#100PENMembers No.68: Margie Orford

Margie Orford is an internationally-renowned writer and journalist and former President of PEN South Africa. A lifelong activist and campaigner, she was imprisoned as a student during the 1985 State of Emergency in South Africa. Since that time, she has been highly involved in politics both in South Africa and globally, particularly on free expression issues, … Continue reading #100PENMembers No.68: Margie Orford

Margie Orford Interview: Part Two

In the second half of her interview with Professor Peter McDonald, PEN South Africa President Margie Orford discusses the limits of free expression, violence against women and why the PEN Charter is largely unchanged to this day… For Margie Orford freedom of expression can be a very complex balance. Whilst describing the fourth article of … Continue reading Margie Orford Interview: Part Two

Margie Orford: ‘I have a sensitive spot about what you can read, and what you can’t’

In Part One of our interview, Peter McDonald talks to Margie Orford, President of PEN South Africa, talks about why she is sensitive about the topic of banned books, why she joined PEN and why freedom of expression is a global concern… Inspired in her politics and in her writing by her experiences growing up … Continue reading Margie Orford: ‘I have a sensitive spot about what you can read, and what you can’t’


Interview with Adil Jussawalla In our interview with Adil Jussawalla, the former All-Indian PEN member discusses his relationship with Nissim Ezekiel, the banning of Rushdie’s Satanic Verses and the influence of Soviet intellectual culture on 1960s and 1970s Bombay. Read the interview. Interview with Salil Tripathi In our interview with Salil Tripathi, he discusses banned … Continue reading Interviews

Current Debates

In order to offer up-to-date coverage of such a topical subject as free expression, we’ll also be conducting interviews, uploading podcasts and asking guest bloggers to provide insight into the issues. Interviews Hear novelist and Director of International PEN Jennifer Clement share her thoughts on the current challenges facing writers… Elif Shafak in conversation with … Continue reading Current Debates

PEN South Africa

PEN South Africa was founded in 1927 with the novelist Sarah Gertrude Millin as the first President. Although Millin attended international congresses and events in this capacity, the organisation, then based in Johannesburg, remained small and exerted little influence nationally or internationally. Partly in response to the success of the more active local Afrikaans groups, … Continue reading PEN South Africa