Roxane Gay

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“Halfway between you and me is a long ways away, but there is a small town where we will not be seen, where we will hide in plain sight, where we will be strangers until we are not.” In this video from 2015, the Loft Literary Center and BUST Magazine presents Roxane Gay, who reads tweets and from her short story, “Do You Have a Place for Me?”

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Paul Beatty

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"I suppose that's exactly the problem—I wasn't raised to know any better." Novelist and poet Paul Beatty reads from his novel The Sellout (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015), which was awarded the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award in fiction, at Politics and Prose Bookstore in Washington, D.C. Beatty is also a finalist for the 2016 Man Booker Prize.

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Han Kang and Deborah Smith

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“It was like a very nice, pleasant chat.” Korean author Han Kang and translator Deborah Smith speak about working together on The Vegetarian (Portobello Books, 2015), which won the 2016 Man Booker International Prize.

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Liu Xia

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Liu Xia, wife of imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, reads from her first poetry collection, Empty Chairs (Graywolf Press, 2015), while under house arrest in her home in Beijing. Empty Chairs, translated from the Chinese by Ming Di and Jennifer Stern, is featured in Page One in the November/December issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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White Blight

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“It’s a poem about the experiences of revolutions and war and migration and whiteness and racism, and how these experiences condition the lives of different family members.” Iranian-born Swedish poet Athena Farrokhzad talks about her book, White Blight (Argos Books, 2015), which consists of one long lyric poem with six voices, and reads excerpts in Swedish and English. Translated from the Swedish by Jennifer Hayashida, the book is longlisted for the 2016 National Translation Award.

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Moustafa Bayoumi

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"Be sure to have at least one good Muslim character, preferably one good for each bad one. People will then say your film or book is 'balanced...'" Moustafa Bayoumi reads aloud eleven tongue-in-cheek rules for writing Muslim characters from his newest book, This Muslim American Life: Dispatches from the War on Terror (NYU Press 2015), at an event at the Asian American Writers' Workshop in New York City.

Mary Karr and Helen Macdonald

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"Writing memoir, if it's done right I think, is like knocking yourself out with your own fist." For a reading at the 92nd Street Y moderated by Kathryn Schulz, Mary Karr, author of The Art of Memoir (Harper, 2015), joins Helen Macdonald, author of H Is for Hawk (Grove Press, 2015), to speak about their love of memoir and poetry.

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