Arundhati Roy to Headline the 2019 PEN World Voices Festival

During a month when some of the biggest headlines have been about a billionaire’s extramarital affair and a politician’s tweet that many took to be anti-Semitic, PEN America has announced a festival that aims to address the narrowing gap between public and private life.

The PEN World Voices Festival 2019: Open Secrets, taking place in New York from May 6 through May 12, will bring together an abundance of noteworthy writers to discuss the gap and how it has manifested itself in culture, society, literature and politics. Some of the minds the festival has enlisted include the writer and editor Dave Eggers, the novelist Joyce Carol Oates, the poet Sonia Sanchez and the journalist Sue Halpern.

The writer and activist Arundhati Roy will deliver the festival’s flagship talk, the Arthur Miller Freedom to Write Lecture, which in the past has been delivered by luminaries including Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Salman Rushdie.

“We take what is essentially a very intimate activity of writing and reading and place it in a public sphere,” said Chip Rolley, the festival’s director.

[Check out our Culture Calendar here.]

Some of the specific events include: a conversation between the writers Dani Shapiro and Bridgett M. Davis about family secrets; an evening with the poet and documentarian Liao Yiwu, the novelist Ma Jian, organizers from the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests in Beijing and others; and a conversation titled “Love in the Time of Tinder” with the writers Niviaq Korneliussen and Gabriela Wiener. The festival will include more than 60 events.

PEN America, a nonprofit group that advocates for freedom of expression, has hosted the annual World Voices festival since 2005. More information is available at

Source: Read Full Article