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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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Eric Foner

Eric Foner is one of America’s preeminent historians, especially known for his work on the post-Civil War period of Reconstruction. In this fascinating lecture from the 2009 Key West Literary Seminar, Foner explores the social and political implications of historical inquiry, and the role of t...

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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Barry Unsworth

In this recording of the 2009 John Hersey Memorial address, Barry Unsworth outlines his thoughts on the nature of truth in works of fiction. On the one hand, argues Unsworth, the novelist must strive for accuracy in relating the historical facts of a period. On the other hand, "the writer of fiction...

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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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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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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of Ian McEwan’s novel Atonement opens to generally glowing reviews, we look back to McEwan’s reading from his then-unpublished novella, On Chesil Beach, at the 2007 Seminar.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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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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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...

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Gore Vidal

Gore Vidal (1925-2012) was one of America’s most distinct voices for more than half a century. The author of more than 20 novels, hundreds of essays, and several plays for screen and stage, Vidal was perhaps best known for the eloquent and witheringly sarcastic political commentary that made h...

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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...

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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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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