Tirelessly working in defense of writers and freedom of expression around the world, the PEN American Center (which is currently campaigning for the release of over three dozen writers in Chinese prisons before the start of the Olympic Games) returns with its fourth annual PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature. Bringing together an impressive lineup of writers—including A.M. Homes, Ian McEwan, Rick Moody, Annie Proulx, and Salman Rushdie—the week-long literary extravaganza promises a fascinating program of talks, panels, readings, short films, and performances on this year’s theme: “Public Lives/Private Lives.” Highlights include tonight’s discussion, “Crisis Darfur,” with Mia Farrow and journalist Bernard-Henri Lévy, and May 4’s lecture by Umberto Eco, “On the Advantages of Fiction for Life and Death,” which will be followed by a conversation with New Yorker writer Adam Gopnik.

April 29-May 4, 2008