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The PEN Ten

The PEN Ten is PEN America's weekly interview series. Founded by Lauren Cerand and Antonio Aiello, the current guest editors are Alex Segura, Randa Jarrar, Nicole Sealey, Natalie Diaz, and Ken Chen.

August 25, 15

"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...Read More  »

August 18, 15

"...there are plenty of adults who feel young adult literature requires hope. I feel differently, which goes back to truth-telling. I believe teens deserve uncomfortable truths." Read More  »

August 11, 15

"Fiction is built out of the day-to-day stuff of life, words and people and events, but it’s different and it’s meant to be different. So our collective purpose is to keep doing that, and taking the time to do it properly even as life drags us all...Read More  »

August 4, 15

As far as writing is concerned I am obsessed by clarity, which can be a weakness. Great art must leave room for ambiguity, even mystery. Read More  »

July 28, 15

"As a newspaper reporter, I'm quite used to being called names. You may have heard that we're not the most popular people." Read More  »

July 21, 15

"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...Read More  »

July 14, 15

"I have to take care of what I was given. I am aware of carrying a gift that belongs to my people. It doesn’t belong to me. It’s ancient yet moves into the raw and unknown future." Read More  »

July 7, 15

"My responsibility now feels to be, among two thousand other things, to explore what is lovely and necessary and to be adored and cared for and held up." Read More  »

June 30, 15

"[Tell] it straight, tell it slant—just tell all of it. Anything that can be done on the page, probably should be. It doesn’t matter whether or not we, as readers, like it or agree with it." Read More  »

June 16, 15

"Being uninhibited is not the only imaginative state that artists should seek to be all the time." Read More  »