#100PENMembers No.8: E.M. Forster

Today we consider one of PEN’s most famous early members. It is no accident that E. M. Forster decided to join International PEN a month after the infamous 1928 London trial of Radclyffe Hall novel, The Well of Loneliness. Hall’s novel was banned as obscene in 1928 because of its sincere representation of a lesbian relationship. … Continue reading #100PENMembers No.8: E.M. Forster

#100PENMembers No. 77: Radclyffe Hall

Radclyffe Hall was one of a group of feminist writers, including May Sinclair, Rebecca West, Vera Brittain and Violet Hunt, who were among PEN’s earliest members. She was a pivotal novelist of the twentieth century, breaking cultural taboos in her championing of queer and lesbian perspectives and stories. Known to her loved ones as John, … Continue reading #100PENMembers No. 77: Radclyffe Hall

#100PENMembers No. 33: Arthur Koestler

PEN’s campaign to get Arthur Koestler freed from prison in 1937 was its first real writers in prison success story.   Koestler, who was to become one of the twentieth century’s most famous ex-Communist anti-Communists, was a member of the Communist Party from 1931. He went to Spain in 1936, and 1937 on the direct instructions … Continue reading #100PENMembers No. 33: Arthur Koestler

#100PENMembers No. 21: Mulk Raj Anand

One of the foremost writers and modernists of India, who helped to shape and define the cultural, artistic and critical scene before and after independence, Mulk Raj Anand was also a champion of India’s freedom struggle, a staunch internationalist, a lifelong humanist, and a member of the Indian PEN.  Born in Peshawar (now Pakistan), he … Continue reading #100PENMembers No. 21: Mulk Raj Anand

#100PENMembers No.10: Storm Jameson

Margaret Storm Jameson was President of the English PEN Centre during the war years 1938-1944. A prolific novelist and essayist, she made a significant mark on PEN. During her relatively short stint as President she became a hugely influential figure within both English and International PEN, going on to serve on committees such as the … Continue reading #100PENMembers No.10: Storm Jameson

PEN International Congress – Pune

This week more than 400 PEN members from across the world are gathering in Pune, India for the PEN International Congress. Writers from all over the world – including Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Ashok Vajpeyi, Gulam Mohammed Sheikh, Ashis Nandy and PEN International President Jennifer Clement – will gather to discuss linguistic rights, the freedoms of writers … Continue reading PEN International Congress – Pune

PEN International

PEN International was founded in London in 1921 by feminist novelist Catherine Amy Dawson Scott, with John Galsworthy as President, and May Sinclair, Radclyffe Hall, Vera Brittain, Bertrand Russell, E. M. Forster, W. B. Yeats, Joseph Conrad and H. G. Wells as founding members. It saw itself as unique because it was a London centre where … Continue reading PEN International