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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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Mary Kay Zuravleff

This podcast features a talk by the immensely charming Mary Kay Zuravleff from the morning of January 14th, 2007. We badly bungle the pronunciation of her name on the intro: we’re sorry, Mary Kay! From KWLS 2007: Wondrous Strange This recording is available for noncommercial and educational us...

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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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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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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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Barry Unsworth

In this recording from the first session of the 2009 Seminar, Unsworth reads a passage from Land of Marvels, concerning Somerville, the British archeologist whose work on an ancient Assyrian site is threatened by a railroad being constructed by a German company, and Jehar, the financially-...

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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.

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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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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...

C.D. Wright

C.D. Wright

C.D. Wright is the author of numerous collections of poetry and prose, including Cooling Time: An American Poetry Vigil (2005). She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (twice), the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Bunting Institute, as well as Witter Bynner Prize for Poet...

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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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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...

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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