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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 here and let our spirits go.”

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Showing KWLS Audio Archives from: Shuffle

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Megan Abbott, Gillian Flynn, Laura Lippman

Laura Lippman, Megan Abbott, and Gillian Flynn discuss how novels and films featuring women protagonists are presented in popular culture and perceived by audiences. “Things that make men cry are considered profound,” remarks Lippman. “Things that make women cry are considered sentimental.”

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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), ...

Uzodinma Iweala

Uzodinma Iweala

Uzodinma Iweala reads from his critically acclaimed debut novel Beasts of No Nation, which tells the story of Agu, a child soldier fighting in a civil war in an unnamed west African country. In this section we are introduced to Agu, his friend Strika, Luftenant, and Commandante, as Agu kills for the...

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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...

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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...

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Mark Doty

Mark Doty is the author of eight books of poems and four volumes of nonfiction prose. He has received the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize; and his Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems won the 2008 National Book Award in poetry. Doty was the keynote speaker at ...

James Tate

James Tate

James Tate, half stand-up comic, half great American poet, reads a selection from his work, including “Of Whom Am I Afraid,” “A Sound Like Distant Thunder,” “The Animists,” “The Rally,” “Silver Queen,” “The Rules,” and “Th...

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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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Conversation: Atwood & Cunningham

On January 14th, 2007 Margaret Atwood and Michael Cunningham sat down on the Key West Literary Seminar stage for a conversation on the topic of “Speculative Fiction and the Art of Subversion” From KWLS 2007: Wondrous Strange This recording is available for noncommercial and educational u...

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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...

Jonathan Lethem

Jonathan Lethem

Jonathan Lethem’s novels include Motherless Brooklyn and Chronic City and he is an authority on the works of sci-fi legend Philip K. Dick. At the 2012 seminar, he presented ‘The True and the Real,’ a ‘plate-spinning act’ exploring such disparate figures as writer Samuel D...

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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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