As China Puts On a Show for the World, PEN Has Other Stories to Tell

By Neal Comment


For the last eight months, PEN has been running a campaign called “We Are Ready for Freedom of Expression,” aimed at calling attention to the Chinese government’s persecution of writers like Liao Yiwu (left) and Tsering Woeser. Tomorrow night, on the eve of the Beijing Olympics, their efforts will culminate in a literary rally at The New School with writers like Edward Albee, Jessica Hagedorn, and Rick Moody reading from the writing of dissident Chinese and Tibetan authors—in some cases works that has never been translated into English before this event (which starts at 7 p.m.).

The campaign also calls upon the People’s Republic “to guarantee freedom of the press before, during, and after the Olympic Games,” but we all know how that turned out.

(photos: Yiwu/The Arts Fuse; Woeser/PEN)