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PEN writers to protest imprisonment of Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo

December 31, 2009 |  6:10 am

Edwardalbee

Major writers will gather in New York this morning to call for the release of  Chinese writer and dissident Liu Xiaobo. On Christmas Day, Liu Xiaobo was sentenced to 11 years in prison last week for his part in creating a document calling for greater freedoms in China.

Playwright Edward Albee, above, E.L. Doctorow, Don Delillo, Honor Moore, A.M. Holmes and PEN president Kwame Anthony Appiah are among those expected to appear on the steps of the New York  Public Library at 11 a.m. PEN, an organization focused on freedom to write around the world, hopes that the media will show up for these literary luminaries in an effort to draw attention to Liu Xiaobo's case.

Although he had been detained for months, his trial was scheduled for Dec. 23 with little notice, and his sentencing was issued Dec. 25. Because Liu Xiaobo was sentenced on Christmas Day, his case has not received the attention it might have if many in the West had not been on holiday.

As for whether authors on the steps of the New York Public Library will direct the international spotlight to Liu Xiaobo's predicament -- well, tune in later today.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Playwright Edward Albee in his Manhattan home in 2009. Credit: Jennifer S. Altman / For The Times

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