Kacen Callender

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“What does it feel like, to love someone so much that you’re willing to publicly bare your heart and soul with a black Sharpie?” In this Harper Stacks at Home video, Lambda Award–winning author Kacen Callender reads from their novel Felix Ever After (Balzer + Bray, 2020), which follows the journey of a Black, queer, and transgender teen grappling with identity while falling in love for the first time.

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The City We Became

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“He forgets his own name somewhere in the tunnel to Penn Station. He doesn’t notice, at first. Too busy with all the stuff people usually do when they’re about to reach their train stop: cleaning up the pretzel bags and plastic bottles of breakfast....” N. K. Jemisin reads from the first chapter of her new fantasy novel, The City We Became (Orbit, 2020), the first in her Great Cities trilogy, and answers audience questions for a virtual event hosted by Politics and Prose Bookstore. 

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Oksana Vasyakina

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“They’ve asked that the bookstore be cleared away during the event / they say it’s no place to sell books…” As part of the Writers in Residence at-home video series for PEN America’s 2020 Digital World Voices Festival, Oksana Vasyakina reads her poem “These people didn’t know my father,” translated from the Russian by Ainsley Morse and Eugene Ostashevsky. 

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New York Public Library’s 125th Anniversary

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“Books have been such an important part of my life, from The Brothers Karamazov when I was a teenager to reading Charlotte’s Web to my grandchildren,” says Hillary Clinton in this video of over one hundred book-loving authors, actors, musicians, public figures, and professional librarians sharing their favorite books in celebration of the New York Public Library’s 125th anniversary.

My Meteorite

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“The most astonishing thing to happen in the almost 14 billion years since the birth of the cosmos is that ordinary, apparentle inert matter, has—by its self-organizing capacity (or, autopoesis)—become conscious.” Harry Dodge reads from his debut book, My Meteorite: Or, Without the Random There Can Be No New Thing (Penguin Books, 2020), and discusses its themes in a conversation with Maggie Nelson in their Los Angeles home.

Authors Do the Breakfast Club Dance for Volumes Bookcafe

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As part of a fundraising effort to help Chicago independent bookstore Volumes Bookcafe during the coronavirus pandemic shutdown, Rebecca Makkai enlisted over two dozen writers—including Kristen Arnett, Alexander Chee, Garth Greenwell, Andrew Sean Greer, Lauren Groff, Mira Jacob, Mitchell S. Jackson, R. O. Kwon, Victor LaValle, and Susan Orlean—to participate in a collective performance of the dance scene from John Hughes’s classic 1985 high school film, The Breakfast Club.  

Ancient Mariner Big Read

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“It is an ancient Mariner, / And he stoppeth one of three. / ‘By thy long grey beard and glittering eye, / Now wherefore stopp’st thou me?’” Jeremy Irons reads the opening lines of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s 1798 poem “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” accompanied by Glenn Brown’s oil painting The Shallow End, for the “Ancient Mariner” Big Read, an online audio and visual art project curated and produced by the University of Plymouth with forty readers—including Simon Armitage, Alan Cumming, Willem Dafoe, Olivia Laing, Hilary Mantel, Iggy Pop, Ali Smith, Tilda Swinton, Neil Tennant, and Jeanette Winterson.

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C Pam Zhang

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“I think for art you do kind of have to wait for the inspiration to strike. You have to let all these feelings sort of simmer and build up inside you.” C Pam Zhang, author of How Much of These Hills Is Gold (Riverhead Books, 2020), talks about her writing process and how the characters of her novel pushed her to write their stories in this interview for Late Night With Seth Meyers.

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AAWW at Home: Rowan Hisayo Buchanan

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In this installment of the AAWW at Home series, Rowan Hisayo Buchanan, author of the novel Starling Days (Overlook Press, 2020), talks about how she’s been occupied during the coronavirus pandemic lockdown and reads from Alexander Chee’s essay collection, How to Write an Autobiographical Novel (Mariner Books, 2018). 

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