Jennifer Clement: Biography

Jennifer Clement

Jennifer Clement is an author and since 2015 she has served as the President of the organization PEN International. She is the first female president that the organization has had since it was founded nearly 100 years ago in 1921. Whilst working in this position, Clement focused most of her work on the kidnap and killing of journalists. This work into investigation of the violation of human rights has greatly influenced her work as a novelist.

Clement was born in 1960 in Connecticut, USA, but at she spent her childhood living in Mexico City after her family moved there in 1961. She grew up in Mexico, but returned to the United States to complete high school and to attend New York University where she studied English Literature and Anthropology.

Clement has written 3 novels in total: The Poison That Fascinates, A True Story Based On Lies and Prayers for the Stolen. For her third novel, Prayers for the Stolen, Clement received the Sara Curry Humanitarian Award after she spent 10 years researching and writing the novel. Although it is a fictional story, it is based on true accounts of the disappearances of Mexican girls. In 2012,it also won Clement the National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship for Literature.

Clement continues to live in Mexico City and to contribute heavily to the Mexican literary community. She and her sister together founded The San Miguel Poetry Week which takes place each year in San Miguel de Allende. She still serves as the festival’s director.