Mario Vargas Llosa

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“The only counsel that is acceptable is to work! To work very hard until you discover the kind of writer that you want to be.” Nobel Prize–winning Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa dispenses advice to young and emerging writers in this Louisiana Channel interview with Christian Lund at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark.

Cocktails With Benjamin Percy

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“I love To the Lighthouse, but they never get to the lighthouse.” In this episode of Cocktails With Bright Antenna, Benjamin Percy talks about the differences between literary fiction and genre fiction, how some writers are gardeners and some are architects, and reveals the origins of his phobias. Percy’s latest book, Suicide Woods (Graywolf Press, 2019), is featured in Page One in the November/December issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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Adrienne Brodeur

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“The very act of reading is an empathetic act.” In this Aspen Institute video, Adrienne Brodeur talks about her writing process and reads from her debut memoir, Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover, and Me (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019), which is featured in Page One in the November/December issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

Carmen Maria Machado on Magic

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“How do you tell interesting stories? You puncture through reality and you let magic and weird stuff and ghosts bleed back through.” In this video, Carmen Maria Machado talks about the influence Gabriel García Márquez’s Hundred Years of Solitude had on her writing with Jared Arraes and Adriana Couto at the 2019 International Literary Festival of Paraty in Brazil. A profile of Machado by Jera Brown appears in the November/December issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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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Talking to Strangers

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“A stranger is someone who we know in only one dimension.” Malcolm Gladwell talks to the Economist’s Anne McElvoy about his latest book, Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know (Little, Brown, 2019), in which he examines how interactions between strangers often go wrong using high-profile cases such as the trial of Amanda Knox and the death of Sandra Bland as examples.

Ariana Reines

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“My heart had recently cracked // Open. Fear had departed me.” Ariana Reines reads “To the Reader” from her poetry collection, A Sand Book (Tin House Books, 2019), and talks about the origins of the book, her writing background, and the power of poetry to reach the deepest levels of human experience in this Louisiana Channel interview.

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Ta-Nehisi Coates on Why He Writes

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“I just felt this deep need to express myself.... I had a strong desire to understand and to express that understanding.” In this CBS Sunday Morning interview, Ta-Nehisi Coates talks about the purpose of his writing and how the music of Marvin Gaye influences the language in his work. Coates’s debut novel, The Water Dancer (One World, 2019), is featured in Page One in the September/October issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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