Elif Shafak

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“I sincerely believe this is a life-affirming book and it is a novel that celebrates diversity, inclusion…and friendships.” Elif Shafak speaks about her writing process and the inspiration behind her latest novel, 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World (Viking, 2019), which is shortlisted for the 2019 Booker Prize.

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Ta-Nehisi Coates at Monticello

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“I wanted to center the emotions and the feelings of the actual enslaved people.” Ta-Nehisi Coates speaks about what inspired him to write his debut novel, The Water Dancer (One World, 2019), as he walks through Thomas Jefferson’s estate, Monticello, with Gayle King for CBS This Morning.

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Valeria Luiselli, 2019 MacArthur Fellow

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“My work often deals with dislocation, belonging, migration, of course, and I tend to create characters that are unnamed and not quite easy to place.” Valeria Luiselli, a 2019 MacArthur “Genius” fellowship recipient, talks about how she combines fiction and nonfiction to challenge conventional notions of authorship, and the ways in which the lives of others are documented.

Kenji C. Liu at Writers for Migrant Justice

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“Even a baby is / a paper cut theater, / a necklace of incisions strung together / into a country.” In this Poetry.LA video, Kenji C. Liu reads poems from his collections Map of an Onion (Inlandia Institute, 2016) and Monsters I Have Been (Alice James Books, 2019) at the Writers for Migrant Justice reading in Los Angeles.

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Doctor Sleep

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Stephen King’s novel Doctor Sleep (Scribner, 2013), the sequel to his 1977 classic The Shining, has been adapted into a feature film directed by Mike Flanagan. The movie picks up the story several decades later as a grown-up Danny Torrance, played by Ewan McGregor, meets a young girl with psychic powers similar to his own that he tries to protect from a supernatural cult of murderous nomads.

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Diet Mountain Dew

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“A green like no other green / in the dale, indelicate green or / green indecent, surpassing / the fern and sprout and April’s / optimistic leaflet some stop / to admire in nature...” In this 2017 video, Timothy Donnelly reads “Diet Mountain Dew” at the Gavagai music and reading series in New York City. Donnelly’s third poetry collection, The Problem of the Many, is out today from Wave Books.

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Andrea Cohen at the Nantucket Book Festival

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In this video, Andrea Cohen reads a selection of her poetry at the 2017 Nantucket Book Festival. Cohen, whose sixth collection, Nightshade, is out now by Four Way Books, is featured in Literary MagNet in the September/October issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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Poet Laureate Joy Harjo

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“I’m carrying this for America, but for Indigenous peoples in particular,” says Joy Harjo about what it means to be the first Native American to serve as the poet laureate of the United States in this PBS NewsHour interview with Jeffrey Brown, which takes place in her hometown of Tulsa.

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The Dearly Beloved

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“My experience at church was of community....most importantly I got to be part of this community where everyone was searching for the meaning of life in their relationship with each other.” Cara Wall talks about the inspiration behind her debut novel, The Dearly Beloved (Simon & Schuster, 2019), a story about two couples navigating faith and social change in New York City’s Greenwich Village in the 1960s.

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