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Marilynne Robinson

Marilynne Robinson

Pulitzer Prize-winner Marilynne Robinson delivers a lecture on the notion of grace, “a word without synonyms, a concept without paraphrase.” From the current state of the publishing industry to her work in academia, Robinson presents a series of thought-provoking contrasts and illuminations.

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Showing KWLS Audio Archives from: Shuffle

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Ann Beattie

Ann Beattie is the Edgar Allan Poe Chair of the University of Virginia’s Department of English and Creative Writing. A short story writer and a novelist, she has received critical acclaim for her body of work and has been called “one of our era’s most vital masters of the short for...

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Kay Ryan

Kay Ryan was the sixteenth United States Poet Laureate, from 2008-2010. Her work has drawn comparisons to Emily Dickinson, Marianne Moore, and Elizabeth Bishop, and like these poets, Ryan’s masterfully concise poems fuse acute observation of the physical world with equally sharp introspection;...

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Panel: Nelson, Nguyen, Ryan, & White

Edmund White, Maggie Nelson, Bich Minh Nguyen, and Patrick Ryan discuss ‘newness’ in authorial voice, using Harold Bloom's idea of ‘the anxiety of influence’ as a starting point. Nguyen's theory of ‘the Asian once-over,’ Ryan's ‘Impostor Syndrome’ and Nelson's notion of "intoxicating...

Colson Whitehead at the Key West Literary Seminar

Colson Whitehead

Colson Whitehead is the acclaimed author of five books, including Zone One, a wry take on the post-apocalyptic horror novel in which zombies wander Manhattan. In this humorous talk from the 2012 seminar, Whitehead recalls early influences including Stephen King and Donna Summer, and his asp...

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Silas House

Silas House reads from his in-progress novel, Yvonna Darling, “about a woman who kidnaps her own child after custody is unfairly taken away from her.” Ominously full of the slow summer sounds of cicadas, willow trees, and the song of a whippoorwill, this desperate passage is brought to v...

Uzodinma Iweala

Uzodinma Iweala

Uzodinma Iweala reads from his critically acclaimed debut novel Beasts of No Nation, which tells the story of Agu, a child soldier fighting in a civil war in an unnamed west African country. In this section we are introduced to Agu, his friend Strika, Luftenant, and Commandante, as Agu kills for the...

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Conversation: Auster & Hustvedt

Paul Auster and Siri Hustvedt spoke in a conversation guided by Mary Morris. From KWLS 2007: Wondrous Strange This recording is available for noncommercial and educational use only. All rights belong to the author. © 2007 Paul Auster and Siri Hustvedt. Used with permission from Paul Auster and Siri...

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Samantha Hunt

Samantha Hunt is the author of The Invention of Everything Else, which has been shortlisted for the 2009 Orange Prize for Fiction. In this recording from the 2009 Key West Literary Seminar, Hunt discusses the subject of her historical novel, Serbian inventor Nikola Tesla, whose revolutionary inventi...

James Tate

James Tate

James Tate, half stand-up comic, half great American poet, reads a selection from his work, including “Of Whom Am I Afraid,” “A Sound Like Distant Thunder,” “The Animists,” “The Rally,” “Silver Queen,” “The Rules,” and “Th...

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Panel: Atwood, Gleick, Miéville, Oates

Acclaimed science and technology writer James Gleick leads Year of the Flood author Margaret Atwood, British novelist China Miéville, and American writer Joyce Carol Oates in a discussion of the tensions between the real and the unreal inherent in writing and reading works of fiction.

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Tina Chang

Tina Chang is the author of Half-Lit Houses and the co-editor of Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia and Beyond. The New York native was appointed poet laureate of Brooklyn in 2010, and has previously earned honors including an award from the Academy of America...

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Janna Levin

Pulitzer finalist James Gleick and theoretical physicist-cum-novelist Janna Levin discuss the tensions between science and art evidenced by her novel, A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines. Why stray from the “facts,” Gleick wonders, in telling a story of Alan Turing and Kurt Gödel, two of...

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