You can’t say this week isn’t packed with literary events for New Yorkers: As if the annual PEN World Voices festival isn’t enough, tomorrow’s also the kickoff of Granta‘s “Best Young American Novelists 2” book tour. In fact, Gary Shteyngart has to rush from a PEN colloquium on the environment at Cooper Union to the Granta reading at Tishman Auditorium just ninety minutes later. “Plus I’m in the middle of my paperback tour,” he emailed over the weekend. “But, you know, it’s all for a good cause. Or something like that.”
“It is going to be pretty hectic this week but then festivals always are,” agrees Uzodinma Iweala (right), who’s also pulling double duty this week.* “I’m excited about it and can’t wait. I really do love being able to interact with readers and other writers… On the other hand there is so much other stuff to be done. I won’t be doing any writing, but logistics for some upcoming trips for a book that I’m working on, transcribing interviews from a trip that I just returned from—that sort of stuff is time consuming but doesn’t require the same about of concentration that writing does.”
*At least Iweala’s schedule is spread out over several days…but it also has him zipping up to Boston for a Granta reading, then back here for more PEN events…including a discussion with Ishmael Beah that is sure to be nothing short of amazing.