As part of PEN World Voices, a group of distinguished writers from across the world have been invited to select a classic work from those being studied in Baruch's Great Works program this semester and discuss its resonance within their own life and work.  Moderated by Esther Allen, Baruch College, CUNY.

Salwa Al NeimiSalwa Al Neimi was born in Damascus, Syria. In the mid-1970s she moved to Paris to study Islamic Philosophy and Theatre at the Sorbonne. Beginning in 1981, she worked as a journalist at Arab magazines and newspapers. She has published five volumes of poetry, a collection of short stories, and the erotic novel The Proof of the Honey, which has been translated into several languages and banned in many Arab countries.  Al Neimi currently lives and works at the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris.


Muriel BarberyMuriel Barbery was born in 1969 and grew up in France. After receiving her agrégation in philosophy at the École Normale Supérieure de Fontenay-Saint-Cloud, she taught philosophy for many years. In 2000, she published her first novel, Une Gourmandise (A Delicacy), which will be published in English in 2009. Her second novel, L’Élégance du Hérisson (The Elegance of the Hedgehog), published in 2006, was an unexpected success in France and became an international best-seller. Barbery currently lives in Japan with her husband.


Jose Manuel PrietoJosé Manuel Prieto was born in Havana in 1962.  He is the author of several works of fiction and nonfiction including the internationally acclaimed Nocturnal Butterflies of the Russian Empire.  Prieto has translated poems by Anna Akhmatova, and Josef Brodsky, as well as prose by Andre Platonov, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, and Vladimir Nabokov. He is currently a visiting professor and distinguished Lecturer at Princeton University.  His most recent novel, Rex, translated by Esther Allen, is published by Grove Atlantic Press in April.


George PackerGeorge Packer is an American journalist born in 1960. He is a staff writer for The New Yorker and the author of The Assassins' Gate: America in Iraq, which won several awards and was named by The New York Times as one of the ten best books of 2005. He has published two other works of non-fiction and two novels. His articles, essays, and reviews on foreign affairs, American politics, and literature have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Harper's, Dissent, and other publications. He lives in Brooklyn.


Antonio TabucchiAntonio Tabucchi was born in Pisa in 1943. He has traveled widely and lived in India and Portugal before settling in his native Tuscany, where he holds the chair of Literature at the University of Siena. He has championed Portuguese literature and is the translator of Fernando Pessoa into Italian. Tabucchi’s work has appeared in many languages and earned him a variety of awards. His books include Indian Nocturne, The Edge of the Horizon, and most recently The Missing Head of Damasceno Monteiro.

                               Date:           Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

                               Room:         Multi-Purpose Room (1-107), Ground Floor

                                                    William and Anita Newman Vertical Campus

                               Time:           2:30pm-4:00pm

PEN WORLD VOICES is a festival of international literature featuring 160 writers from 40 countries for 60 events in New York City, April 27 - May 3, 2009. For more information, visit

Presented by the Great Works Program, Weissman School of Arts and Sciences, and PEN World Voices: the New York Festival of International Literature.

The City University of New York