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Pico Iyer & Barry Lopez

This conversation focuses on the concept of wonder and it’s relationship to literature. In this broad yet focused discussion, Pico Iyer & Barry Lopez speak on the importance of diversity, the author’s obligation to bear witness, and the ethical dilemmas that accompany such pursuits.

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Mark Strand

Mark Strand (1934-2014) was born on Canada’s Prince Edward Island and raised in the United States. He was the author of more than 10 collections of poetry, for which he was awarded the prestigious Bollingen and Pulitzer Prizes, among other honors. Strand also translated the works of Brazilian ...

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Barry Unsworth

Barry Unsworth’s body of work is marked by scrupulous historical research and compelling narratives. In this recording from the 2009 Key West Literary Seminar, Unsworth discusses the impulses, instincts, and concerns that drive his fascination with history. The often intimate discussion sugges...

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Patricia Engel

Patricia Engel was the winner of the Key West Literary Seminar’s Marianne Russo Scholarship for 2009. She subsequently signed a two-book contract with Grove/Atlantic, which will publish Vida, a collection of short stories, in 2010. Engel’s short story “Madre Patria,” workshop...

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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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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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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...

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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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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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Richard Wilbur

In this recording from the 2003 Seminar, Wilbur reads and comments upon numerous poems, translations, lyrics, and light verse spanning his career. Wilbur begins the reading with two poems, "The Reader" and "Man Running," from the then-unpublished Collected Poems, 1943-2004, and continues wi...

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Samantha Hunt

Samantha Hunt is the author of The Invention of Everything Else, which has been shortlisted for the 2009 Orange Prize for Fiction. In this recording from the 2009 Key West Literary Seminar, Hunt discusses the subject of her historical novel, Serbian inventor Nikola Tesla, whose revolutionary inventi...

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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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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...

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