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Hilton Als & Junot Díaz

To open Shorts: Stories, Essays & Other Briefs, Junot Díaz and Hilton Als came together on the subject of “Baldwin’s Children, or, Our Bodies Long for (a) Home: Belonging, Exile, and Love in African Diaspora Letters.”

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Showing KWLS Audio Archives from: Shuffle

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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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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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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...

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Bruce Jay Friedman

At the 2005 Seminar on Humor, Bruce Jay Friedman read his short story “A Change of Plan”, originally published in Esquire. Friedman talked about how the story made the journey to the screen with the 1972  Elaine May-helmed The Heartbreak Kid (just remade starring Ben Stiller). It’...

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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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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...

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Conversation: Coupland & Gibson

Douglas Coupland and William Gibson discuss technology, culture, and the craft of writing. Communications technologies are a "global memory prosthesis," says Gibson, and aspire to an experience in which distinctions between the "virtual" and the "real” are dissolved. "We are already the borg," Gib...

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Junot Díaz

Junot Díaz reads from his Pulitzer Prize-winning debut novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2007), and, in far-ranging comments, addresses the danger inherent in a dominant authorial voice. “No matter how many ruses I use,” Díaz says, “I’m the only one speaking.R...

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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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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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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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David A. Kaufelt

“I have a theory why we all live here—it’s called the Peter Pan theory. Freud said we're at our most creative before we’re five years old. That’s where we are here. We wear shorts, we ride bicycles, we have the water, a great symbol of the unconscious, and we’re free to be children h...

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