PEN Literary Gala
From Interview Magazine
I’ve been to many fancy parties underneath the belly of the gigantic blue whale suspended over the Hall of Ocean Life, but something about this night felt like graduating from the kid’s table to adulthood. Perhaps that’s not only because of the personal heroes and champions who have been a part of Pen’s legacy-Norman Mailer, Susan Sontag-but because the real meat of this particular dinner was less an opportunity to celebrate oneself and more a reminder of how lucky every writer in the room has it. Margaret Atwood took to the podium as she received the PEN literary service award, where she declared that writers have no employers, or rather that their readers are their employers, and thus they have the freedom to express themselves, presumably without having to sell products or tow the company line.