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PEN World Voices: Sex & Danger
Tinling Choong, Dany LaFerrière, Camelia Entekhabifard, and Edmund White have written books that play with taboo and off-limit aspects of sexuality, whether at home, on the streets, or behind a burka. Join these authors for a discussion with Wayne Koestenbaum about how contemporary literature continues to derive nourishment from eroticism at its most unconventional and forbidden.
About Tinling Choong
Born and raised in Malaysia, Tinling Choong graduated from Wellesley College and is working toward her Ph.D. in East Asian Languages and Literatures at Yale University. Her first novel, FireWife, was published in 2007. She is currently at work on her next novel, Yuyu and the Banyan Tree.
Born in Port-au-Prince, Dany LaFerrière worked as a journalist in Ha?ti before moving to Canada. He was a journalist in Canada, and hosted a television program for the TQS network. His first novel was Comment faire l'amour avec un nègre sans se fatiguer (How to Make Love to a Negro Without Getting Tired). The novel was later adapted into a screenplay by LaFerrière and Richard Sadler, and earned a Genie Award nomination for best adapted screenplay. His short stories have also been adapted into the recent film Heading South. LaFerrière divides his time between Montreal and Miami.
A journalist and native of Tehran, Entekhabifard has been a contributor to O, the Oprah Magazine and has reported on Iranian and Afghan affairs for AP, Reuters, EurasiaNet, The Village Voice, and Mother Jones. In Iran, she wrote for a number of newspapers, including the leading reformist daily, Zan. In 1999, at the age of 26, she was arrested for her journalistic activities and spent three months in solitary confinement.
Edmund White was born in Cincinnati and grew up in Chicago and Illinois. He is the author of nearly 20 books, including the recent autobiography My Lives. His novels include Forgetting Elena and Nocturnes for the King of Naples. His cultural works include the anthology Gay Short Fiction, a travelogue States of Desire: Travels in Gay America, and a pioneering The Joy of Gay Sex: An Intimate Guide for Gay Men to the Pleasures of a Gay Life. Edmund White currently teaches writing at Princeton University.
Wayne Koestenbaum's publications include the nonfiction books Andy Warhol and Cleavage: Essays on Sex, Stars and Aesthetics; the novel Moira Orfei in Aigues-Mortes, and the poetry collections Model Homes, The Milk of Inquiry, Rhapsodies of a Repeat Offender, and Ode to Anna Moffo and Other Poems. Koestenbaum won a Whiting Writer's Award in 1994. He is a Professor of English at the CUNY Graduate Center and a Visiting Professor in the Painting Department of the Yale School of Art.