A Writer’s Life is a Special Life

Photos by Nick Doll from the morning of Friday January 18, during the second session of the 2013 Key West Literary Seminar.

Alexandra Styron discussed her father, William Styron, and recounted the awkward experience of reading the sex scenes at the beginning of his great novel Sophie’s Choice as an elementary school student.

Blake Bailey recounted the troubled lives of writers John Cheever, Richard Yates, and Charles Jackson. On why he has focused on writers with shared histories of alcoholic self-destruction, Bailey acknowledged being driven by the example of his own brother, who hanged himself in jail. “He’s the person I’m most like. I want to get to the bottom of it.” 
Among the morning’s audience were Key West High School English teacher Kerri McLean and 16 seniors enrolled in her Advanced Placement English class.
KWLS board member, famed author, and anti-censorship advocate Judy Blume in the audience at the San Carlos Institute.
Poet and biographer Paul Mariani read a selection from his work.

2 thoughts on “A Writer’s Life is a Special Life

  1. Favourite quote of today:
    Paul Mariani is researching William Carlos Williams’ affairs. A woman contacts him and says, “I have a feeling that my real father is William Carlos Williams.” Without missing a beat, the moderator Claire Harman says, “Don’t we all.”

  2. Thank you for the continued excellence of the KWLS. As a local educator, I am thrilled to have our students learn from such great minds. Above all, the generosity of the KWLS board in sponsoring our participation is incredible. Thank you all.

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