NY Festival of International Literature

PEN has announced the launch of a New York Festival of International Literature, which is to take place April 16 – 22, 2005 (no link yet). The week-long gathering will be an occasion to introduce or further acquaint American audiences with the finest international writers, including Adonis, Margaret Atwood, Breyten Breytenbach, Nuruddin Farah, Vaclav Havel, Michael Ondaatje, Wole Soyinka, Adam Zagajewski, and Salman Rushdie. They will be joined by U.S. resident authors like Chinua Achebe, Paul Auster, T.C. Boyle, Peter Carey, Edwidge Danticat, E. L. Doctorow, Richard Ford, Gish Jen, Oscar Hijuelos, Jhumpa Lahiri, Arthur Miller, Toni Morrison, and Amy Tan. Part of the motivation for the festival is this:

There is also a shocking scarcity of international writing published here (less than 5% of literary titles compared to upwards of 50% in other developed countries). The lack of foreign writing, perhaps most of all, contributes to an alarmingly narrow American perspective on much of the rest of the world.

There will be readings, workshops, and performances for the festival, which is being billed as PEN World Voices.

The mention of Adonis and Chinua Achebe is enough to give me heart palpitations. If you live in New York, you lucky bastards, make sure you go. I’ll keep a close eye on this one and post links when they become available.

(Thanks to Wah-Ming Chang for the info.)