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Join PEN American’s Online Reading Group

PEN American Center Announces the launch of PEN Reads, an online reading group to go live on July 6:

PEN American Center, the largest branch of the world’s oldest literary and human rights organization, announced today the creation of PEN Reads, an online reading group that will bring readers and writers together to discuss works of literature relevant to PEN’s mission. The inaugural title will be The Hour of the Star (New Directions) by the legendary Brazilian author Clarice Lispector.

Each book will be discussed for five weeks on the PEN web site, which will feature a series of posts by writers, translators, scholars, and other prominent literary figures. They will discuss the novel and its author and how the book speaks to PEN’s mission to foster support for basic human rights and promote mutual understanding through the shared experience of literature.

Readers will be able to comment on each post, participating in a larger dialogue with the discussion’s contributors and with each other.

The initiative was created by PEN’s Membership Committee under the leadership of former Chair Jaime Manrique. He says, “PEN Reads’ choice of The Hour of the Star by the great, and incomparable, Clarice Lispector as its inaugural author reaffirms PEN’s commitment to honor, and help preserve, the literary legacy of the writers of the world whose works matter in a major way.”

The inaugural post, by award-winning novelist Colm Tóibín, will appear at www.pen.org/penreads at noon on Tuesday, July 6.

NewPages encourages group participants to check with local, independent booksellers to purchase The Hour of the Star – and to purchase an extra copy to donate to your local library if they don’t already have one.

Spread the word!