In Manai’s The Ardent Swarm, a North African beekeeper leaves isolation to seek answers in a strange city, only to be catapulted into the throes of the Arab Spring. A Catalonian author, Nopca writes about the divided city of Barcelona, where a disillusioned generation grappling with an economic crisis moves toward secession, in the wake of underemployment and austerity. In Washburn’s Sharks in the Time of Saviors, a family is pushed to reflect on their heritage and the demands of survival after divine intervention wrecks the sugarcane industry where they have labored for generations in Hawai’i. This event will be moderated by PEN America’s senior director of literary programs Clarisse Rosaz Shariyf.
Jordi Nopca is the author of two novels and the short story collection Come On Up (Bellevue Literary Press). Named a “Young Catalan Writer to Watch” by Culture Trip, his books have received the Proa and Documenta Prizes. Nopca is also an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in Time Out Barcelona and Words Without Borders. Born in Barcelona in 1983, he is editor of the newspaper Ara and its literary supplement Ara Llegim. Come On Up, translated by Mara Faye Lethem, is his first book of fiction to appear in English.
Presented in collaboration with Institut Ramon Llull and Brazos Bookstore.
The 2021 PEN World Voices Festival convenes fiction and nonfiction writers, poets, translators, thinkers, and activists to honor the art of the possible and the power of storytelling to push boundaries, challenge inherited narratives, and give voice to hope, courage, and survival. In a year when division and bloodshed have been fueled by hatreds based on race, ethnicity, and religion, the Festival celebrates resilience and courage, and summons the powers of the radical imagination and literature as gateways to reckoning and reconciliation.