2019 Man Booker International Prize: Celestial Bodies

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“The extraordinary thing about this book is it talks of a world in transition—philosophically, politically, intellectually, socially—and that is the age that we live in now.” Bettany Hughes, chair of the 2019 Man Booker International Prize, and fellow judges speak about Celestial Bodies (Sandstone Press, 2018) written by Jokha Alharthi and translated from the Arabic by Marilyn Booth, which won this year’s award. Alharthi is the first female Omani novelist to be translated into English, and the first author from the Arabian Gulf to win the prize.

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Kayo Chingonyi on His Favorites

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“I went through a Philip Glass phase, but I’m out of that now. Lately I write to silence, usually.” In this Vintage Books interview, Kayo Chingonyi answers questions about his literary and pop culture influences, daily routine, and books he thinks everyone should read. Chingonyi won the 2018 International Dylan Thomas Prize for his debut poetry collection, Kumukanda (Chatto & Windus, 2017).

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Blind Spot

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“As a photographer my looking really changed, it really did become sacred....” In this Louisiana Channel video, Teju Cole talks about and reads from his book of photography and text, Blind Spot (Random House, 2017), which was inspired by a short period of blindness in one eye that transformed his perspective on looking and attentiveness. The book is comprised of over a hundred fifty photographs interspersed with short lyrical prose pieces.

Call Me Zebra

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“I picked up languages the way some people pick up viruses. I was armed with literature.” In this video by Alma Books, Azareen van der Vliet Oloomi reads an excerpt from her novel Call Me Zebra (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018), for which she won the 2019 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction.

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Richard Powers and Barbara Kingsolver

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“You don’t need a lot of sensitivity or soul to feel moved by a redwood forest,” says Richard Powers about the origins of his Pulitzer Prize–winning novel, The Overstory (Norton, 2018). In this 92nd Street Y video, Powers joins Barbara Kingsolver, author of the novel Unsheltered (HarperCollins, 2018), for a reading and conversation with Kevin Larimer, editor in chief of Poets & Writers Magazine. The authors were featured in the November/December issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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How Writers Think and Work

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At the 2018 National Book Festival, Lorrie Moore, author of See What Can Be Done: Essays, Criticism, and Commentary (Knopf, 2018), and Richard Russo, author of The Destiny Thief: Essays on Writing, Writers and Life (Knopf, 2018), speak about humor and storytelling with Kevin Larimer, editor in chief of Poets & Writers Magazine.

Elizabeth Hutchison Bernard

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“I was inspired to write Temptation Rag originally because my husband’s grandfather is the great Mike Bernard, who was one of the most famous ragtime pianists.” In this video, Elizabeth Hutchison Bernard talks to Arizona Daily Mix’s Pat McMahon about the motivation behind her novel Temptation Rag (Belle Epoque Publishing, 2018). Bernard is featured in the Savvy Self-Publisher in the May/June issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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Erling Kagge

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“I think we’re all born explorers. When I look at my kids, they want to climb before they can walk,” says Erling Kagge in this interview with Santiago Rivas Camargo from the 2018 Hay Festival in Cartagena, Colombia. Kagge’s new book, Walking: One Step at a Time (Pantheon Books, 2019), translated from the Norwegian by Becky L. Crook, is featured in Page One in the May/June issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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