who won the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature in 2007 for “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” is delivering the Arthur Miller Freedom Lecture on the responsibilities of writers in the digital age.
Other popular events are back, like the Translation Slam, which pits contestants against each to as they translate a single work into a different language, and the PEN Cabaret, with Ben Okri, winner of the Booker prize, Ariel Dorfman and Ms. Merchant.
Caro Llewellyn, the festival director, said PEN is also taking its show on the road by hosting events with some of the international writers in 10 other cities including Seattle, San Francisco, Portland, Ore., and Pittsburgh. Check here for more details.