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PEN World Voices Festival presents
Reflections on Violence
Saturday, April 21, 2018 at 2:00PM

Dixon Place
161A Chrystie Street
New York, NY 10002

Colm Toibin’s latest novel House of Names tells the story of Clytemnestra and Agamemnon, Orestes, Electra and Iphigenia but Toibin drew on contemporary proponents of extreme violence — the Boston marathon bomber, ISIS, and a shocking ambush of Irish Protestants during the Troubles — to reach his understanding of how to write about these Ancient Greek murderers. Aminatta Forna’s Happiness similarly draws on the brutal modern wars in Bosnia, Sierra Leone, and Iraq to illuminate an African trauma psychiatrist’s evolving attitude toward how his profession should understand — and treat — individuals traumatized by violence. Two of today’s outstanding lyrical authors of fiction discuss their approaches to writing about a troubling topic.

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