Found in translation

Caro Llewellyn and Dr El Saadawi

To know a stranger is to read their story, says Caro Llewellyn, director of PEN World Voices.

PEN World Voices, the New York Festival of International Literature, was established in 2005 by Salman Rushdie as a forum for the literature of the rest of the world. Conceived by perhaps the world’s most controversial living writer, it is not surprising that this festival has become one of the most political events on the international literary circuit.

Over the course of the last four years, it has matured into a six-day festival featuring 160 writers. This year’s incarnation, themed “evolution/revolution”, was the most charged to date. It was conceived in response to a sense of crisis in the US, in the old sense of κρίσις or decisive turning-point, a period defined in equal parts by peril and hope.

Central to the festival’s evolution has been Caro Llewellyn, who, as director of the Sydney Writers’ Festival for four years, more than doubled attendance figures. More significantly, she gained an enviable reputation among the writers she worked with, and when PEN was seeking a permanent director for 2007, they received an influx of emails from authors around the world suggesting Llewellyn for the job. Adam Jasper spoke to Caro Llewellyn in New York about the highs and lows of running PEN World Voices.

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Life begins with music

Mandawuy Yunupiŋu

Mandawuy Yunupiŋu, lead singer of Yothu Yindi, talks to Aaron Corn about his cultural heritage:

"I grew up in a semi-nomadic lifestyle, and when I wasn't going to school, my father and mother would take me out and go hunting, following the seasons of course, so there was that balance in my education. My mother taught me all the things that I should know about, all the types of things that were in season on the land, and my father taught me things that were in season too, especially the big game. So I had balance in learning how to follow the seasons and going to school as well. There was a big push for me to pick up academic skills, as well as being exposed to and knowing the Western way."

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