Wole Soyinka, Hillary Clinton, Sandra Cisneros, Louise Penny, and Pamela Paul to Headline PEN America’s Trademark Fall Literary Event Series PEN Out Loud
Fall literary conversation series explores how we engage with one another as we enter a new phase of the pandemic
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(New York, NY) — PEN America today unveiled its fall season of PEN Out Loud, a literary conversation series bringing together some of the world’s top writers to engage in vital conversations. PEN America will host Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka in partnership with LIVE from NYPL to celebrate his first novel in five decades and first U.S. tour since before the pandemic; Hillary Rodham Clinton and Louise Penny as they debut their novel State of Terror; The New York Times’ Pamela Paul as she celebrates publication of 100 Things We’ve Lost to the Internet; and PEN America Literary Award winner Sandra Cisneros to celebrate her new book Martita, I Remember You/Martita, te recuerdo.
“We’re excited to welcome this extraordinary lineup of authors and luminaries, who through these new works explore an imagined Nigeria, political intrigue, the perils of the internet age, and the bonds of friendship,” said Clarisse Rosaz Shariyf, senior director of literary programs at PEN America. “The pandemic has transformed the way we engaged with one another, and PEN Out Loud represents a new way forward to grapple with the difficult truths and shared humanity that literature offers all readers.”
In partnership with LIVE from NYPL, PEN Out Loud premieres with leading literary light Wole Soyinka to spotlight his first novel in some 50 years, Chronicles From the Land of the Happiest People on Earth. Set in an imaginary Nigeria, the novel is a “fictional meditation on how power and greed can corrupt the soul of a nation.” For this virtual event on October 7, Soyinka will be joined in conversation with writer and scholar Farah Jasmine Griffin to discuss the book’s interrogation of political and social corruption. Soyinka is also scheduled to take part in the PEN America Literary Gala celebration on October 5.
On October 12, PEN America will virtually celebrate the publication of State of Terror, the new political thriller from former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and award-winning author Louise Penny. Following a new presidential administration, the novel is a carefully woven political thriller with “incomparable insider expertise.” The bestselling authors will be joined in conversation with National Book Award-winning writer and PEN America Trustee Susan Choi to discuss the novel’s inception, themes, and ideas.
Welcoming a global virtual audience, PEN Out Loud will host editor of The New York Times Book Review Pamela Paul on the launch of her essay collection 100 Things We’ve Lost to the Internet. In narratives about the pre-Internet age, the book offers “powerful insights into both the profound and the seemingly trivial things we’ve lost.” Paul will be joined on the virtual stage by bestselling author and critic Lauren Oyler to discuss a fading era and provide “a guide to reclaiming just a little of the world IRL.”
Wrapping up the fall conversation series, Sandra Cisneros joins PEN Out Loud to celebrate her new book Martita, I Remember You/Martita, te recuerdo. In a dual language edition, translated by Liliana Valenzuela, the novella tells the story of friendship among three women who over the years are dispersed over three continents. Cisneros will be in conversation before a virtual audience with novelist, poet, essayist, and translator Jaime Manrique to discuss the book and its “tribute to the life-changing power of youthful friendship.”
PEN Out Loud is presented in collaboration with Strand Book Store and Scripps Presents and is made possible in part by a grant from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. The New York Public Library is an additional partner of PEN Out Loud’s fall 2021 season. For information on press credentialing and interviews, contact Stephen Fee at [email protected].