Cynthia Ozick

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“High school changed my life. Suddenly, there was Latin and German, and Silas Marner and The Odyssey.” Cynthia Ozick talks about her childhood, family influences, and the inspiration behind her book, The Shawl (Knopf, 1989). Ozick’s new nonfiction book, Critics, Monsters, Fanatics, and Other Literary Essays (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016), is featured in Page One in the July/August issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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Yaa Gyasi

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"One thing that I had always wanted for this book was that by the time you got to the end of it, you couldn't say that you didn't understand why black people in America are the way they are, or why they might feel the things that they feel—you get to see exactly what steps have led to the current state of racial tension in America." Read more about Yaa Gyasi in "First Fiction 2016" in the July/August issue of Poets & Writers Magazine and hear her read from her debut novel, Homegoing (Knopf, 2016), on Ampersand: The Poets & Writers Podcast.

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Amit Majmudar

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"What it means / is, what it's showing is, there's this unseen / eye, on the inside. And she's marking it." Listen to Amit Majmudar, a radiologist and Ohio's first poet laureate, read the title poem from his new collection, Dothead (Knopf, 2016). This reading took place at the 2015 Neustadt Festival of International Literature and Culture hosted by the University of Oklahoma.

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