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Banville-KWLS-2014-140

John Banville & Benjamin Black

“We have this illusion that we are unitary beings. We have the notion that there is a pilot light inside us that is one’s self. I don’t believe this is the case. We’re a collection of poses, of attitudes, of versions of ourselves. We make ourselves up as we go along. This is what makes life interesting.”

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Forrest Gander

Forrest Gander is the author of several collections of poetry, essays, and the novel As a Friend, published by New Directions in 2008. He has translated the works of several Latin American poets including Coral Bracho and Pura Lopez-Colome, and is the editor and co-translator with Kent Johnson of tw...

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Francisco Goldman

Novelist Francisco Goldman talks about José Martí, a seminal figure in the birth of the Cuban nation. The talk focuses on Martí’s years in exile in New York (1878-1895), where he worked as a journalist, and later organized and raised funds for the revolutionary force which would eventually ...

Adam Gopnik

Adam Gopnik

Adam Gopnik is an award-winning American journalist best-known for his work at The New Yorker. The former art critic of the magazine, Gopnik's work encompasses an incredibly broad range of cultural topics and figures. In recent years he has often written about food, the subject of his newes...

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Allan Gurganus

Allan Gurganus is best known as the author of Oldest Living Confederate Widow Talls All, his 1984 debut novel that spent eight months on the bestsellers list of The New York Times and has been translated into at least 12 languages. Other books include Plays Well with Others and White People, which w...

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Matthea Harvey

Matthea Harvey is the author of three collections of poetry and is a contributing editor to jubilat and BOMB. Her 2007 collection, Modern Life, was a New York Times Notable Book, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and winner of the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. Weston Cutter, writ...

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Carl Hiaasen

In Florida, news tends toward the outlandish, Carl Hiaasen explains, and it’s difficult to write stories that don’t eventually come true. On this hilarious recording, Hiaasen recounts his favorite Florida news items, including the disappearance of legendary Key West Fire Chief Joseph “Bum” F...

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Jane Hirshfield

Jane Hirshfield was born in New York City and graduated from Princeton University in 1973. She studied Zen for nearly eight years at the San Francisco Zen Center, and has taught at UC Berkeley, Duke University, and Bennington College. She is the author of six books of poetry, as well as the influent...

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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...

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Panel: House, Jones, & Smith

Tayari Jones, Silas House, and Lee Smith in conversation about the Southern voice in writing. From the 2008 seminar: “New Voices.”

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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...

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Siri Hustvedt

On January 14th, 2007, Siri Hustvedt spoke on the topic of “A writer’s adventures in psychiatry and neuro-science.” It was a complex and bracing piece of writing and an intense talk. Hustvedt said afterwards that she was contemplating putting together a book of her essays on scienc...

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...

Uzodinma Iweala

Uzodinma Iweala

Uzodinma Iweala reads from a nonfiction work-in-progress about people living with HIV/AIDS in northern Nigeria. Set in and around a rural hospital in northern Nigeria, the excerpt focuses on a young man named Ifanye, and his struggle with “the something” with which he is infected. From 2...

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Pico Iyer

Iyer delivered the annual John Hersey Memorial Address that kicked off the 2006 Seminar on The Literature of Adventure, Travel, and Discovery. The talk, preserved on this recording and entitled "A New Kind of Travel for a New Kind of World: Stillness and Movement on a Fast-Turning Globe" is a dazzli...

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Judith Jones

Judith Jones has been an editor for more than 50 years at Alfred A. Knopf, and as such has been responsible for bringing some of the century’s great works of literature before the American public. She has been particularly influential as an editor of food writing. In this field, her books incl...

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William Kennedy

William Kennedy is best known for the novels of his Albany Cycle. A singular epic of that capital city and its Irish-American clans in the 19th and 20th centuries, the work has earned Kennedy comparisons to James Joyce and Saul Bellow. Among its novels are Billy Phelan’s Greatest Game (1979), ...

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Maxine Kumin

Maxine Kumin was born in 1925 and lives on a horse farm in rural New Hampshire. She has published sixteen collections of poetry as well as numerous books for children, four of which were co-written with the poet Anne Sexton. Kumin won the 1973 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for Up Country, and served as ...

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Megan Abbott, Gillian Flynn, Laura Lippman

Laura Lippman, Megan Abbott, and Gillian Flynn discuss how novels and films featuring women protagonists are presented in popular culture and perceived by audiences. “Things that make men cry are considered profound,” remarks Lippman. “Things that make women cry are considered sentimental.”

Jonathan Lethem

Jonathan Lethem

Jonathan Lethem’s novels include Motherless Brooklyn and Chronic City and he is an authority on the works of sci-fi legend Philip K. Dick. At the 2012 seminar, he presented ‘The True and the Real,’ a ‘plate-spinning act’ exploring such disparate figures as writer Samuel D...

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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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David Levering Lewis

David Levering Lewis’s two-volume biography of W.E.B. Du Bois, each of which won the Pulitzer Prize, is the definitive work on the life and thought of a complex American intellectual. In this lecture from the 2009 Key West Literary Seminar, Lewis examines Du Bois’s largely-forgotten work...

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