Hisham Matar

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“In literature you get these magical moments when you can actually feel yourself to be somebody else...and those moments I think are incredibly important for the development of a society because they’re expansive moments.” Hisham Matar, winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in autobiography for his debut memoir, The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between (Random House, 2016), talks about the role literature plays in creating social change.

Brenda Shaughnessy and Jamaal May

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“When a woman you love hits you / on the head with a book / you love, is that love?” At the New School, Brenda Shaughnessy reads from her poetry collection So Much Synth (Copper Canyon Press, 2016) for a Cave Canem event with poet Jamaal May.

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Another Man Done

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Tyehimba Jess reads his poem “Another Man Done” for the Migration Series Poetry Suite, a collection of poems commissioned by the Museum of Modern Art in response to the exhibition “One-Way Ticket: Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series and Other Visions of the Great Movement North.” Jess won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in poetry for his collection Olio (Wave Books, 2016).

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Hari Kunzru

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“I’ve always been quite preoccupied with identity—personal identity—and also how the individual is constructed or constituted by larger social forces...” Hari Kunzru, author most recently of White Tears (Knopf, 2017), talks about his thematic interests and a book project on privacy and surveillance which he worked on during his fellowship at the American Academy in Berlin.

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Do Not Say We Have Nothing

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“I was interested in the transmission of artistic practice—art, music, ideology, politics—from West to East and back again, and how that gets reflected in the creation of art.” Madeleine Thien talks about the premise and themes of her third novel, Do Not Say We Have Nothing (Granta Books, 2016), which is longlisted for the 2017 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction.

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There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé

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Morgan Parker reads a selection of poems including “Heaven Be a Xanax,” “Hottentot Venus,” and “Slouching Toward Beyoncé” from her second poetry collection, There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé (Tin House Books, 2017), with musical accompaniment by David Cieri. Parker’s book is featured in Page One in the March/April issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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Viet Thanh Nguyen and Bonnie Boswell

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“I take inspiration from the fact that however difficult our moment is today, it’s not as difficult as it has been in the past.” Viet Thanh Nguyen speaks with Bonnie Boswell about the current political climate and connections between his own personal history and his Pulitzer Prize–winning novel, The Sympathizer (Grove Press, 2015). Nguyen’s first story collection, The Refugees (Grove Press, 2017), is featured in Page One in the March/April issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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