Lucy Popescu

freedom to write, review, travel…

About Lucy

Launch LucyLucy Popescu is a writer, editor and arts critic with a background in human rights. She worked with the English Centre of PEN, the international association of writers, for over 20 years and was Director of its Writers in Prison Committee from 1991 to 2006. Her anthology, A Country to Call Home , focusing on the experiences of young refugees, was published by Unbound in June 2018. She also compiled and edited A Country of Refuge (2016), a collection of writing on refugees and asylum seekers by some of Britain and Ireland’s finest writers. Lucy is a volunteer writing mentor for Write to Life, the creative writing group at Freedom from Torture. She edited refugee writer Jade Jackson’s collection Moving a Country and the Write to Life anthology, Body MapsThe Good Tourist, her book about human rights and ethical travel, was published by Arcadia Books. She co-edited the PEN anthology Another Sky (Profile Books)  featuring the work of writers that PEN has helped over the last 40 years.  She was Granada’s youngest published author in 1982 with Pony Holiday Book.  Lucy reviews books, theatre and film and contributes to various publications including The Independent, Independent on Sunday, The Financial Times, TLS, The Literary Review, New Humanist and Huffington Post. She has a particular interest in literary fiction in translation and free expression. She sat on the Spanish New Books Panel in 2013 and the 2016 judging panel for The Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation. She is the chair of the Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award. Lucy currently teaches creative writing at the Working Men’s College in Camden, curates literary evenings at Waterstones and is a Trustee of the JMK Award for Theatre Directors.

REFUGE_FINALA Country of Refuge: 

‘A beautiful insight into the painful individuality of the refugee’ Jon Snow

‘A powerful, and frequently harrowing, collection… I read it with fascination’ Penelope Lively

‘full of powerful writing’  TLS


The Good Tourist: An Ethical Traveller’s Guide

‘The Good Tourist is a fascinating, timely and important book, you will never travel in the same way again’ William Boyd

‘The Good Tourist reminds us that it’s the responsibility of all travellers to be aware of how our fellow human beings are treated – at home or abroad. And, as Lucy Popescu makes clear, if they’re treated badly we shouldn’t keep quiet about it. Her timely and realistic conclusion is that if you want to see the world as it really is, then leave the rose-tinted spectacles at home’ Michael Palin

41bsOYt7xmL._SX315_BO1,204,203,200_Another Sky: Voices of Conscience from Around the World

PEN acts as the voice and conscience of everyone who cares about literature. In telling their stories, the incredible writers in this collection uncover some of the world as darker corners. This extraordinary book shows us once again why literature matters.’ Antonia Fraser

I defy readers not to be profoundly moved by this splendid anthology. But I have no doubt they will also be stirred by the extraordinary courage of all these writers to triumph over injustice and cruelty. This book is an inspiration. Ronald Harwood

Engrossing. Reza Baraheni’s piece is simply electric and others, such as Ken Saro-Wiwa’s letters, deeply moving. More than anything the collection stands as a testament of courage and a clarion call to recognize free expression for what it really is — a basic human right. Monica Ali

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