Achy Obejas

writer & translator

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Chicago Humanities Festival – November 8

Tickets available here.

In her native Dominican Republic, Rita Indiana is known as La Montra or the monster for her accomplishments as a writer, musician, and theater artist. Most recently she’s been a vocal critic of the country where she was born for its treatment of Haitian immigrants. Writer and critic Achy Obejas, who translated Indiana’s novel Papi, will discuss Indiana’s work and her Caribbean and queer identity. The program will begin with Crossing Paths, a multimedia bilingual performance by first generation immigrant youth.

This bilingual program will offer simultaneous interpretation into Spanish.

This program is generously underwritten by The Chicago Community Trust and is presented in partnership with Cultura in Pilsen, contratiempo, and the Chicago Latino Writers Initiative.

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The PEN Ten with Achy Obejas

Natalie Diaz asks Achy the PEN Ten here!

Obsessions are influences—what are yours?

I go through phases. In reading, I had a really intense Gertrude Stein phase, then a Reinaldo Arenas phase, a Mercè Rodoreda phase, and a Michael Ondaatje phase and on and on. I’m currently on a Herta Müller kick. And I get obsessed about places: Berlin, New York City. When I lived in Chicago, it was Chicago. Then it was Havana. Right now it’s North Korea. And there’s also food, of course, but those are perversely personal obsessions. I’m always convinced they reveal more than just my palette preferences

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