Original article published in NPR Topics: Books.
The protest over a free speech award to Charlie Hebdo continues to grow.
Earlier this week, six authors withdrew from the PEN American Center’s annual gala in response to the organization’s decision to give the French satirical magazine its Freedom of Expression Courage Award.
Former PEN American President Francine Prose was one of the original six. She tells NPR that as of Thursday afternoon, she’s been joined by nearly 150 other writers — such as Junot Díaz, Lorrie Moore and Rick Moody — who’ve signed on to an open letter critical of the decision.
“It is clear and inarguable that the murder of a dozen people in the Charlie Hebdo offices is sickening and tragic,” the letter reads. “What is neither clear nor inarguable is the decision to confer an award for courageous freedom of expression on Charlie Hebdo, or what criteria, exactly, were used to make that decision.”