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PEN American Center

August 12, 14

My lifelong hero—ever since I was a boy—is Thomas Paine, the American Revolutionary and radical-democratic pamphleteer. I would love to be identified with his words, words such as “The sun never shined on a cause of greater worth” and “We have it...Read More  »

August 5, 14

Fidel Castro as the measure of all things. Why is it that no Latin American writer, after almost a century of tradition with the so-called “novels of the dictator,” has known how to deal with the figure of Fidel Castro? Read More  »

August 5, 14

He was speaking in code, of course, as many Thais do when discussing Article 112 of the Thai Criminal Code that states: “Whoever defames, insults or threatens the King, Queen, the Heir-apparent or the Regent, shall be punished with imprisonment of...Read More  »

July 31, 14

Why is the term hairy bacon banned online in China? We spoke with the author and tech activist to learn more about microblogging, censorship, and what issues to watch in 2015. Read More  »

July 29, 14

I'm still surprised to answer "I'm a writer" when people ask me what I do. I wrote as a child—pages of what we would probably call fan-fiction today, extensions or imitations of things I'd read whose worlds I still wanted to inhabit when I finished...Read More  »

July 21, 14

As an interpreter I’m a bit of a stage mother, pushing the writer or director for whom I’m interpreting to jump into the conversation (Forza! Dai! Sfondi! I whisper). The authors I translate are like house-guests. I don’t let them sleep with me:...Read More  »

July 9, 14

I wish American writers in general were less anti-intellectual, more interested in the interior life and exterior systems of power. I don't come from a subculture that had much in the way of an intellectual tradition at all. My people believed...Read More  »

June 27, 14

We sat down with Jean-Euphèle Milcé, president of PEN Haiti, to discuss free expression in Haiti, the next generation of writers, and his new novel. Read More  »

June 26, 14

On a parlé avec le fondateur visonnaire de PEN Haiti, Jean-Euphèle Milcé, pour entendre ses pensées sur la liberté d'expression, la prochaine génération des écrivains, et son nouveau roman. Read More  »

June 24, 14

When you've lived and worked in places where writing can get you killed, where the act of telling the truth can take down powers, it's hard to have anything but soaring notions of what writers can and should aspire to do. Read More  »