November 1, 2006
Pamuk, Rushdie, Featured at International Writers Project Festival
The International Writers Project at Brown University presents Strange Times, My Dear: A Freedom-to-Write Literary Festival, from Tuesday, Nov. 14, through Friday, Nov. 17, 2006. This series of readings and discussions, focused on celebrating freedom of expression, will feature internationally acclaimed authors including winner of the 2006 Nobel Prize in literature Orhan Pamuk, Salman Rushdie, and Iranian novelists Shahrnush Parsipur and Shahryar Mandanipour. The festival is free and open to the public, but tickets are required for certain events.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Brown University’s International Writers Project will host Strange Times, My Dear: A Freedom-to-Write Literary Festival, from Tuesday, Nov. 14, through Friday, Nov. 17, 2006. The festival is free and open to the public, but tickets are required for certain events.
Strange Times, My Dear includes a series of readings and conversations with world-renowned authors, all of whom have experienced repression, censorship, threats or imprisonment in their home countries or abroad. Among this year’s participants are the winner of the 2006 Nobel Prize in literature Orhan Pamuk, Indian author Salman Rushdie, and Iranian novelists Shahrnush Parsipur and Shahryar Mandanipour. Mandanipour is the recipient of Brown’s 2006 International Writers Project Fellowship. The festival, organized annually to focus on the art and culture of the current International Writers Project Fellow, will also feature programs in Iranian literature, music, photography and film.
“Not in recent history has the basic principle of free expression been under such worldwide threat as right now in 2006,” said festival organizer Robert Coover, director of the International Writers Project. “Religious and nationalistic extremism, together with perceived threats, real or imagined, are rapidly eroding those liberties around the world. At such a moment, festivals such as this one, which can provide a stage for frank, open international discourse and celebrate what Orhan Pamuk calls ‘the universal rights of freedom of expression and thought,’ are of utmost importance.”
The festival is sponsored by Brown University’s Program in Literary Arts and Watson Institute for International Studies and funded by the William H. Donner Foundation, with additional support from the Office of the President. See www.brown.edu/strange_times for details.
Strange Times, My Dear: A Freedom-to-Write Literary
Tuesday, November 14
Wednesday, November 15
Thursday, November 16
Friday, November 17
The International Writers Project
Brown University has a long history of providing support to international writers facing persecution and suppression of their work. The University has welcomed dozens of exiled writers at past festivals on campus, and has hosted fellows from Cuba, China, the Congo, Somalia and Iran. Brown is a member of the International Academy for Scholarship and the Arts, a consortium of 20 colleges and universities committed to providing support for writers facing political oppression. Through its faculty and alumni, Brown has links to Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and PEN.
Since 2003, the International Writers Project Fellowship at Brown University has provided institutional, artistic and social support to writers who face personal danger, oppression and/or threats to their livelihood in nations throughout the world. The fellowship, sponsored by a grant from the William H. Donner Foundation, is awarded annually to a writer who is unable to practice free expression in his or her homeland. In addition, the IWP sponsors festivals, like Strange Times, My Dear, that celebrate the cultural heritage of each fellow and seek to increase awareness of the situation of international writers worldwide and in the IWP fellow’s homeland.
“Not only does the fellowship provide needed support and sanctuary to an individual writer, it also signals a commitment to the principle of freedom of expression and, through its associated cultural programs, seeks to heighten awareness of that principle’s vulnerability and the need for international solidarity in its protection,” Coover has said.
A separate ticket will be required for each event on Tuesday, Nov. 14 and Thursday, Nov. 16.
Members of the Brown community may reserve tickets online at http://www.brown.edu/strange_times. One ticket is available per event, per Brown ID.
Members of the public should request tickets by calling (401) 863-3260, beginning at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 8. A maximum of two tickets is allowed per caller.
Press credentials are required for media professionals covering these events. Please contact Deborah Baum for credential information at Deborah_Baum@brown.edu or (401) 863-2478.