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Care and Cherish Your Gift

Interview with Joanne Leedom-Ackerman and Eugene Schoulgin

By Ginevra Avalle

Oxford, 19th March 2019

Joanne Leedom-Ackerman is an American novelist, short story writer and journalist whose fiction includes the regional bestseller The Dark Path to the River, and the short story collection No Marble Angels. She is a Vice President Emeritus of PEN International and has served as the International Secretary of PEN International and chair of PEN International’s Writers in Prison Committee. She is the author of PEN Journey: Memoir of Literature on the Line.

Eugene Schoulgin is a Norwegian writer and scholar. He is the son of the painter Alexander Schultz, and grew up in Norway, Italy and France. He has studied Classical Archaeology and History of Art at the Universities of Uppsala and Stockholm. He has long been working actively for PEN International for the release of imprisoned writers all over the world. He became a member of Swedish PEN in 1992. Since 1994, Eugene has divided his time between writing and working for the Writers in Prison Committee of PEN International which he chaired from 2000 to 2004.  From 2004 until 2006, he was a member of the Board of PEN International, and between 2006 and 2010 he served as International Secretary. In 2010 he became a Vice-President.

In this interview, Joanne Leedom-Ackerman and Eugene Schoulgin are asked to share a message with the new generation of writers about the importance of literature and the role of PEN in the next 100 years.