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PEN American Center

September 16, 14

Suddenly seeing myself as a writer-of-facts changed the way I looked at reality—so it was sort of a double-edged occasion. Guaranteed impediment to having a good time: knowing you'll have to write about it. Read More  »

September 9, 14

After hearing from readers who told me how the book touched and influenced them, I realized that what I say does have an impact. Of course, I need to write as truthfully and deeply as I know how, but there are moments when a book can give hope to...Read More  »

September 2, 14

My obsession is to get it right, plot, characters, atmosphere, logic. I never go to sleep without figuring out what I will write tomorrow. Read More  »

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  »

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