Guernica Magazine

Six Writers on the Power of Telling the Truth

At a panel at this year’s PEN America World Voices Festival, six writers discuss the empowering effects of sharing difficult experiences. The post Six Writers on the Power of Telling the Truth appeared first on Guernica.

Every year PEN America presents its World Voices Festival, a literary festival in New York City featuring at least 200 writers and artists from over fifty countries in conversation about some of the most important literary, cultural, and political topics of our age. This year the event spanned six days, from May 6th to May 12th, and Guernica writers were able to attend four of the events. These are their dispatches from the festival.

Fear of sharing the truth, along with the power and relief and freedom of telling it, marked the stories of all six writers who spoke at a panel called “It When the Filipino American writer Grace Talusan got up to read from her recently published memoir she said, “I will read something I’ll probably never read again. But I’ll read it tonight, in the company of these brave writers.” Talusan then shared a passage about being sexually abused by her grandfather for much of her childhood, and her fear about telling anyone the story. She knew, even at age seven, that the story could hurt her family, and, as an immigrant, she didn’t trust the police.

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