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Why Mexico Needs Comedy, Now More Than Ever

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Comedy works in mysterious ways, I always say. If you get the joke, it is because you recognize the reference to the phrase: "God works in mysterious ways." And not only do you know the reference but you also have a sense of humor. Maybe you associate the phrase with something that has happened to you, and this makes the joke personal. Comedy plays off the audience’s background, their experiences, what they know and believe.

PEN 2014: Looking in the Mirror

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Paul Berman reads at PEN World Voices Festival's opening night as Salman Rushdie and Judith Butler look on (© Beowulf Sheehan/PEN American Center)

PEN 2014: The Marketplace for Censorship

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Salman Rushdie reads at PEN World Voices Festival's opening night (© Beowulf Sheehan/PEN American Center)

The World On Edge: Interview with Noam Chomsky

The Hypocrisy of Erdoğan

Friday, March 28, 2014

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (Reuters)

How the NSA Chills American Writers: An Interview with Suzanne Nossel

Inside the Sulphurbath with Shaun Randol

Friday, October 25, 2013

On September 28, I appeared once again on "Inside the Sulphurbath," this time to discuss censorship, banned books, and freedom of expression. The conversation coincided with the end of Banned Books Week in the United States.

Graffiti in Saigon

Friday, May 17, 2013

Graffiti in Saigon via Saigon - Graffiti on da Street

PEN 2013: Not Writing from Exile

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Shahrnush Parsipur’s writing career began in 1974 with the publication of her first novel, The Dog and the Long Winter. She's been in trouble with Iranian authorities ever since. Today, with more than twenty novels, short story collections, and translations under her belt, Parsipur lives in California. While she has always written in Persian and her fiction has always been about Iran, Parsipur does not consider herself to be a writer in exile.

An Art Outrage

Thursday, April 11, 2013

There is no denying that hostile militant activity, sectarian violence, and political instability have left Pakistan swathed in discontent over the past few years. However, by looking at Pakistan through a despondent narrow light, people restrict themselves from appreciating the region’s innate beauty. Pakistan’s grandeur can be found in its spectacular northern mountain ranges, rich heritage, vibrant culture, delectable food, and a booming art market that has grown to become a foundation of national pride.