Under the Influence: Archetype and Adaptation from Homer to the Multiplex

Coverage of the 2019 Seminar: "Under the Influence"

John Hersey Memorial Address: Margaret Atwood
Presenters: Margaret Atwood, Geraldine Brooks, Meg Cabot, Joseph Cassara, Nicole Galland, Victor LaValle, Valerie Martin, Michael Mewshaw, Madeline Miller, Naomi Novik, Joyce Carol Oates, Danielle Paige, Dexter Palmer, Rowan Ricardo Phillips, Eric Shanower, Kate Tuttle, Stephanie Powell Watts, Emily Wilson, Kevin Young
Writers’ Workshop Faculty: John Dufresne, Daniel Menaker, Gregory Pardlo, Emily Raboteau, Richard Russo, Dara Wier, Joy Williams, Kevin Young

Meg Cabot and Danielle Paige: “From Princesses to Supergirls”

By Diane Hance Meg Cabot and Danielle Paige opened the first public session of the 37th annual Key West Literary Seminar with a confession: “We are both guilty,” Cabot claimed, “of writing books based on other books.” The authors began their lively conversation by sharing early influences and favorite childhood …Read More


Naomi Novik on “The High Cost of Magic”

By Nancy Klingener The title of Naomi Novik’s talk was “The High Cost of Magic” — a reference to the work-in-progress from which she read an excerpt. And to frame the reading, she spoke about context — and how it relates directly to the theme of this year’s Seminar. “I …Read More


Madeline Miller on “Writing Back to Homer”

by Genevieve Morgan Madeline Miller set the tone for her lively discussion, “Writing Back to Homer,” when she grasped the microphone, strode to the middle of the stage, and said she could not abide being stuck behind a podium. She started with a short passage from Circe where Odysseus asks …Read More


Rowan Ricardo Phillips at Key West High School

by Kate Peters For the past four years, the Key West Literary Seminar has been spiriting one of its esteemed authors away from the Friday morning session to speak to students at Key West High School during their third period. First Junot Díaz, then George Saunders. Last year, Jamaica Kincaid, …Read More


“Age of Bronze”: Retelling the Trojan War for Comic Book Readers

by Roxann Fournier Eric Shanower enlightened and entertained participants of the Key West Literary Seminar with his obsessively accurate depiction of the Trojan War in the graphic novel Age of Bronze. “Even though you are familiar,” he warned, “you will find surprises. I hope you like surprises.” Surprises were indeed …Read More


Emily Wilson on “Translating the Odyssey Again: How and Why”

By Michelle Alonzo On a stage aptly decorated with Doric columns and a large amphora, Emily Wilson kicked off the first talk of the 37th Annual Key West Literary Seminar, “Translating the Odyssey Again: How and Why,” by reading from her 2018 translation of Homer’s Odyssey to a packed auditorium. Contained in the …Read More


Behind Fear: Victor LaValle’s Discussion of The Changeling

by Connie Pertuz-Meza Victor LaValle’s latest novel, The Changeling, is a hybrid fairy tale and horror story. Set in New York City, it tackles many issues that are part of our everyday reality. In his conversation with Kate Tuttle, LaValle dove into the major themes of the novel: parenting in this …Read More


Margaret Atwood’s Keynote on “Influences at Work!”

by Shayne Benowitz The 37th annual Key West Literary Seminar “Under the Influence: Archetypes & Adaptation” commenced Thursday evening with the John Hersey Memorial address delivered by the inimitable Margaret Atwood. To begin her talk, “Alert! Influences at Work!” she took to the podium and introduced herself: “I’m Margaret Atwood, …Read More


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