For Writers, a Voice Beyond the Page

Motoko Rich in the New York Times:

Screenhunter_01_apr_24_2039Seven years ago, Moniru Ravanipur, a novelist and short-story writer, was put on trial in her native Iran. Her supposed crime: threatening national security while attending a political conference in Berlin, where she openly discussed her country’s reform movement.

Now she plans to do it again. Ms. Ravanipur, 54, is one of more than 150 writers gathering in New York today for PEN American Center’s third annual World Voices Festival of International Literature, which runs through Sunday.

On Saturday Ms. Ravanipur, who has written eight books but is virtually unknown in the United States, will be speaking on a panel with two other Iranian writers. In an interview last week, she said she planned to discuss how, for example, the government had recently banned repeated use of the verb “to do” because it can have a sexual connotation in Persian.

More here.