Ayad Akhtar named new PEN American president

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NEW YORK (AP) — Playwright-novelist Ayad Akhtar has been named the new president of PEN America, the human rights and literary organization.

Akhtar, who assumes the presidency Dec. 2, succeeds novelist Jennifer Egan.

“PEN America has its work cut out for it in an era when the quest for truth is challenged as never before,” Akhtar said in a statement Tuesday. “PEN America has become a powerful bulwark standing for the power of literature to reveal truths and bridge divides, an essential force amid today’s overlapping crises.”

Akhtar, who turns 50 next month, is known for such plays as “Junk” and the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Disgraced.” His novel “Homeland Elegies” comes out next week.

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