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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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Showing KWLS Audio Archives from: Shuffle

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Andrea Barrett

Andrea Barrett’s acclaimed novels and short-stories are marked by their investigation of scientific and historical themes. In this recording from the 2009 Key West Literary Seminar, Barrett explains how she began to write about science and history in the short story form after the disappointme...

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...

Robert Creeley

Robert Creeley

As part of a panel discussion in 2003, we asked Robert Creeley to read and comment upon one of his favorite poems. It was no surprise when he selected a poem by his great friend and comrade, Charles Olson. Creeley reads passages from his introduction to Olson’s Selected Poems, and reads the la...

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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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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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Wendy Wasserstein

Wendy Wasserstein was a Brooklyn-born playwright who achieved popular and critical acclaim on Broadway for works that chronicled the triumphs and travails of modern American women. Her plays included Uncommon Women and Others and The Heidi Chronicles, which won the Pulitzer Prize.

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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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 ...

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Joy Williams

Joy Williams is the influential author of dozens of short stories and essays, which are collected in Taking Care (1982), Escapes (1990), Honored Guest (2004), and Ill Nature: Rants and Reflections on Humanity and Other Animals (2001), which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award f...

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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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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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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