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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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Showing KWLS Audio Archives from: mr

KP-08-9

Kristen-Paige Madonia

Kristen-Paige Madonia was the recipient of our inaugural Marianne Russo Scholarship, and will be a Writer in Residence at The Studios of Key West this October. In this recording from 2008, she reads her short story, “Cheap Red Meat,” originally published in Pearl. Every other Tuesday I b...

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Valerie Martin

Valerie Martin is the author of three collections of short fiction, including The Unfinished Novel and Other Stories; several novels, including Tresspass and Mary Reilly, which was made into a movie with Julia Roberts and John Malkovich; and a nonfiction work about St. Francis of Assisi. In this rec...

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Ian McEwan

As the epic film adaptation of Ian McEwan’s novel Atonement opens to generally glowing reviews, we look back to McEwan’s reading from his then-unpublished novella, On Chesil Beach, at the 2007 Seminar. From KWLS 2007: Wondrous Strange This recording is available for noncommercial and edu...

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Vestal McIntyre

Vestal McIntyre read at the 2008 Seminar from his collection of short stories, “You Are Not The One”. In “ONJ.com” a woman is delighted with her new sophisticated and witty gay friend, but during a night of progressive party-crashing it becomes clear that he is not as wonderf...

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Daniel Menaker

In a seminar devoted to New Voices, an interesting perspective was that belonging to Daniel Menaker, who for many years was a fiction editor at The New Yorker. His job was to find those new voices. He spoke warmly and knowledgeably about the challenge for fiction writers: “You must create an a...

James Merrill

James Merrill

This 1993 reading in tribute to Elizabeth Bishop reveals James Merrill’s significant gifts as a reader and interpreter of Bishop’s work, and suggests the depths of the influence he felt from the poet who “set standards for me as no other contemporary did.”

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China Miéville

British novelist China Miéville is a 3-time winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award, given to the best science-fiction novel published in the U.K. Here he explores genre, 'the elephant in the room,' argues for its embrace as a useful taxonomy, and urges writers to aspire to the 'swagger' of hip-hop ar...

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Nicole Mones

Nicole Mones is an acclaimed novelist whose works draw from her experiences in China, where she began a successful textile trading business in 1977. Her books, including A Cup of Light, Lost in Translation, and The Last Chinese Chef, frequently explore Chinese culture thro...

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Paul Muldoon

Paul Muldoon was born and raised in Northern Ireland and has lived in the United States since 1987. He is poetry editor for The New Yorker and the author of more than 10 collections of poems, including the 2002 Moy Sand and Gravel, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and the International Griffi...

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Manuel Muñoz

Elisabeth Scharlatt, publisher of Algonquin Books, and Manuel Muñoz, author of The Faith Healer of Olive Avenue, discuss the hurdles and biases Muñoz encountered along his way to publication. Muñoz’s roots in California’s Central Valley and his concern with voicing the stories of the ...

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Maggie Nelson

Maggie Nelson reads two long poems, “The Mute Story of November” and “The Halo Over the Hospital,” from her book Something Bright, Then Holes (Soft Skull Press, 2007). In a brief introduction, Nelson gives credit for the title of her book to Annie Dillard, whose essay “...

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Maggie Nelson

As KWLS Board Member Bob Richardson says in his introduction, Maggie Nelson is “intimately acquainted with the night”. Nelson reads from and discusses her books “Jane: A Murder” and “The Red Parts: A Memoir”. Both concern Jane, who was Nelson’s mother’...

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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...

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Molly O'Neill

Molly O'Neill is the former food columnist for The New York Times Magazine and was the host of the PBS series Great Food. She is the author, most recently, of One Big Table, a portrait of America and its cooks told through more 600 regional recipes; and the editor of the L...

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Meghan O'Rourke

Meghan O’Rourke is a poetry editor at The Paris Review, and a culture critic and advisory editor at Slate. This recording from our 2008 Seminar captures O’Rourke’s crisp and elegant reading of several poems from her first collection, Halflife (2007), including “Peep-Show,R...

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Joyce Carol Oates

Joyce Carol Oates is the author of more than 50 novels, as well as many volumes of short stories, poetry, and nonfiction. In this recording from the 2012 seminar, Oates reads “San Quentin,” a short story based on her experience teaching English at San Quentin State Prison in the spring of 2011.

Sharon-Olds

Sharon Olds

Sharon Olds reads a selection of poems from her body of work, including 1987′s “On the Subway,” “Animal Crackers,” “When I Left Her” (work in progress), “Stag’s Leap,” “Wooden Ode,” “When She Slept In,” and “A ...

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Sara Paretsky

Sara Paretsky weaves together contemporary social and political issues as they relate to mystery and crime fiction. She asks “What is the role of the writer?” while warning of the dangers of self-censorship and government surveillance; and she reminds us that fiction reveals essential truths abo...

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Robert Pinsky

Robert Pinsky is an acclaimed poet, translator, and essayist whom The New York Times has called “our finest living specimen of this sadly rare breed.” He has spoken of poetry as “one of the most fundamental pleasures a person can experience,” and as U.S. Poet Laureate from 19...

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Hannah Pittard

Hannah Pittard reads “The Year Helen Turned Forty-One,” at the 2008 Key West Literary Seminar: New Voices. It begins: The year Helen turned forty-one, she developed bronchitis and fell in love. He was tan, wore shorts in the winter, and had fantastically large calves. He rode a bicycle t...

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Julia Reed

Julia Reed is a contributing editor at Newsweek and a native of Greenville, Mississippi. In this rollicking talk from the 2011 Seminar, Reed discusses facets of Southern life including disproportionate rates of murder and churchgoing; Mississippi’s repeal of Prohibition, 33 years behind t...

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Phyllis Rose

Phyllis Rose explores our fascination with writers' lives, while uncovering the dueling impulses of biography and critical theory. 'Writing is done in private and involves a descent into the self,' she says. 'This struggle for truth and precision is so specialized, so private, so word-dependent, tha...

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Discussion: Rosenblatt & Trudeau

Garry Trudeau and Roger Rosenblatt had been travelling together for two days when they sat down to have their scheduled conversation at the 2005 Seminar, and Trudeau kicks it off by asserting that they’re all talked out. They weren’t. The consensus was that these two should start a talk ...

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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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