#100PENMembers No. 35: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

‘I used to joke, many years ago, thank God for PEN because if the Nigerian government ever throws me in prison at least somebody will care’ Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Our 35th PEN Member needs no introduction. Award-winning novelist, activist, feminist, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has used her platform to draw attention to some of the biggest … Continue reading #100PENMembers No. 35: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

#100PENMembers No. 19: Susan Sontag

Susan Sontag was not only an awarding-winning poet, novelist and critic, she also served as President of PEN American during the turbulent period from 1987 to 1989, when Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses was published, violently condemned and burnt.   Always a bold advocate for free expression, prior to taking the reins at American PEN, she had … Continue reading #100PENMembers No. 19: Susan Sontag

#100PENMembers No.11: Arthur Miller

The acclaimed playwright was the first American to hold the International PEN Presidency, following his unanimous election to the post at the 1965 Bled Congress. Arthur Miller’s term as President, from 1966 until 1969, was shaped both by the Cold War and by the explosion of racial tensions within PEN. He entered his Presidency as … Continue reading #100PENMembers No.11: Arthur Miller

#100PENMembers No.5: Margaret Atwood

With Twitter deciding, this weekend, to ban Donald Trump permanently from its platform, and Amazon pulling support for Parler, the so-called ‘free speech’ social network, the issue of online speech and its limits has reached a crisis point.  The dangers posed by the sheer reach and power of Trump’s online speech were predicted by many, … Continue reading #100PENMembers No.5: Margaret Atwood

Ronald Harwood: Lifelong Free Expression Campaigner and PEN President Emeritus

Sir Ronald Harwood, President of English PEN (1989-1993) and of PEN International (1993-1997) has been a key figure in campaigning for free expression across the world. A familiar name in PEN’s meeting minutes from the 1980s and 1990s, Harwood was still lending his name to campaigns calling out the persecution of writers around the world … Continue reading Ronald Harwood: Lifelong Free Expression Campaigner and PEN President Emeritus

Writers’ Groups: An interview with J. M. Coetzee

Peter McDonald talks to J.M. Coetzee about free expression, writers’ groups in South Africa and the place of writing and writers in the world… Peter McDonald: The South Africa of the 1970s and 1980s, the first decades of your career as a published author, was a place of many writers’ groups. The most established—PEN South Africa … Continue reading Writers’ Groups: An interview with J. M. Coetzee

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

INTERVIEW: Adil Jussawalla

In the latest of our candid interviews with PEN members past and present, Adil Jussawalla discusses with Laetitia Zecchini the political and cultural climate of 70s Bombay; the Bombay PEN Center under Nissim Ezekiel’s leadership; his own relationship with the PEN All-India Center and with Nissim; the controversy surrounding Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses and Ezekiel’s … Continue reading INTERVIEW: Adil Jussawalla

‘From a very young age in fact I used to collect books that were banned’: An interview with Salil Tripathi

In an interview with Laetitia Zecchini, writer and journalist Salil Tripathi says that he always felt passionate about free expression… He traces this back to his parents, who he says never put any constraints on his reading, except to occasionally suggest that he wait until he was older to read certain volumes. ‘So I always … Continue reading ‘From a very young age in fact I used to collect books that were banned’: An interview with Salil Tripathi