PEN America Blog
"Erasure happens when it comes to the history/lives/contribution/resistance/survival of people of color in America, and so with my pen I make sure that they exist and are remembered in my stanzas, in between the lines, and on every space of my paper. Writers of color deserve to take up space and record our lives and record our communities because no one else will."
In this second of two blog posts commemorating the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Fatima Shaik reflects on the work of PEN's Children's and Young Adult Book Committee in New Orleans, gentrification, and the state of education and free expression in the city post-Katrina.
In celebration of her birthday, listen to this archived podcast of Jeanette Winterson, author of Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit. In this podcast, Winterson discusses the role of books and faith in her life at Faith & Reason, from part of the 2006 PEN World Voices Festival.
"When I came to America, I found that censorship had no home on the ground, but it was somehow in the air, implicit. Speech here is usually restricted to what is “acceptable.” In other words, censorship precedes speech here in America, as opposed to in Iraq, where censorship follows speech."
"We are not trapped in our narrative."