PEN World Voices Festival

The 2006 PEN World Voices Festival opened yesterday in New York, with dozens of readings and discussions on the bill. I’m looking forward to reading some of my friendsdispatches from the front lines. I did, however, want to highlight one event that might get lost in the shuffle:

Voices From Chernobyl by Svetlana Alexievich
Housing Works Bookstore Cafe
126 Crosby St.
Tickets: Free;
Call (212) 334-3324
Presented by The National Book Critics Circle

Writers read from Alexievich’s Voices From Chernobyl (winner of the 2005 National Book Critics Circle Award for nonfiction) to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the explosion of Chernobyl’s nuclear power plant. The readers include Philip Gourevitch, fiction writers Ken Kalfus, Julie Otsuka, Lynne Tillman, Martha Cooley, and Jim Shepard, along with poet Lawrence Joseph and translator Keith Gessen.

Related: Slate has a photo essay by Paul Fusco on the 20-year anniversary of the explosion.