Among the many intriguing pieces in the book is an essay by Judith Sollosy that began as a guest post for this very blog: “Regardless of the Cost,” on Péter Esterházy’s Revised Edition. (You can see the table of contents at Three Percent, the blog for Open Letter, which is publishing the book.)
You can read Judith’s piece here, and read all our guest posts—including Wayne Koestenbaum on Elizabeth Hardwick, Amy Bloom on Grace Paley and Tillie Olsen, and more—here.
James Yeh, whose story “Some Kind of Change” appears in PEN America 10, has just had a one-line short story illustrated by Arthur Jones for his Post-It Notes Stories Project. James also recently published a very funny interview with Gary Shteyngart on the subject of meat, and another interview, in the new online publication The Faster Times, with John Wray, on the topic of writing on the subway.
Scott Esposito finds something Barack Obama and Roberto Bolaño have in common: each has had his books banned from an American prison.
PEN’s latest online translation slam features a political slogan that has been taken up by Iranian protesters in response to an insult levied at them by Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The “structure of the slogan recalls a ghazal included in the collection Divaan-eh Shams by Rumi, the classic 13th century Persian poet” which suggests “the extent to which poetry plays a role in the Iranian upbringing and consciousness.” Ahmadinejad referred to them as khas-o-khaashaak, meaning dirt and dust, scraps and bits. Here’s Niloufar Talebi’s version of the reply:
You’re just riffraff, lower than dirt,Lastly, a reminder: tonight at 7 pm Shaul Bakhash, Roger Cohen, Haleh Esfandiari, and Karim Sadjadpour will discuss Iran at the 92nd Street Y Unterberg Poetry Center.
I'm the aching lover, blazing and lit.
You’re the black halo, oppressive and blind,
I’m the brave hero and this land is mine!