Book lovers in New York right now have a chance to see and hear many authors from around the world at PEN's World Voices festival. Among the participants are Ian McEwan, Michael Ondaatje, Janet Malcolm, Bernhard Schlink, Umberto Eco, Salman Rushdie, and Mario Vargas Llosa. For a complete schedule, see the PEN web site; you'll find blog reports there as well. Also, the MetaxuCafé literary site is covering many of the events.
The following are programs that involve authors who write for children.
- Sharon G. Flake, Jutta Richter, Pam Muñoz Ryan, and Peter Sís talk about "the public and private lives of children." Elizabeth Levy moderates. (Scholastic Auditorium, 556 Broadway. Thursday, May 1, at 6. Free. No reservations necessary.)
- Pam Muñoz Ryan and Senegalese author Fatou Diome on the role of storytelling in "growing up a writer." (French Institute/Alliance Française, 22 E. 60th St. Saturday, May 3, at 5. For tickets, call 212/307-4100.)
One roundtable (for adults) I'd like to hear (but won't get a chance to) is "Books That Changed My Life," with Annie Proulx, Philippe Grimbert, Yousef Al-Mohaimeed, Antonio Muñoz Molina, and Catherine Millet. (New York Public Library, Fifth Ave. at 42nd St. Sunday, May 4, at 4. For tickets, call 212/868-4444.)
PEN American Center, the festival's sponsor, is "an association of writers working to advance literature, defend free expression, and foster international literary fellowship."