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

Opening night: The John Hersey Memorial Address, given by Margaret Atwood

Victor LaValle in conversation with Kate Tuttle: "The Changeling: From Maurice Sendak to Norse Myth to New York City Fairy Tale"

Artist Carol Munder

Kick-off reception for attendees and presenters at the Audubon House & Tropical Gardens

President Diane Shelby on opening night

Meg Cabot moderating a talk on graphic novels

Joyce Carol Oates and Dexter Palmer discuss "Time Travel"

Executive Director Arlo Haskell opening the 2019 Key West Literary Seminar

Kevin Young reading from his book "Bunk: Archetype of a Hoax"

Valerie Martin discusses the importance of "wives and maids"

Margaret Atwood with a reader

Teacher and Librarian Scholarship Winners at the Audubon House & Tropical Gardens

Madeline Miller and Valerie Martin on "The Other Side of the Story," during Sunday's Free Program

Dexter Palmer reads from his book, The King and the Three Imposters

Madeline Miller at the Friends of the Library Talk at the Old Town Hall (open to the public)

Naomi Novik talks about girls' representation in modern literature

Victor LaValle on Frankenstein's political undercurrents

Emily Wilson: "Translating the Odyssey again: How and Why"

Margaret Atwood signing books

Meg Cabot, Naomi Novik and Nancy Klingener discuss giving young women a voice in literature

Kevin Young between sessions on Duval Street

Joyce Carol Oates reads from her short story, Assassin

Margaret Atwood meeting her fans

Valerie Martin discusses "The Other Side of the Story"

Victor LaValle talking about his novel, The Changeling, with Kate Tuttle

Meg Cabot on "Giving Young Women a Voice: Fairy Tales in the Modern Age"

Kate Tuttle, Valerie Martin, Emily Wilson and Margaret Atwood: "Wives and Maids, What Do They Know? Equal Rights for Minor Characters"

Rowan Ricardo Phillips: "Therefore All Seasons Shall Be Sweet to Thee: On Literary Influence and the Power of Prophesy"

Danielle Paige and Eric Shanower: "King Arthur, the Wizard of Oz, Frankenstein, and the Undersea City"

Margaret Atwood

Madeline Miller on "Writing back to Homer"

Geraldine Brooks and Nicole Galland in conversation

Emily Wilson discusses Homer's "preferred pronoun," during her talk on translation

Margaret Atwood on elevating minor characters in literature

Eric Shanower: "Retelling the Trojan War for Comic Book Readers"

Geraldine Brooks on "The Other Side of the Story," during Sunday's Free Program (open to the public)

Margaret Atwood talks about archetypes in literature

Rowan Ricardo Phillips shares thoughts on literary influences

Executive Director Arlo Haskell launches the Seminar's Free Programs, open to the public

Madeline Miller reading from her book Circe


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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