PEN takes Free the Word! global

<p>Writers association International PEN is taking its Free the Word! festival global this year, after a successful launch in London last year.</p><p>Starting on 23rd October in Linz, Austria, and then moving onto such cities as Guadalajara in November and Dakar in December, the literary festival will &quot;evolve into a truly international&quot; event, the organisers said.&nbsp;</p><p>Each of the cities will take on a unifying theme - for 2009/10, it is &quot;Words, words, nothing but words?&quot;, taken from Shakespeare&rsquo;s <em>Troilus and Cressida</em>. International PEN said this embodied the organisation&#39;s &quot;very essence&quot; and the &quot;belief that the value and exchange of words gives insights into other worlds through shared stories and experiences&quot;. </p><p>This month, International PEN is also launching a Free the Word! World Book Club in association with Temple Translations. This is designed to give readers across the globe the chance to access and interact with literature and voices that they might not otherwise hear. <br /><br />Bangladesh-born author Tahmima Anam will be the first writer featured in the club with her novel <em>The Golden Age</em>, a fictionalised account of the Bangladesh War of Independence as told through the eyes of ex-freedom fighters, military officers, students and survivors of the 1971 war.</p><p>Commentaries and readers&rsquo; guides will be available in English, French and Spanish and a new book with be introduced every month.<br /><br /></p>