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PEN World Voices 2010: Some Cool Things to Watch

OK, so another PEN World Voices Festival is now in the books. As usual, all the people at PEN (especially festival director Caro and her amazing staff of employees and interns) did a spectacular job putting this all together and making sure everything came off with a hitch. (Or at least without too many noticeable hitches.) It was a really fun festival, right up through the final swanky party (and the totally rad after-party).

Anyway, I’ve been working all day (and all last night, and all tonight, and all day tomorrow) on a longer piece for Publishing Perspectives about the festival, and will post about that as soon as it runs. (Oh, and as soon as I’m done with that I can get back to “normal” Three Percent blogging, including running a few reviews—of Suzanne Jill Levine’s The Subversive Scribe, of Sofi Oksanen’s Purge.)

In the meantime, I just went through the list of available audio/video on PEN’s site, and here are a few cool events that I’d recommend checking out:

I’m actually listening to this now . . . Heather Cleary Wolfgang (who is translating Sergio Chejfec for us) attended and said it was really interesting. Very interested to hear what Alberto Ruy-Sanchez has to say, seeing that he’s one of the most popular international authors I’m aware of (at least in terms of Facebook friends and Twitter followers).

Next up in my queue. I really wish I could’ve made it to this . . . Albert Mobilio moderated the conversation with Inga Kuznetsova, Jonathan Lethem, Eshkol Nevo, and Andrzej Stasiuk. (Particularly interested in hearing what Lethem and Stasiuk have to say. I had a chance to briefly meet Stasiuk at a special Polish party. He was there with his wife Monika, who runs one of the coolest presses in Poland . . .)

I actually did attend this one, and even wrote about it. It was an OK event, but the reason I mention it here is to stand up for all my fellow Midwesterners. In talking about Cercas’s accent, Vaill does what must be the most awful and inaccurate imitation of an Illinois accent ever recorded. Amanda, the Midwest is larger than Fargo. Just an FYI.

Hoping that the audio/video of Quim Monzo’s conversation with Robert Coover is posted at some point . . . But in the meantime, you can hear him on this panel, which was moderated by Edwin Frank and included Darryl Pinckney, Roxanna Robinson, and Colm Tóibín.



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