“South African PEN is proud to have partnered with OPEN BOOK, one of South Africa’s most vibrant literary festivals, since the inaugural festival. In 2011, with the assistance of PEN International, we were able to facilitate the participation of Earl Lovelace and Jose Agualusa. In 2012, with the generous assistance of American PEN, we introduced the wonderful New York poet, Cathy Park Hong, to a South African audience.
This year we are delighted to announce the first in the series of PEN DIALOGUES. This inaugural conversation will kick off a year-long series of monthly public conversations which South African PEN, OPEN BOOK and the Book Lounge will be hosting. We are thrilled about the potential for a non-partisan political space in which the literature of politics, and the politics of literature can be debated. We look forward with anticipation to this year long conversation which will lead us up to next year’s OPEN BOOK festival, so it is with particular pleasure that we welcome the much acclaimed author, Gillian Slovo, President of English PEN, to this year’s Open Book Festival."
Executive Vice President
South African PEN
‘”I'm delighted to be able to join my two worlds, South Africa and Britain, and our two PENs, English and South Africa, in this year's OPEN BOOK festival. We are a continent apart but our struggles - to ensure freedom of expression in our own countries, and to support oppressed writers throughout the world - are one. English PEN has had a great year not least because, along with other organisations, we succeeded in changing the archaic English libel laws in order to lift the chill on free expression. Alongside this we have expanded our work with disadvantaged readers and writers, brought increasing number of translated works to an English audience, and campaigned for the release of those who are victimised just because of the things they say, or write, draw, or sing. I look forward to hearing in more detail the work that South African PEN does and, hopefully bonding us even more firmly together for the future”.
President, English PEN
The full list of authors that will be at the 2013 festival thus far is as follows: