Alaa Al Aswany

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“At some point I feel that the characters do exist...they become independent.” In this video from Louisiana Channel, Egyptian author Alaa Al Aswany speaks about how the characters in his novel The Yacoubian Building (American University in Cairo Press, 2004), translated from the Arabic by Humphrey Davies, began to take on a life of their own as he wrote them.

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Jesse Ball

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"The beekeeper paused by his hives. A cloud of bees is missing, he said, to no one in particular. I hope the little creatures aren't up to any mischief." In this video, Jesse Ball reads the poem "Lester, Burma" from his first collection, March Book (Grove Press, 2004). Ball's latest novel, How to Set a Fire and Why (Pantheon, 2016), is featured in Page One in the July/August issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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Ben Lerner's First Time

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"I kind of always assume that you don't write the poem you want to write...that's actually quite freeing because it means you discover something in the act of composition that you didn't know in advance." Ben Lerner talks about his first poetry collection, The Lichtenberg Figures (Copper Canyon Press, 2004), for the Paris Review's "My First Time" video series. Lerner's first nonfiction book, The Hatred of Poetry (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2016), is featured in Page One in the July/August issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

Marjane Satrapi

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"When I read Dostoevsky, I understand better the psychology of the human being." Marjane Satrapi, author of the graphic memoir Persepolis (Pantheon, 2004), speaks with Paul Holdengräber at the New York Public Library about how reading Fyodor Dostoevsky's work changed her life.

Hubert Selby Jr.

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“Hubert Selby was the underdog and the voice for the...downtrodden, and was marginalized because he spoke up for the little guy,” says Henry Rollins. “But you see the great humanity and the warmth and richness that he brought to things.” The author of nine novels who died in 2004 is celebrated by two of his greatest champions, Rollins and Amiri Baraka, in this video from Open Road Media.

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Audrey Niffenegger

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The author of the novels The Time Traveler’s Wife (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2004) and Her Fearful Symmetry (Scribner, 2009) reads from her new graphic novel Raven Girl, featured in this issue's The Written Image, at the Royal Opera House in London.

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