PEN World Voices Festival #5

by Jane Ciabattari | Mar-26-2009

image

Salman Rushdie kicked off PEN World Voices Festival at the Instituto Cervantes in New York yesterday, remembering how the fest “began five years ago out of deep concern…that the conversation between the U.S. and the rest of the world was breaking down.” No one knew who might turn out for the first international conference.
“To quote the immortal words of Kevin Costner,” he said, “‘If you build it, they will come.’”

Five years later, Rushdie said, “We’re still here. We still need this conversation.” Given the “terrible recession,” the festival continues with an infusion of support from Penguin. This year’s offering: a pared down list with lots of free events, including celebrated writers, new voices (the festival has become a sort of “shop window” for unknowns who are finding publishers, Rushdie said), and “writers from bizarre parts of the world.” Among those featured this year: Edwidge Danticat, NBCC award winner for autobiography last year; Richard Ford, NBCC fiction finalist; Gary Giddins, NBCC award winner in criticism; and Egyptian novelist, psychiatrist, and activist Nawal El Saadawi, who will deliver the Arthur Miller lecture.  Saadawi once noted, “Danger has been a part of my life ever since I picked up a pen and wrote. Nothing is more perilous than truth in a world that lies.”  Full schedule here.

Also noteworthy:

The National Book Critics Circle panel “This Critical Moment” May 1, 3 pm, at Scandinavia House (details here).

New European Poets, a reading hosted by NBCCers Kevin Prufer and Wayne Miller, May 2, 2 pm, NYU’s Creative Writing House (details here).

East-West Storytelling, a Granta event moderated by former NBCC president John Freeman, May 2, 4:30 at CUNY Graduate Center (details here).




About the Critical Mass Blog

Commentary on literary criticism, publishing, writing, and all things NBCC related. It's written by independent members of the NBCC Board of Directors (see list of bloggers below).

Subscribe

SIGN UP FOR CRITICAL NOTES





Categories & Archives

Become a Friend of the NBCC

Upcoming Events

NBCC at AWP18: March 09th, 2018

NBCC Finalists’ Reading: March 14th, 2018

NBCC Awards Ceremony and Reception: March 15th, 2018


NBCC Awards

Award Winners for 2016

See all award winners

Find out how to submit

Read how we select

Frequently Asked Questions


Videos and Podcasts

NBCC 2016 Awards Ceremony

NBCC 2015 Awards Ceremony

NBCC 2015 Finalists Reading

NBCC 2014 Awards Ceremony

NBCC 2013 Awards Ceremony

NBCC 2013 Finalists Reading

Video: New Literary Journals

Video: The VIDA Count and Gender Bias in Book Reviewing

Podcast: What Is Criticism? NBCC Winners and Finalists at AWP

All videos and podcasts.