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Byron Shire
April 21, 2021

Jennifer Clement: press freedom and Gun Love

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Jennifer Clement will join Peter Greste and Behrouz Boochani discussing press freedoms in Writers at Risk.

Jennifer Clement is one the highlight international guests appearing at Byron Writers Festival in August.

The award-winning author of Prayers for the Stolen and The Widow Basquiat is also a poet, celebrated non-fiction writer. Jennifer Clement is also the first female president of PEN International, a worldwide association of writers who act as a powerful voice on behalf of writers harassed, imprisoned and sometimes killed for their views.

Writers at Risk

Jennifer Clement will be discussing Writers at Risk in a special evening event at Elements of Byron on Friday 2 August with celebrated Australian foreign correspondent Peter Greste, incarcerated prize-winning writer Behrouz Boochani (live-streamed from Manus Island) and his collaborator and translator Omid Tofighian.

In light of the recent Australian Federal Police raids on media this will be a pivotal discussion of the challenges to and seminal importance of press freedom.

Jennifer Clement will also appear in the main Festival program in conversation with The Saturday Paper editor Erik Jensen, discuss the Power of Poetry with Tony Birch and Tishani Doshi and Family Saga with Min Jin Lee and Markus Zusak.

Gun Love

Jennifer Clement’s latest novel Gun Love is a searing, unforgettable story of a young girl’s resilience. It tells the story of Pearl, whose mother took her away from her family just weeks after she was born and drove off to central Florida determined to begin a new life for herself and her daughter – in the parking lot next to a trailer park.

Pearl grew up in the front seat of their ’94 Mercury, while her mother lived in the back. Despite their hardships, mother and daughter both adjusted to life, making friends with the residents of the trailers and creating a deep connection to each other.

All around them, Florida is populated with gun owners – those hunting alligators for sport, those who want to protect their families, and those who create a sense of danger.

Clement’s Gun Love is the story of a tough but optimistic young woman growing up in contemporary America, in the midst of its harrowing love affair with firearms.


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