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Open Book

Initiated in 1991, the PEN Open Book Program encourages racial and ethnic diversity within the literary and publishing communities. Its committee works to increase the literature by, for, and about African, Arab, Asian, Caribbean, Latin, and Native Americans, and to establish access for these groups to the publishing industry. Its goal is to insure that those who are the custodians of language and literature are representative of the American people.

The Open Book Committee includes writers and publishing industry professionals from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds. The Committee discusses mutual concerns and strategies for advancing writing and professional activities, and coordinates Open Book events.

Featured Work

October 6, 2008

Gerard Travers lifted the little dark boy off the train and onto the platform at Victoria. It had been a hard journey from India for the child, who had cried constantly for his mother and had wet himself every night. Gerard heard a shout and turned to see his older brother, waving and pushing through the crowd.

October 18, 2007

Kill bugs dead. Redundancy is syntactical overkill. A pinprick of peace at the end of the tunnel of a nightmare night in a roach motel. Their noise infects the dream. In black kitchens they foul the food, walk on our bodies as we sleep over oceans of pirate flags.

September 1, 2009

I come from a family of madmen and extravagant women.

April 27, 2006

Michael Ondaatje and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in conversation at the 2005 PEN World Voices Festival.

October 26, 2012

Chris Abani and Walter Mosley discuss the political and moral responsibility of the writer; writing in the face of tyranny; Abani's experience as a political prisoner in Nigeria, and more during the 2004 PEN Foreign Exchanges I.