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PEN Out Loud: Reclaiming Our Time

This December, join PEN America in partnership with the Strand Book Store as we present a feminist retrospective of the year.

This event will feature Carmen Maria Machado, whose debut short story collection Her Body and Other Parties is a finalist for the 2017 National Book Award and Kirkus Prize; Min Jin Lee, whose historical novel Pachinko is also a finalist for the 2017 National Book Award; and Morgan Jerkins, whose highly anticipated essay collection, This Will be My Undoing, is forthcoming in January 2018.

All three authors have unique and powerful perspectives on women’s experiences today. Machado has a distinct way of weaving the strange and otherworldly into fictional landscapes that delve into women’s inner lives; Lee turns the clock back to analyze the effects of social pressures on women in twentieth-century East Asia; and Jerkins is known for her incisively honest essays detailing the black woman’s lived experience in America today.

We will reflect on women’s roles at the forefront of the resistance, looking back at where we’ve been, and discussing the ways we can stand together to face what is to come.


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Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko is a national bestseller, a New York Times Editor’s Choice, and an American Booksellers Association’s Indie Next Great Reads. It is an Amazon Top Ten Books of the month and a selection of the Book of the Month Club. Pachinko is a top read or a most anticipated book for BBC.com, Newsweek.com, Stylist UK, Publishers Weekly, Esquire.com, LitHub, The Millions, Chicago Review of Books, BuzzFeed, Book Riot, BookPage, Elle.com, Daily Mail UK, and Nylon. It has been featured on NPR’s Morning Edition, WNYC’s The Leonard Lopate Show, Publishers Weekly Radio, and NPR’s Book Reviews. Lee’s debut novel Free Food for Millionaires was a No. 1 Book Sense Pick, a New York Times Editor’s Choice, a Wall Street Journal Juggle Book Club selection, and a national best seller. It was a Top 10 Novels of the Year for The Times of London, NPR’s Fresh Air, and USA Today.

Morgan Jerkins is a Harlem-based writer and contributing editor at Catapult. Her work has been featured in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Atlantic, Rolling Stone, and BuzzFeed, among many others. Her debut essay collection, This Will Be My Undoing, is forthcoming in January 2018 from Harper Perennial. 

Carmen Maria Machado’s work has appeared in Granta, The New Yorker, NPR, Electric Literature, and elsewhere. She has been nominated for a Nebula Award and a Shirley Jackson Award and was a finalist for the Calvino Prize. She lives in Philadelphia.

Credit: Michael Creagh

Samhita Mukhopadhyay is a writer, editor and speaker. She is the co-editor of Nasty Women: Feminism, Resistance and Revolution in Trump’s America the author of Outdated: Why Dating is Ruining Your Love Life. She is the former Senior Editorial Director of Culture and Identities at Mic and former Executive Editor of Feministing.com. Her work has appeared in Splinter, The Intercept, Al Jazeera, The Guardian, NY Magazine, Medium, Talking Points Memo, Mic and Jezebel.


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