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Jennifer Clement

Jennifer Clement
Jennifer Clement

(USA, 1960) grew up in Mexico City and is President of PEN International. She is the author of three novels: Prayers for the Stolen, A True Story Based on Lies and The Poison That Fascinates. Prayers for the Stolen was a New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice Book, a PEN/Faulkner Award finalist, winner of the Grand Prix des Lectrices Lycéenes de ELLE 2015 and the Sara Curry Humanitarian Award. The novel appeared internationally on many "Best Books of the Year" lists, including in The Irish Times. She has also published four books of poetry including The Next Stranger (with an introduction by W.S. Merwin). Clement wrote the acclaimed memoir Widow Basquiat on New York City in the early 1980s and the painter Jean-Michel Basquiat. She has received an NEA Fellowship and is a member of Mexico's prestigious "Sistema Nacional de Creadores".

(GR WU 15)

Archive available for: Jennifer Clement

  • Winternachten 2018

    Opening Night - Free the Word!

    With: Boi Akih, Eelco Bosch van Rosenthal, Eskinder Nega, Farah Karimi, Jennifer Clement, Joost Baars, Margot Dijkgraaf, Milagros Socorro, Mohsin Hamid, Pauline Krikke, Ton van de Langkruis

    On the Opening Night of the Winternachten festival 2018 the focus is on freedom of speech.

    Pauline Krikke, Mayor of The Hague, opens the festival followed by a word of welcome by Ton van de Langkruis, Director of Winternachten festival. Jennifer Clement, writer and President of PEN International introduces Pakistani author Mohsin Hamid. His novel Exit West was nominated for the Man Booker Prize 2017. On the occasion of the Opening Night, Hamid delivers the Free the Word! speech.

    The prestigious Oxfam Novib PEN Awards, presented to the winners by Oxfam Novib director Farah Karimi, honour writers who currently risk their freedom and even their lives to seek out and publish the truth.

    The winners of the Oxfam Novib PEN Awards 2018 are journalist and writer Milagros Socorro from Venezuela and journalist Eskinder Nega from Ethiopia. Nega is imprisoned in his homeland and is therefore not attending to receive his Award.

    The award ceremony is followed by an introduction of the award winners during the PEN Conversation by journalist and Nieuwsuur-anchor Eelco Bosch van Rosenthal.

    The Opening Night programme further contains performances by Boi Akih (world jazz) and Joost Baars (poetry). The programme is hosted by Margot Dijkgraaf, literary critic who regularly publishes in Dutch national newspaper NRC, and Chair of the Board of the Writers Unlimited organisation.

    The Opening Night is organized in collaboration with Oxfam Novib, PEN International and PEN Nederland.

  • Winternachten 2017

    Opening Night: Free the Word!

    With: Anass Habib, Celal Altuntas, Farah Karimi, Ian Buruma, Jennifer Clement, Kamal Hors, Lex Bohlmeijer, Malini Subramaniam, Michaïl Sjisjkin, Peter Abspoel, Sjoerd de Jong, Ton van de Langkruis, Vonne van der Meer

    On the festival's Opening Night, the focus is on freedom of speech. The evening started with Mikhail Shishkin, one of the most prominent representatives of contemporary Russian literature, delivering the Free the Word! speech. Next, the Oxfam Novib PEN Awards were handed out. The debate ''Writing in times of super-diversity' with writers Ian Buruma, Celal Altuntas and Peter Abspoel closed the evening.

    The Opening Night is an English spoken programme organized in collaboration with Oxfam Novib, PEN International and PEN Nederland.

    Free the Word!-speech by Mikhail Shishkin
    Shishkin is the author of four widely acclaimed novels – Pismovnik (2010), Maidenhair (2005), Taking of Izmail (2000) and Larionov´s Memoirs (1994), Shishkin is admired as a refined stylist whose fiction engages Russian and European literary traditions and forges an equally expansive vision for the future of literature. Shishkin has worked as a teacher and journalist. His novels have earned him the three most prestigious Russian literary awards: the Russian Booker Prize in 2000, the National Bestseller Prize in 2005, and the Bolshaya Kniga (Big Book) Prize in 2006 and 2011. His works have been translated into thirty languages.

