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16
Feb

PEN World Voices to Focus on Literature in the Age of Trump

By: Joshua Barone

Source: The New York Times

The PEN World Voices Festival, which for the past two years has highlighted geographic regions like Africa and Mexico, will shift its focus this year to gender and power in the age of President Trump.

This year’s festival, which runs from May 1-7 in New York, will feature 150 writers in a series of talks, readings and workshops related to social justice, sexuality and politics.

“Amid visa bans and an America First foreign policy, PEN World Voices is now an important antidote to an America at risk of only talking to itself, fanning baseless fears, and damaging relations with allies around the world,” Suzanne Nossel, PEN America’s executive director, said in a statement. “This year’s festival will center on both celebration and mobilization, rallying around PEN America’s mission to defend free expression and enable the breadth of voices vital to an open marketplace of ideas.”

The festival begins with “United Against Hate,” an evening of performance with the musicians Patti Smith and Ani DiFranco, as well as novelists including Colum McCann and Salman Rushdie.

Other highlights include a talk about cultural identity with the National Book Award-winning novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Trevor Noah, of “The Daily Show.” And the reading “Literary Quest: Tenement Museum Edition” will feature the artist Laurie Anderson and the writers Teju Cole, Jennifer Egan and more, drawing inspiration from the museum’s history of New York’s immigrants.

The full lineup — which also includes appearances by Carrie Brownstein (“Portlandia”) and the cartoonist Roz Chast — and tickets are available at worldvoices.pen.org.