The PEN Ten
The PEN Ten is PEN America's biweekly interview series curated by Lauren Cerand.
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  »
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  »
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  »
The translator ... bears an enormous responsibility, not just in relation to the source text, but in representing a foreign culture. Translations can create or strengthen stereotypes of foreign literatures. Or translations can compel us to see them...Read More  »
For me at least, the things that feel most daring to write or to say don't really sound all that earth-shattering to other people. I remember the first time I confessed in email to someone that I was afraid of having a religious conversion (like my...Read More  »
What the writer does is bear witness: we tell the stories of the things that disturb us most, and we try to tell them in the way that will disturb you most. All writers do this; it’s up to them to raise issues, ask questions, and call attention to...Read More  »