PEN

Press Coverage

Mondoweiss

Abstract: 

Here’s an important story about the liberal establishment’s hypocrisy on Israeli human rights abuses.

This past week the writers’ organization PEN held its World Voices Festival in New York and one of its sponsors/”champions” was the Israeli government. More than 200 writers had urged PEN to give back that money, among them Marilyn Hacker, Junot Diaz, Alice Walker and Richard Ford, citing Israel’s “decades-long denial of basic rights to the Palestinian people, including the frequent targeting of Palestinian writers and journalistsrecord on Palestinian writers.”

Press Coverage

Electronic Intifada

Abstract: 

Amidst a campaign aimed at convincing PEN American Center to reject Israeli government funding for its annual World Voices Festival that began this week, the literary group and its director Suzanne Nossel have displayed glaring double standards in their approach to cultural boycotts.

When challenged about why the group has accepted funding from Israel, Nossel reportedly told Palestine solidarity campaigners earlier this month that there was a strong reaction to the word “boycott” among her PEN colleagues.

Press Coverage

The Guardian

Abstract: 

The evening was opened by PEN America president Andrew Solomon, who said that PEN and the festival’s role was “to ensure many voices from many places can be heard”. But in recent years PEN has had some trouble smoothing out conflicts among its membership, usually ones which reflect the fault lines of global politics.

Press Coverage

Publishers Weekly

Abstract: 

PEN American Center has been called upon to reject the Israeli Government's sponsorship of its upcoming World Voices Festival because of the country's alleged abuses of human rights. The letter was signed by more than 60 writers, including a number of PEN members and PEN Award winners and Pulitzer Prize winners Junot Diaz, Alice Walker, and Richard Ford. Nearly a dozen organizations have also signed the letter.

Press Coverage

The Nation (Pakistan)

Abstract: 

Some 100 writers, including Pulitzer Prize-winning Alice Walker, Richard Ford, and Junot Diaz, have urged the PEN American Centre to reject any support from Israel as it denies “basic rights to the Palestinian people.”

The writers sent an impassioned letter to PEN American Centre in March but it became public only on Wednesday. PEN American Center, created in 1922, is a group aiming to promote literature and support literary fellowship.

Press Coverage

The Electronic Intifada

Abstract: 

A letter signed by more than 100 writers, including Junot Díaz, Richard Ford, Eileen Myles and Rachel Kushner, calls on PEN American Center to reject support from the Israeli government for its annual World Voices Festival, scheduled for later this month in New York City.

The letter, which was first sent privately by the campaign group Adalah-NY to festival organizers, was published online on 5 April.

Since its publication, the list of signatories has grown. Organizers say they hope writers will continue to add their names.

Press Coverage

Flavorwire

Abstract: 

All is not well in the literary world.

That could be true at any moment of any day, sure, but this week has been especially tumultuous. Maybe that’s not accurate, either, because the letter that’s causing headlines (like this one!) was actually sent in March, though it’s only just now been made available to the public.

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