    Oxfam Novib PEN Awards
    Afterward, the presentation of the prestigious Oxfam Novib PEN Awards honoured today's writers who risk their freedom and even their lives to seek out and publish the truth. The winners were be announced: the Palestine poetr Ashraf Fayadh, who is imprisoned in Saudi Arabia, and the Indian journalist Malini Subramaniam. The latter was able to come over to The Hague to receive the award from Farah Karimi, director of Oxfam Novib.

    Debate with Ian Buruma, Celal Altuntas and Peter Abspoel
    The debate 'Writing in times of super-diversity' followed, featuring writer and essayist Ian Buruma (New York Times, Guardian, NRC), writer Celal Altuntas (a.o. Het dorp van zeven broers / The Village of Seven Brothers) and anthropologist/writer Peter Abspoel (a.o. Zingeving in het Westen / Giving meaning in the West) as well as moderator Sjoerd de Jong, journalist and ombudsman with NRC Handelsblad newspaper. The subject was "Writing in times of super-diversity."

    Host and music
    This program was presented by Lex Bohlmeijer, with musical accompaniment by Kamal Hors (oud, voice) and Anass Habib (deff, voice).

  • Winternachten 2016

    Opening Night: Free the Word!

    With: Alaa al Aswani, Dick van der Harst, Dilek Dundar, Farah Karimi, Guy Danel, Habtom Yohannes, Jennifer Clement, Jung Chang, Lex Bohlmeijer, Manon Uphoff, Reinier Voet, Renate Dorrestein, Toine Heijmans, Ton van de Langkruis

    On opening night, the spotlight is on freedom of speech.The Sino-British writer Jung Chang knows what it means to be unable to speak freely in one's country. Years after she left Communist China, her world-famous book Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China was banned there. Tonight she delivers the Free the Word! keynote speech. With the following presentation of the prestigious Oxfam Novib PEN Awards, the festival honours contemporary authors who seek and propagate truth at the risk of their freedom and lives. The award-winners are the Turkish writer and journalist Can Dundar (who is now in prison in Turkey and will be represented by his wife Dilek Dundar), the Eritrean poet and songwriter Amanuel Asrat, who will be represented by Habtom Yohannes, and the Egyptian poet Omar Hazek. He would have been present in The Hague to receive the award, but was stopped on his way to The Netherlands at Cairo airport by the authorities. His fellow-countryman writer Alaa Al Aswany will represent him. After the ceremony, Lex Bohlmeijer will lead a discussion on how good intentions can founder when we raise issues of injustice, such as censorship. How can we really help threatened writers? And what is the point of good intentions when they have the opposite effect? Musical interventions by musician-in-residence Dick van der Harst switch up this English-language event.

  • Winternachten 2015 – FRIDAY NIGHT UNLIMITED

    The Text of My Life: Jennifer Clement

    In the Filmhuis Studio the festival's guest writers present their favourite literary texts and explain why a particular poem, novel excerpt, or song lyric influenced their life and work. Which memory, what feeling does this text call up for them? A continuous interview programme, in which the audience also talks with the writers. Hosted by Arjan Peters and Nuweira Youskine. In English.

  • Winternachten 2015 – SATURDAY NIGHT UNLIMITED

    Poets in the House

    Saturday Night Unlimited ends on a festive note with poetic presentations by writers who not only produce wonderful prose but also have a poet's heart beating within. Come listen to David Grossman's reading from Falling Out of Time, and to poems by Nii Ayikwei Parkes, Jennifer Clement, and Stefan Hertmans. With improvisations on cello by Ernst Reijseger. In Dutch and English.

  • Winternachten 2015 – FRIDAY NIGHT UNLIMITED

    Home Is Where the Hell Is

    "I deem it the duty of the writer to pick at sore spots, to find a new way, in language the reader has not yet learned how to block out, to describe how complicated the situation is," says well-known Israeli writer David Grossman. He prefers to look at the violent world of grown-ups through the eyes of a child. Jennifer Clement and Maaza Mengiste also write from the children's perspective about growing up in a violence-ravaged environment. Maaza wrote about the Egyptian revolution in De leeuw en de keizer (Beneath the Lion's Gaze); in her poetic Prayer for the Stolen, Clement described how deeply the drug drade interferes with the lives of young girls. Manon Uphoff moderates a conversation with these authors. In English.