William Deresiewicz

The PEN World Voices Festival starts in New York tonight with an event titled “Written on Water,” held at the Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers, and featuring a full line-up of international literary luminaries. The festival continues with events throughout the city all week.

The annual Book Expo America conference is gearing up for a return to New York’s Javits Center on May 21. Publishers Weekly offers a preview, including a look at some of the important titles that will be highlighted at the expo, and the best places to eat.

William Deresiewicz, a critic and the author of the forthcoming book, A Jane Austen Education, has a new blog at the American Scholar. His first post is an ode to what he calls the “true church”: Alcoholics Anonymous.

Martin Amis writes a tribute to his old friend, the ailing Christopher Hitchens, focusing on Hitch’s genius as a public speaker, and recalling some of his most memorable lines. Amis says of Hitchens: “What we love is fertile instability; what we love is the agitation of the unexpected. And Christopher always comes, as they say, from left field. He is not a plain speaker. He is not, I repeat, a plain man.”

Tonight St. Mark’s Bookshop is hosting a reading with three of literature’s most innovative contemporary authors: Lynne Tillman, Tom McCarthy, and Deb Olin Unferth.