In many places in the world, being a fiction writer can be a pretty dangerous job. Writing about certain topics can get you jailed, harassed or even killed. For many, the only solution is to leave home.


For a handful of dissident writers from all over the world, a colorful block in Pittsburgh has become home. Known as the “City of Asylum,” the block is lined with once-blighted houses that are provided to persecuted writers rent-free by a local non-profit. The project’s residents include exiled writers from China, Burma, El Salvador, and one writer from Venezuela who was harassed after writing a novel about an assassination attempt on the president.


Reporter Erika Beras brings us the writers’ stories.


Photo courtesy of Erika Beras


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