PEN World Voices: Books That Changed My Life: Annie Proulx, Olivier Rolin, Yousef Al-Mohaimeed, Antonio Muñoz Molina, Catherine Millet
What is it about the reading experience that leaves such a powerful and lasting impression -particularly in the minds of future writers themselves?
Authors from the U.S., Europe, and the Middle East Annie Proulx, Olivier Rolin, Yousef Al-Mohaimeed, Antonio Muñoz Molina, and Catherine Millet discuss the books that have touched and altered their lives, the books they continue to carry with them around the world, and the feelings of true discovery and passion these works inspired. Paul Holdengräber, director of The New York Public Library's Public Programs, leads the discussion.
Huda Saleh Yousef Al-Mohaimeed was born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and has published several novels and short story collections in Arabic. In 2008 his debut novel, Wolves of the Crescent Moon, became his first book to be published outside of the Middle East. Al-Mohaimeed was presented with an award by Diwan al Arab magazine and the Egyptian Journalists Union in recognition of his creative contribution to Arab culture in 2004.
Catherine Millet is the author of the memoir The Sexual Life of Catherine M. She is also an art critic, curator, and the founder and editor of modern art magazine Art Press. She published Dali et Moi in 2005. The English translation is to be published by Scheidegger & Spiess.
Antonio Muñoz Molina was born in Spain. He is the author of 13 novels, among them Sepharad, the English translation of which won the 2004 PEN/Book-of-the-Month Club Translation Prize. His other novels include Beatus Ille, El Jinete Polaco, Prince of Shadows, and Winter in Lisbon. His most recent book is an evocation of New York City entitled Ventanas de Manhattan. He has twice been awarded Spain's Premio Nacional de Literatura.
Annie Proulx did not start writing until her late 50s. Since then she has received many literary awards, including the PEN-Faulkner Award, the Dos Passos Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award and the Irish Times International Prize for her novels and short stories. A new collection of short stories, Fine Just the Way It Is, will be published in 2008.
Olivier Rolin was born in Boulogne-Billancourt, France, and spent his childhood in Senegal. Rolin has published works in fiction and non-fiction and wrote for the French daily Liberation and the weekly Nouvel Observateur. He is an editor for the French publisher Le Seuil and for the magazine Le Meilleur des mondes. His work is filled with references to May 1968 and the proletarian left while his many travels around the world make up the core of his non-fiction work. Rolin won the literay prize Prix Femina for his book Port-Soudan and Tigre en papier was nominated for the 2003 Goncourt prize.
Paul Holdengräber is the Director of Public Programs now known as "LIVE from the NYPL" for The Research Libraries of The New York Public Library.