The San Carlos Institute panorama. Photo by Curt Richter.
As we unpack the boxes, the discs, the jump drives, and the emails from our 27th Key West Literary Seminar– Historical Fiction and the Search for Truth– we’ve uncovered this fine collection of pictures and quotes (thanks, Nan Klingener). Visit our podcasts page to listen to readings and talks by Allan Gurganus, Geraldine Brooks, and Barry Unsworth; and check back often for many more in the year ahead.
“The true parts of my story are the least probable, the most unbelievable,” said Elizabeth Gaffney, author of Metropolis, shown here with Dominion author Calvin Baker. Photo by Nick Vagnoni.
Michael Meeropol after a discussion with his daughter, Ivy about the complicated legacy of his parents, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. Photo by Nick Vagnoni.
Andrea Barrett, at left, responding to a question about what she’s working on now, said she started researching the delay and eventual spread of Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity, aided by Sir Arthur Eddington, which led her down many pathways of reading (“To say I start incoherently would be generous,” she said)– and one of her major realizations so far is that “everything begins with an E.” This would include Einstein, eclipses, Eddington, the ether of space (which she said started her off on the first place) and, of course, e=mc².
Samantha Hunt explained the genesis of her novel The Invention of Everything Else– she was at a museum exhibit that included a reference to Alessandro Volta, realized she didn’t know much about him and should look him up when she returned home. But once in front of her computer, she found herself instead looking up Nikola Tesla, the man who invented radio and AC electrical technology and is at the center of her novel. She said she thinks she looked up Tesla because she was thinking of “the 90s hair metal band.” “I actually sent them copies of the book, but never heard back from them,” she said.
Photos by Nick Vagnoni.
“History is told from the present and that present changes.”– David Nasaw, historian and biographer, at the opening of the second session. Photos by Nick Vagnoni.
Rachel Kushner and Chantel Acevedo discuss Cuba and the politics of historical fiction. Photo by Nick Vagnoni.
William Kennedy reading from a work-in-progress. Photo by Curt Richter.
William Kennedy, Russell Banks, and Joyce Carol Oates in conversation. Photo by Curt Richter.
Luaryann Jiang and Anchee Min perform a scene from Empress Orchid. Photo by Nick Vagnoni.
Francisco Goldman, author of The Divine Husband, talked about the mythmaking of José Martí. Upon his death, Goldman said, Martí underwent an “absurd transformation into a living statue, a secular saint. … Everybody at that moment, whatever they personally remembered about Jose Marti, they immediately forgot it.” Photo by Nick Vagnoni.
Tags: 2009: Historical Fiction
Thank you to all the technical staff and volunteers who made this year such a success. To name a few: Private Ear Recording Studios, Michael Boyer, Elionora Hinds, Durf, Jolly Benson, Michael Blades, Curt Richter, Nick Vagnoni, Haven Burkee, Christopher Kush, Jenny Zeller, Jenni Franke, Suzanne Wilbarger, Margit Bizstray. Thank you!