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Posts Tagged ‘Edward Albee’

Elizabeth Taylor Has Died

Actress and author Elizabeth Taylor has passed away today. She was 79-years-old. Above, we’ve embedded a trailer for one of her most celebrated films, Cleopatra.

In 2002, Taylor published My Love Affair with Jewelry which included photographs of her personal collection shot by John Bigelow Taylor. Amazon lists three books written by the star. Taylor also won two Academy Awards for literary adaptations.

Here’s more from The Washington Post: “She made more than 60 films and twice won the Oscar for best actress: as a call girl who meets with tragedy in BUtterfield 8 (1960), based on the John O’Hara novella; and as the braying, slovenly wife of a professor in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966), adapted from Edward Albee’s play about marital warfare. Virginia Woolf was a rare critical triumph for Ms. Taylor, whom reviewers often found insubstantial or overwrought.”

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Don DeLillo and A.M. Homes Protest Imprisonment of Chinese Author Liu Xiaobo

On this snowy New Year’s Eve morning, a team of famous PEN America members gathered on the steps of the New York Public Library to protest the 11-year sentence of Chinese writer Liu Xiaobo for the crime of subversion.

As you can see by this exclusive GalleyCat video, the list of speakers at this dramatic event included: E.L. Doctorow, Don DeLillo, A.M. Homes, and Edward Albee.

Here’s more from the release: “There are currently almost 1,000 writers on PEN’s list of writers and journalists in danger because of their work. Leading the list is Liu Xiaobo, one of China’s most prominent writers and a past president and member of the Independent Chinese PEN Center, which is doing on-the-ground PEN advocacy in China. Liu was convicted of ‘inciting subversion of state power’ for co-authoring ‘Charter 08,’ a petition calling for political and human rights reforms in China, and for seven sentences in five articles he published on the internet that are critical of Chinese authorities.”

Report from PEN’s Silenced Writers Event

Hu Shigen.JPG

Jessica Rotondi from St. Martin’s Minotaur Publicity department was volunteering at the PEN event for Silenced Writers and offers this report of what happened Thursday evening, complementing our earlier report from Amanda ReCupido:

At PEN’s “Bringing Down the Great Firewall of China: Silenced writers speak on the eve of the Olympics,” prominent PEN members Rick Moody, Francine Prose, Paris Review editor Philip Gourevitch and others came together to give voice to the works of leading dissidents and writers imprisoned by the Chinese government. The near-capacity crowd in Tishman auditorium also got to hear the voice of one particularly ardent audience member…

The evening’s moment of truth came when dramatist Edward Albee took the stage, drawing a parallel between two countries that he felt suppressed their citizen’s freedom of speech: “The United States of America, and the Peoples Republic of China.” A conspicuous latecomer, sensing that the moment was ripe to test this statement, pumped his fist and shouted: “Long live the People’s Republic of China! Long burn the Olympic torch!”

Albee attempted a dialogue with the protester (after all, the evening was about giving voice to the silenced), but when the latter’s end devolved into ever-louder chants of “Long live the People’s Republic of China! Long burn the Olympic torch!” and “PEN is CIA!” he was escorted outside of the auditorium, where he was allowed to continue his protest.

Albee didn’t miss a beat: “I’m so glad I live in a country where people are allowed to say exactly what they feel.” After the applause subsided, he continued his reading of Shen Noulian’s “Nightmare.”

The heart of the evening was garnering support for the over 40 writers and journalists currently held in Chinese prisons for various attacks on their freedom of speech. Hu Shigen’s “How Big a Character is Xin” spoke for many of the silenced. The piece ends with the author in a prison cell, dreaming of letters from all over the world falling towards him like snowflakes. In the dream, he tries to open the letters, but finds they are blank.

Chen Pokong, in his message from the Independent Chinese PEN Center, urged the outside world not to turn their backs on the struggle for freedom of speech in China once the Olympic athletes have returned home. Members of the audience received a set of ten postcards pre-addressed to imprisoned writers, printed with the phrase “you are not forgotten.”

Pictured above: Hu Shigen from PEN American Center