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In The Ordeal of the African Writer, Charles R. Larson, a professor of literature at American University, writes, “[B]ecoming a writer in Africa involves overcoming challenges and negotiating pitfalls rarely encountered by writers in the West.” Censorship. Imprisonment. Exile. “And yet, many western writers are unaware of the problems faced by writers in Africa (and in many parts of the so-called Third World).” At Imaginary Homelandsan event sponsored by the PEN/Faulkner Foundation and named after a collection of essays by Salman RushdieLarson and others will read from several international authors whose writing careers crashed up against such obstacles. Selections will include pieces by Tahar Djaout of Algeria, Amit Chaudhuri of India, and Amos Tutuola of Nigeria. Azar Nafisian Iranian writer who was once forced to resign from the University of Tehran for refusing to wear a government-mandated veilwill read from her own work in person. The program begins at 7 p.m. at Politics and Prose, 5105 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 364-1919. (Felix Gillette)