Goodreads in Iran, Esterházy in New York, Achebe on Baldwin—and other links

* On the same day that PEN and five other organizations announced a campaign to win the release of more than 60 writers, journalists, and bloggers currently imprisoned in Iran (a campaign entitled “Our Society Will Be A Free Society”), the community manager of Goodreads revealed that the Iranian government appears to have banned their website in Iran. Today, as part of the “Our Society Will Be A Free Society” campaign, PEN and its partner organizations called on Iran to allow United Nations human rights experts into the country.

* On March 1, acclaimed Hungarian writer Peter Esterházy will read from his masterwork, Celestial Harmonies, at the 92nd Street Y, with musical accompaniment provided by his friend the composer András Schiff. A conversation will follow. Read PEN America contributor Alesksandar Hemon’s review of Celestial Harmonies before you go. (Afterwards, read Esterházy’s conversation with Wayne Koestenbaum in PEN America 9: Checkpoints and translator Judith Sollosy on Esterházy right here on the blog—and finally you should read Judith’s translation of Not Art, which was published yesterday, and is, as I understand it, about mothers, as Celestial Harmonies is about fathers.)

* PEN is reflecting on Black History Month with a terrific online feature that includes, among many other things, the audio of Chinua Achebe paying tribute to James Baldwin, video of Chris Abani in conversation with Walter Mosley, and a comic by Mat Johnson.

* The latest contributor to Granta’s online series New Voices is Billy Kahora, who studied in Scotland and now lives in Kenya. His story is intriguingly titled “The Gorilla’s Apprentice.”

* Lastly, our latest issue received a lovely review on NewPages.com. Among the highlights of the issue, according to reviewer Terri Denton: “The Anthology of Small Homes” by Sara Majka, a short story that Denton calls “a masterpiece—it’s that good.”

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