PEN America to Sue Donald Trump for Restricting Freedom of Speech - For Reading Addicts

PEN America to Sue Donald Trump for Restricting Freedom of Speech

By October 18, 2018 Authors, 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.

Amazon Refutes Claim That It’s to Blame for the Decline of Author Earnings

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A recent report from the Authors Guild concluded that Amazon’s dominance of the online book market is largely to blame for the “crisis of epic proportions” facing writers’ earnings in the US. The writers’ body report was published last week and stated that median income from writing fell to $6,080 in 2017, which is down 42% from 2009, and literary authors are affected the worst.

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AZA Universe: A New Generation of Superhero

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A new universe of superheroes is here thanks to a young entrepreneur from North Carolina, USA.

Jazmin Truesdale has been a proud nerd all her life, loving comic books, science fiction, and action movies, but always looking for some positive representation within those entertainment spheres. As one may imagine the worlds of graphic novels and comic books are very straight-white-male-centric, with shallow female characters. and few depictions of non-white women.

Jazmin, with her entrepreneurial mind and passion for cultural diversity, began creating characters she would want to read about and, with the help from an illustrator, her universe was born. It has not been an easy journey- finding an illustrator who knew how to draw Black women’s bodies was one particular hurdle to overcome, however Jazmin’s drive and focus ensured her goal became a reality.

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Author Sherrilyn Kenyon Accuses Husband of Attempting to Poison Her

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In a plot worthy of any good novel, ‘Dark Hunter’ author Sherrilyn Kenyon is suing her husband for allegedly poisoning her food for three years in an attempt to steal her life insurance.

The author, who has sold more than 70 million books during her career claims that her husband, Lawrence Kenyon was lacing her food with poison from 2014 until they split last year. She says the poison left her with clumps of hair falling out, crumbling teeth, tremors and back pain, all unexplained by doctors until tests showed unusually high levels of lithium in her blood.

She claims her husband was helped by his assistant Kerrie Ann Plump and her IT specialist Paco Cavanaugh to carry on the scheme and says that her husband laced her food while Cavanaugh siphoned hundreds of thousands off her bank accounts.

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Susan Sontag, Writer, Philosopher, Political Activist

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Susan Sontag (January 16th, 1933 – December 28th, 2004) was an American writer, philosopher and political activist known among readers for her essays and nonfiction works.

Born Susan Rosenblatt in New York City to Jewish parents of Lithuanian and Polish descent. When Susan was five years old her father died and several years later her mother married a US Army Captain, Nathan Sontag, giving Susan the name we remember her by. Despite being raised by Jewish parents, Sontag stated that she did not have a religious upbringing and was in her 20s before she entered a synagogue.

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The Private Lives of Authors: Theodor ‘Dr Seuss’ Geisel

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Theodor Geisel is best known as the master of zany characters and clever rhymes; the father of creations such as Fox in Socks, and The Cat in the Hat: Dr Seuss.

Before he created the writer-persona of Dr Seuss, Geisel was an artist of another kind. In his spare time he created sculptures of interesting and strange creatures, using parts of real animals. Of course it is not as grotesque as it sounds- the animal parts were given to Theodor after the animals died of natural causes. His father was the superintendent of parks in Massachusetts at the time when a young Geisel was working as a fledgling author and illustrator. When zoo and park animals crossed the rainbow bridge, Geisel’s father sent him the various animals’ parts to help him create some whacky characters.

Horns, antlers, beaks, and all sorts were used by Geisel to build some of the most fantastical animals that, unsurprisingly, look like they have jumped straight out of a Dr Seuss picture book.

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Writer Dana Schwartz has come up with a unique business model- Mysterious Funeral Goer.

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Fellow authors and humorists of Twitter, including our favourite Neil Gaiman, got involved to either take her up on the offer or to join the enterprise. A surprising amount of people were up for it, prompting Schwartz to promote her latest book in place of Venmo donations.

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