New Interviews and an honor

There are new links on the Interviews page to interviews about The Honor Code in The New Statesman and the Times Higher Education Supplement, in London, and on in New York.

And the New York Times Book Review has just listed it as one of the 100 notable books of 2010 (one of 50 in the non-fiction category).

Eine Frage der Ehre

A first look at the elegant cover of the
German edition of “The Honor Code,”
due in February next year.

With my thanks to the designer.

New links

There are new links on the audio page. One is to a wide-ranging discussion on the BBC World Service program Forum, with Bridget Kendall, Anna Chen, who writes the Madam Miaow blog, and Dimitar Sasselov, the Romanian Harvard astronomer. Another is to a conversation about honor with the excellent Chris Lydon, on Open Source. I try to link to new reviews, radio and TV interviews and articles as they appear. So keep checking back!

KAA and others talking to the Congressional-Executive Commission on China

Testimony on behalf of PEN before The Congressional-Executive Commission on China in Washington. Click here to see the video recording of this session on Tuesday November 9, 2010. For Voice of America report in Chinese, click here.

Invitation to World Literature: Chinua Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart”

I had the pleasure and privilege of participating in the creation of the episode of this new PBS series about Chinua Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart.” You can find more thoughts about the book in my introduction to the Everyman edition. And this year’s Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize for an artist “who has made an outstanding contribution to the beauty of the world and to mankind’s enjoyment and understanding of life” will be awarded to him on October 27, 2010, in New York City. “Da alü, Chinualumogu!”

Wayne Pacelle comments on K A A’s Washington Post Op Ed

Wayne Pacelle writes about the Washington Post Op Ed “What will future generations condemn us for?” on the Huffington Post.

Defamation of Religions: What–and what not–to do about it …

Here is a short video, made by the PEN American Center, of four writers, talking about why it would not be a good idea to develop a treaty urging states to criminalize defamation of religions. What we urge, instead, is the sustenance of respectful dialogue between people of all faiths and none. The writers are Ariel Dorfman (b. Argentina), Azar Nafis (b. Iran), Wole Soyinka (b. Nigeria), and me.

For more information on the PEN International Campaign against moves to develop such a treaty go here.

Taiwanese edition of The Honor Code

The amazing Rex How of Locus Publications, has bought the rights to a Taiwanese edition of “The Honor code.” Chinese-language readers will now have access to a book in which China’s history is central. The German edition, from Beck, should be out some time not too far off … Germany being a country where honor is still something you can defend in the courts.

Liu Xiaobo wins Nobel Prize 祝贺刘晓波

Liu Xiaobo and his wifeWonderful news! Liu Xiaobo, our PEN International colleague, has just won this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. When I nominated him, along with a number of others including Vaclav Havel, in January, I thought we might have to keep nominating him for a number of years. This is a great day for China, even though many in the regime won’t see it that way. For more on this see the PEN American Center website.

Tokyo PEN International Congress

I’ve just had the extremely rewarding experience of attending my first PEN International Congress, this time in Tokyo as guest of the very generous Japanese PEN Club. It is very exhilarating to feel part of a global community of writers and intellectuals committed to free expression and cultural exchange. The most moving moment was the (of course, unanimous) vote to admit the new Cambodian PEN Center. A country whose writers were murdered alongside millions of their fellow citizens is returning to the global conversation in a big way. And the PEN Center is needed because the current government is, alas, an enemy of free expression. Also rewarding to meet with members of the Independent Chinese PEN Center (ICPPC), whose former President Liu Xiaobo we (and many others) nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. I also had the honor of speaking about him on a panel organized by ICPC. (You can see my comments here.) We’ll see what happens with that on October 8 2010. Stay tuned!