Tag: PEN World Voices Festival

Samantha Bee and Masha Gessen Implore Us to Resist Trump’s “Word Salads”

Samantha Bee and Masha Gessen Implore Us to Resist Trump’s “Word Salads”

I wrote this for Elle! The Full Frontal host discussed Trump’s damaging use of language with journalist Masha Gessen at the PEN World Voices Festival. “Waking up every morning is like having a tennis ball machine and having the tennis balls shoot us in the […]

Finding Fearless Egyptian Feminist Mona Eltahawy

This week I made a huge discovery. Her name is Mona Eltahawy. She is a brave visionary and I am so thankful she exists. I am embarrassed to admit that I didn’t know too much about Eltahawy, a truly inspiring feminist, until I saw her […]

Lit Up Episode 5: Chigozie Obioma on His Formative Nigerian Roots

This week we talked to Chigozie Obioma about his breakout, debut novel The Fishermen set in his hometown of Akure, Nigeria. This book is part allegory, part family drama and tale of redemption. We really enjoyed shifting the focus from America towards Africa this week. We hope you do too.

We also have to acknowledge what a newsy week it’s been in the world of literature.

We had Salman Rushdie calling Michael Ondaatje, Francine Prose, Peter Carey,  Joyce Carol Oates, Junot Díaz and many other writers “pussies” on Twitter – classy move. Why? Because they withdrew from the PEN American Center gala, citing objections to the literary and human rights organization’s honoring of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. There hasn’t been such a dividing topic in a while in the literary world and there are many compelling arguments for and against. Here are a couple of pieces we like that get to the heart of the issue:

PEN Has Every Right to Honor Charlie Hebdo by Adam Gopnik for The New Yorker

How and Why 35 Writers Denounced PEN Over Charlie Hebdo by Boris Kachka for Vulture at New York Magazine.

We love your feedback, so please let us know what you think about any aspects of this week’s show.

xx A & E

Chigozie Obioma was born in Nigeria. He has lived in Cyprus, Turkey and now the United States where he is a Helen Zell fellow at the University of Michigan. A recipient of Hopwood Awards in fiction and poetry, his fiction has appeared in Virginia Quarterly Review and Transition. His novel, THE FISHERMEN, will be published originally in English by ONE/Pushkin Press (UK), Little, Brown (US/Canada), Scribe (Australia/NZ), and in 8 languages beginning from Spring 2015.

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 Buy The Fishermen on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or at your local independent book store.