Isabella Hammad

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“It’s really hard to inhabit the mind of another,” says Isabella Hammad, author of The Parisian (Grove Press, 2019), about the difficulties and joys of writing fiction in this Louisiana Channel interview. “You use your emotional experience, you use your literal experience, you use the experience of others you know to access imaginatively another subjectivity.”

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Julia Phillips on Disappearing Earth

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“This novel is about violence and loss, but it’s also about finding answers.” At a Penguin Random House event with librarians, Julia Phillips speaks about her debut novel, Disappearing Earth (Knopf, 2019), which is a finalist for the 2019 National Book Award in fiction.

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Erin Morgenstern

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“The themes in the book involve missed opportunities and what it’s like to have something that you wish you’d done before, and you wonder how it would’ve changed your story.” In this video, Erin Morgenstern talks about the themes in her second novel, The Starless Sea (Doubleday, 2019), her writing process, literary genres, and what she’s currently reading.

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Harryette Mullen at Beyond Baroque

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“Instead of scanning newspaper headlines, / I spend the morning reading names / of flowers and trees in the botanical garden.” Harryette Mullen reads a selection of poems from her collection Urban Tumbleweed: Notes From a Tanka Diary (Graywolf Press, 2013) at Beyond Baroque in this Poetry.LA video.

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The Girl With the Leica

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In this video, German Italian author Helena Janeczek talks about her historical fiction novel, The Girl With the Leica (Europa Editions, 2019), translated from the Italian by Ann Goldstein, for which she won the Strega Prize. The book centers on the life of Gerda Taro, who documented the Spanish Civil War with photographer Robert Capa and was tragically the first woman photojournalist to die on the battlefield.

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Notes to A Tribe Called Quest

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“It’s a book about a rap group, but, more particularly, a book that is examining how fandom seeps into our lives.” In this PBS NewHour video, Hanif Abdurraqib speaks with Amna Nawaz about his memoir, Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to A Tribe Called Quest (University of Texas Press, 2019), and the ways in which music intertwines with identity and the poignant moments in our lives.

Mario Vargas Llosa

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“The only counsel that is acceptable is to work! To work very hard until you discover the kind of writer that you want to be.” Nobel Prize–winning Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa dispenses advice to young and emerging writers in this Louisiana Channel interview with Christian Lund at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark.

All of Us, In Prison

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“Some prisons taste like / salt, copper, sludge / when you bite and crunch down / to the marrow...” In this video, Cortney Lamar Charleston reads Jevon Jackson’s poem “All of Us, In Prison” at St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery for a 2019 Brooklyn Book Festival event. Jackson’s poem won PEN America’s First Prize in Poetry in the 2019 Prison Writing Contest.

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Dublin Murders

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Dublin Murders is a BBC television adaptation of the first two novels in Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad mystery series, In the Woods (Viking, 2007) and The Likeness (Viking, 2008), which follows two detectives investigating homicides in contemporary Dublin. Adapted by Sarah Phelps, the eight-episode crime show stars Moe Dunford, Sarah Greene, Killian Scott, and Tom Vaughan-Lawlor.

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