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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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Geoff Dyer

In an interview with Christopher Lydon, Geoff Dyer argues that literary greatness should not be measured by the novel, but by marginal genres like essays, letters, and travel writing. The pursuit of truth in literature will succeed only when you ‘remain absolutely faithful to the vagaries of your ...

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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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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...

OtherWorldsCollage

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.

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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Rita Dove

As a Pulitzer Prize winner and former Poet Laureate of the United States, Rita Dove is among the most accomplished and recognizable poets of our time. Her collections of poetry include Thomas and Beulah, American Smooth, and, most recently, Sonata Mulattica, an ambitious and fascinating poetic recre...

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Allan Gurganus

Allan Gurganus is best known as the author of Oldest Living Confederate Widow Talls All, his 1984 debut novel that spent eight months on the bestsellers list of The New York Times and has been translated into at least 12 languages. Other books include Plays Well with Others and White People, which w...

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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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Panel: House, Jones, & Smith

Tayari Jones, Silas House, and Lee Smith in conversation about the Southern voice in writing. From the 2008 seminar: “New Voices.”

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Natasha Trethewey

Natasha Trethewey reads a selection of poems including “Limen,” “Genus Narcissus,” “Myth,” “Miscegenation,” “Taxonomy,” and “Knowledge: After a Chalk Drawing by J.H. Hasselhorst, 1864.”

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Michael Wood

On Thursday, January 11th, 2007, Michael Wood delivered the annual John Hersey Memorial Address in a talk entitled “The Liberation of Macondo.” From KWLS 2007: Wondrous Strange This recording is available for noncommercial and educational use only. All rights belong to the author. © 200...

Kevin Young

Kevin Young

This 2008 reading features poet Kevin Young reading a selection of then-recent work, including “Aunties,” “See That My Grave Is Kept Clean,” “Black Cat Blues,” “Hang Dog Blues,” “Flash Flood Blues,” “Ode To The Hotel Near The Children...

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