Selected Articles

“The Role of PEN in the Contemporary World,” PEN International, Vol. 56, No.2, 2006.

My first memory of a PEN meeting was sitting in someone’s living room in Los Angeles writing postcards to free Wei Jingsheng from prison in China. At the time in the 1980s he’d already been in prison several years of a fifteen-year sentence. I had no idea who this writer was thousands of miles away; I barely knew the other writers in that living room.”Read


“Portal to Antiquity-Hasankeyf, Turkey,” World Literatrure Today, July-August 2009.

“On the banks of the Tigris River, where the brown water slowly winds through canyons and past lush green plains, sits Hasankeyf. Carved into the hills in the southeastern section of Anatolia near the Iraqi and Syrian borders, Hasankeyf may be the oldest continuous settlement on earth, according to archaeologists, who date it back at least ten thousand years.”Read


“Resurrecting Literature Online,” Women Writers Project Brown University.

”As a novelist, I spend large parts of my day roaming and discovering the world in imagination. Here the politics of the globe, the relationships of the home, the myths of the past, the wisdom of literature and philosophy, the curve of the sky, the angle of an ankle, the rhythm of words all come together and reveal themselves in story. ”Read


”Writers Behind Bars: PEN Writers in Prison,” AWP Chronicle, Summer, 1998.

“One of the first ex-prisoners I met when I took over as Chair of International PEN’s Writers in Prison Committee was a journalist from the Maldives. He had come to London, as many ex-prisoners did, to be treated for the torture he endured in prison. He had been sentenced to two years for criticizing the government.”Read


“Exorcising the Ghosts of a Nation” The Los Angeles Times, July 6, 2003.

Basra, Iraq—“At the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers where civilization began, men fish from small boats and boys swim in polluted brown waters. Read


“Iraq’s future—soccer balls?” The Christian Science Monitor, June 23, 2003.

Baghdad, Iraq—“The future of Iraq may in part depend on soccer balls, jump ropes and volleyballs.”Read


“Status: The Kosovo Issue That Just Won’t Go Away.” The Los Angeles Times, March 4, 2001. Pristina, Kosovo.

“Via the Internet, cell phones, satellite dishes and members of the burgeoning international community who arrived after the war in 1999, Pristina is connected to the world.”Read


“New Hope in Turkey?” The Christian Science Monitor. November 18, 1999.

“Hope springs from stony soil in Turkey. It does not bloom easily among the hundreds of writers and human rights advocates who have been sent to prison for their words over the last two decades. ”Read


Selected Talks: See Speaking