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The human rights/literary organization PEN has a history of working on the behalf of writers who have suffered government persecution. This book commemorating the organization's 85th anniversary represents the work of 50 writers from more than 20 countries, most of whom have been persecuted, prosecuted, imprisoned, tortured, or killed as a result of their writing. Contributors include those well known in the English-speaking world-e.g., Nobel Prize winners Orhan Pamuk (Turkey) and Harold Pinter (England); Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi (Burma)-as well as less famous figures. Their poetry, stories, letters, book excerpts, and other short pieces, which vary in style, form, and content, are gathered into four sections: "Prison," "Death," "Exile," and "The Freedom To Write." The selections make clear that many countries not ordinarily thought of as authoritarian are nevertheless not really safe for free expression. A compelling and worthwhile purchase; recommended for all libraries.
—Denise J. Johnson