Jennifer Clement

Jennifer Clement

Jennifer Clement is President Emerita of PEN International and the only woman to hold the office of President (2015-2021) since the organization was founded in 1921. Under her leadership the groundbreaking PEN International Women’s Manifesto and The Democracy of the Imagination Manifesto were created.

Clement is the author the novels A True Story Based on Lies, The Poison That Fascinates, Prayers for the Stolen and Gun Love as well as several poetry books.  Clement also wrote the acclaimed memoir Widow Basquiat on New York City in the early 1980’s and the painter Jean-Michel Basquiat.  

Clement is the recipient of many awards including the Canongate Prize, the Gran Prix des Lectrices Lyceenes de ELLE in France, a Guggenheim Fellowship, an NEA Fellowship and her books have twice been a New York Times Editor’s Choice Book.  Prayers for the Stolen was both a PEN/Faulkner Prize and Femina Prize finalist and a New Statesman Book of the Year, selected by Nobel Laureate Kazuo Ishiguro.

Her recent novel Gun Love was an Oprah Book Club Selection as well as being a National Book Award, Aspen Words Literary Prize finalist, and a New York Times Editor’s Choice Book.  Time magazine, among other publications, named it one of the top 10 books of 2018. Clement’s books have been translated into more than 35 languages.

With regards to her work in human rights, Clement is the recipient of a HIPGiver Honor, which is given to Hispanics who have made exceptional contributions to their communities, and the Sara Curry Humanitarian Award.

Prayers for the Stolen has been made into a movie directed by Tatiana Huezo and is Mexico’s Oscar selection for 2022 and Julie Taymor is the director and producer of the movie on the novel Gun Love.