Saturday, December 10, 2005

Literary Cause: Freedom to Write

I write letters to Turkey, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka. Why? Because there are writers who are suffering. Their government finds their work offensive or unfit for public consumption.

They're arrested, beaten up, thrown in jail--for a poem or a short story. I wrote a letter to China today because a writer told the story of a bird who wanted to fly freely, but was caged by humans. The bird chose to commit suicide than have freedom denied. The story ruffled some communist feathers and the writer was jailed, sentenced to serve ten years!

I write letters through the Freedom to Write campaign out of the PEN Center USA West--a remarkable organization. Check 'em out.

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