PEN World Voices to Focus on Resistance in America

Colson Whitehead in 2016. He will appear at the Pen World Voices Festival 2018.

PEN America has not been shy about its dismay over President Trump and his policies. The organization spearheaded an open letter criticizing his travel ban and has closely tracked his relationship with the media. On Wednesday, it announced that its next PEN World Voices literary festival, with the theme “Resist and Reimagine,” will be held April 16-22 and will include appearances by Roxane Gay; Colson Whitehead; Dave Eggers; Jhumpa Lahiri; and Salman Rushdie, a founder of the festival.

While previous iterations have had a more global lens, this one — the 14th — will feature writers from around the world mostly discussing the United States. “We are deliberately training the festival’s wide lens on America itself, probing the fissures and inconsistencies in our own culture,” Chip Rolley, the festival’s director, said in a statement.

The festival will unfold across the five boroughs. The opening event will take place on April 16 at the Cooper Union’s Great Hall, with Mr. Whitehead, Leila Slimani and Maxine Beneba Clarke, who will discuss the underground railroad, immigration and the refugee crisis.

On April 20, Jelani Cobb, Gregory Pardlo and The New York Times Magazine writer Nikole Hannah-Jones will explore race relations 50 years after the death of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. On April 22, Hasan Minhaj of “The Daily Show With Trevor Noah” will discuss being an Indian-American Muslim in the Trump era, and reflect back on his performance at the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner. (The president skipped the event.)

Also on April 22, Ron Chernow, the author of “Alexander Hamilton,” will speak with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes about his 2017 biography, “Grant,” about the life and presidency of Ulysses S. Grant.

And the #MeToo movement is on the festival’s agenda: On April 17, Ms. Clarke and others will present a program of poetry and other readings under the title of “Us Too.” Ms. Gay, a Times Op-Ed contributing writer, will address the movement in a wide-ranging conversation on April 20.

A full lineup can be found at penworldvoices.org.

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