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PEN International condemns author Tsitsi Dangarembga’s conviction; tonight, a roundtable talk on sports and literature

Tsitsi Dangarembga. Photo: Hannah Mentz

PEN International has issued a statement on the conviction of Zimbabwean author and filmmaker Tsitsi Dangarembga, who was arrested without explanation or charge while peacefully protesting with her friend Julie Barnes in 2020, and later arraigned in court for “incitement to public violence” and “breaching of COVID-19 health regulations.” Per PEN’s statement, which was released yesterday: “Tsitsi Dangarembga and Julie Barnes should be celebrated as model citizens, not condemned as criminals following a sham trial on trumped up charges of promoting public violence. We called for and expected their unconditional acquittal today, after more than two years of judicial harassment and intimidation.”

Join us at 7pm tonight for “Sports, Annotated,” a virtual roundtable discussion about sports and literature. The panel will feature Lindsay Zoladz, Miranda Popkey, Ross Gay, and Thomas Beller and is an official Brooklyn Book Festival Bookend event. You can get your free tickets here.  

In an interview for the New Yorker, artist and writer Lorraine O’Grady tells Doreen St. Félix: “Earlier, you asked what I meant by being a breadth artist as opposed to being a depth artist. The most important thing that I had to do as an artist was to have the concept of Black genius uttered out loud. And this could only be based on complexity.” 

In the latest issue of the New York Review of Books, Pulitzer-winning novelist Joshua Cohen writes about Jared Kushner’s Breaking History: A White House Memoir: “Call it a bleaching, a blanching, a prose laundromat set to whitewash out all stain—Kushner’s tome isn’t interested in convincing you that, say, banning travel from certain majority-Muslim countries was a smart and useful move, or that opening detention facilities along the Mexican border was a forced-hand but efficient measure, or that the FBI’s Russia investigation was grotesquely overblown and conclusively wasteful, so much as it’s interested in convincing you that Jared Kushner is a decent guy.” 

The shortlist for the Center for Fiction’s 2022 First Novel Prize has been announced; the debut authors include Daphne Palasi Andreades, Jessamine Chan, Isabel Kaplan, Noor Naga, Alyssa Songsiridej, Mecca Jamilah Sullivan, and Vauhini Vara. 

Ten interviews given by Cormac McCarthy—who rarely gives interviews—between 1968 and 1980 have been rediscovered by the academics Dianne C. Luce and Zachary Turpin. “I don’t read bad books,” he told an interviewer in 1975. “I can’t physically make my eyes move across the page.”