Literature

Shaun Randol

In my travels around the global literary scene, the question of a writerly identity has never seemed more precarious, conflicted, and urgent than with writers from Africa. More often than not, it is the writer—not the reader—who is fixated on the question: who or what is an African writer?

J. K. Fowler

Thursday, May 02, 2013, 6:30pm The New School: Tishman Auditorium 66 West 12th St., New York, NY 10011

Shaun Randol

"We have a Cold War on the Russian soul," said Mikhail Shishkin. Lines are drawn, barricades are up. On one side are the nationalists and isolationists who proclaim Russia to be the center of the world and a power to be reckoned with. On the other side of the barricade are the internationalists who see affinity with Europe and a greater, global cosmopolitan attitude.

Shaun Randol

Shahrnush Parsipur’s writing career began in 1974 with the publication of her first novel, The Dog and the Long Winter. She's been in trouble with Iranian authorities ever since. Today, with more than twenty novels, short story collections, and translations under her belt, Parsipur lives in California. While she has always written in Persian and her fiction has always been about Iran, Parsipur does not consider herself to be a writer in exile.

J. K. Fowler

Tuesday, April 30, 2013, 1:00pm The Library at The Public Theater 425 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10003

Shaun Randol

Bravery comes in many forms. As Salman Rushdie said to me in an interview, and confirmed at the opening night of PEN World Voices Festival of Internatioanl Literature, the artist standing up to repression is just one kind of bravery. Another is the courage to create a new work of art and overcome technical or emotional challenges.

J. K. Fowler

Monday, April 29, 2013, 7:00pm

The Great Hall: Cooper Union 7 East 7th Street, New York, NY 10003

Shaun Randol
Emmanuel Iduma

‘An elemental narrative’ is the description we should use for a story that transcends genre. Our understanding of ‘elemental’ relates to what is ‘essential’ or ‘a basic part.’ It means that our elemental narratives always bear the premise that we are writing a ‘basic’ story that touches at the heart of who we are and what we have become. The goal of the writer will be to write a story that is as elemental as a shared humanity, those recognizable qualities that makes us human, and sometimes inhuman.

Emmanuel Iduma

What does it mean to be an African writer? And why is this question still being asked? The world may know the literary giants Chinua Achebe, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, and Wole Soyinka, but their work does not stand for an entire continent. In this fragmented essay, Emmanuel Iduma muses on the intersection of modernity and the writerly experience, and the great writing sure to emerge from that complex nexus.

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