Read the Finalists of the 2015 PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay
Featuring some of the year's best essays by Ian Buruma, Leslie Jamison, David Bromwich, Angela Pelster, and Charles D'Ambrosio.
BY Clarice Lispector
You had to buy a good monkey, to know where it came from, for at least five years of guaranteed love, you had to know what it had or hadn’t done, as if you were getting married.
The PEN Ten with John Branch
BY PEN America
"As a newspaper reporter, I'm quite used to being called names. You may have heard that we're not the most popular people."
Two Poems by Karen An-hwei Lee
BY Karen An-hwei Lee
In exile from circles of protest on the square. / In exile from an oxymoron spotlighted above. / In exile from the neo-alphabet of a first love. / In exile from pozzolan mixed with fly ash.
Remembering E. L. Doctorow (1931–2015)
BY PEN America
We celebrate the acclaimed writer's life and work as both a literary master and fierce advocate for fellow writers and artists.
And I trust people // to make good choices / so I don’t have to impale them // on the tines of my pitchfork. Or otherwise // govern them. Why do you need so much / government, if you don’t like government why // do you insist upon making / these bad choices.
"There was a time in my twenties when I didn’t write because it was too difficult. I had elevated the concept of “being a writer” to a status I felt I didn’t deserve, and the cheeky teenager who wrote those 27 pages without blinking lost her way for a while."
"But the boy knew what he knew. That ever is no time at all."