“Yet Another World,” our 30th annual seminar, is now just three weeks away. It all starts with the John Hersey Memorial Address on Thursday, January 5, 2012, featuring two of North America’s most creative novelists and thinkers, Douglas Coupland and William Gibson.
Friday morning starts off with an introduction by James Gleick, the creative force behind this year’s seminar and author of the recent bestseller The Information. He’ll be followed by Jennifer Egan, who will present the infamous “PowerPoint chapter” from A Visit from the Goon Squad, the novel-in-stories that earned Egan two of America’s top literary honors this year, the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award. Joyce Carol Oates and Margaret Atwood team up to assess “other worlds” versus “the real one,” and Atwood returns with a special performance for Friday night’s John Malcolm Brinnin Memorial Event.
Saturday’s speakers include Colson Whitehead, whose Zone One brings zombies to the streets of Manhattan and has earned him continued acclaim as one of America’s brightest young novelists. The cultural phenomena known as Steampunk will be explored in a panel discussion with China Míeville and Dexter Palmer, moderated by NPR science correspondent and Radiolab co-creator Robert Krulwich. Astrophysicist-cum-novelist Janna Levin is also featured, as are up-and-coming novelists Rivka Galchen (Atmospheric Disturbances) and Charles Yu (How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe ).
Sunday’s program includes some of the boldest names at “Yet Another World,” including Super Sad True Love Story author Gary Shteyngart and Chronic City writer Jonathan Lethem. Sunday afternoon’s free-and-open-to-the-public program (FREE!) includes Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Michael Cunningham, former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins, fellow poet and Pulitzer Prize winner James Tate, and acclaimed fiction writer George Saunders.