PEN America to Sue Donald Trump for Restricting Freedom of Speech

By October 18, 2018Authors, News, Political

Writers’ group PEN America, which consists of many well known writers and novelists, has filed a lawsuit in federal court in New York against President Donald Trump for ‘violations of America’s First Amendment’.

The group is attempting to “stop President Trump from using the machinery of government to retaliate or threaten reprisals against journalists and media outlets for coverage he dislikes”. The First Amendment of the US constitution protects freedom of speech and PEN aren’t the only group to voice concerns about how Trump has attempted to shut down journalism.



Novelist Jennifer Egan is the current president of PEN America, she and the organisation’s chief executive officer Suzanna Nossel have revealed the lawsuit in an open letter posted on the PEN America website.

The letter addresses Trump’s record both towards press journalism and book publishing saying “President Trump’s tirades against the press are not new. His cries of ‘fake news’ are an almost daily occurrence. The White House has called for individual journalists to be fired, and the president has referred to the media as ‘the enemy of the American people.’ This has created an environment of hostility toward the media wherein journalists have been subject to death threats, needed bodyguards to cover political rallies, and have faced attacks in their newsrooms. The president has also threatened book publishers and authors who have published critical volumes. ”

They believe that this causes an environment of hostility towards the media, causing journalists to be subject to death threats and fears about writing the truth, something PEN say is a direct threat to the First Amendment. The President has also threatened book publishers and authors who have published critical volumes and spoken out against his policies. A consequence of this may be that individual writers may think twice about publishing pieces or commentary that could put them at odds of the White House.

The lawsuit has been filed in conjunction with nonpartisan nonprofit organisation Protect Democracy and the Yale Law School Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic. At the time of writing, Trump had not responded to the suit.

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By | Authors, Children's Literature | No Comments
Jeff Kinney is one of the world’s most successful children’s authors of all time and his Diary of a Wimpy Kid books have sold over 200 million copies. The author has met three presidents and has even attracted the attention of the Pope after his books were translated into Latin. In an interview with the BBC, Kinney discusses the popularity of his books, and his efforts to get kids away from screens.

The first Diary of a Wimpy Kid book made its debut in 2004 and has since evolved into a series that now spans 13 books which are available across 140 countries. The cartoon artwork and handwritten font follows a middle-scholar named Greg and his best friend Rowley. The books follow their adventures whilst also aiming to encourage young children, particularly boys, to read.
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This week the tragic news of William Goldman’s death reached us, author of the Princess Bride among many other screenplays, adaptations, and novels. We paid tribute to Goldman in this piece and now the literary world has spoken out about the writer’s death.

Across social media well known names spoke out about Goldman, their relationship with him and the ways in which he touched their lives.
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By | Authors, New Releases | No Comments
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Released November 2018, Michelle Obama’s memoir follows her life “from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address,” her publisher has said.

Oprah has chosen Michelle’s memoirs for her honesty and vulnerability- naming it the perfect read this year to gain an insight into what it was really like being the ‘first Black First family’.

See Oprah and Michelle chatting about the new release here, and don’t forget to order your copy of Mrs Obama’s memoirs below!

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By | Authors, Political | No Comments
Irvine Welsh, author of Trainspotting and many other gritty Scottish tomes is a regular on Twitter and can often be found wading in on the issues of the day.

The Scottish author and social commenter has made no secret of the fact that he thinks Brexit sucks and after government discussions, resignations and the possibility of a Brexit deal this week he’s made his feelings on the matter well known.
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