PEN America 12: Correspondences

Copies of our new issue just arrived in the PEN office. I’ll have much more to say about what’s between the covers after World Voices is over, but for now, a brief preview (by the way, you can order your own copy here—or, better yet, subscribe):

First, I want to mention pieces by 2010 World Voices participants—including fiction by Alex Epstein (translated by Becka Mara McKay), travelogue by Jean-Philippe Toussaint (translated by John Lambert, whose thoughts on translating Toussaint can be read at The Elegant Variation), and an email exchange between Claire Messud and Mohammed Naseehu Ali which is being posted in installments this week at PEN.org.

I also want to mention the beautiful excerpt from Zeina Abirached’s Mourir partir revenir: Le jeu des hirondelles (To Die, to Leave, to Return: A Game for Swallows), translated by Edward Gauvin. This is one of two comics from the issue, one from Lebanon, the other from Iran; I'll have more to say about the other comic soon.

Lastly, I want to point your attention to the forum. For this issue, we asked writers to respond to one of two prompts:
1 Write the first paragraph of a letter you’d like to send either to another writer, living or dead, or to a fictional character.


2 Describe your experience with the new technology of correspondence: Twitter, e-mail, Facebook, etc.
We got replies from Siri Hustvedt, Sam Lipsyte, Terry Castle, Pico Iyer, and many others. We’ll be posting those responses online over the next couple weeks. In the meantime, we’d love to get your your own replies.

More soon. In the meantime, don’t miss “Literary Magazines: Here and Abroad, Now and in the Future,” tomorrow at 7 pm at Galapagos Art Space in Brooklyn, and featuring M Mark, John Freeman of Granta, Rob Spillman of Tin House, Swiss writer Peter Stamm, and Argentinean writer Rodrigo Fresán. Hope to see you there.


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