Ta-Nehisi Coates

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"I strongly believe that writing is an act of courage—it's almost an act of physical courage." Ta-Nehisi Coates talks about the personal strength necessary for writing, and reflects on his experience with breakthroughs. Coates's memoir Between the World and Me, published by Spiegel & Grau this week, is an exploration of racial history in the United States.

Ada Limón

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"What puts the mean in some of us?" Ada Limón reads her elegy, "Marketing Life for Those of Us Left," in this video for the Academy of American Poets. Limón's fourth poetry collection, Bright Dead Things (Milkweed Editions, 2015), is a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award.

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Colum McCann

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The National Book Award-winning author of Let the Great World Spin recently spoke with the PBS NewsHour's Jeffrey Brown about his latest novel, TransAtlantic, which features a fictional braiding of the narratives of Frederick Douglass traveling through Ireland in 1845, the first nonstop flight across the Atlantic in 1919, and Senator George Mitchell in 1998 trying to forge a peace treaty in Northern Ireland. (Check out Brown's retake at the beginning of the clip.)

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Barry Lopez

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The author of thirteen books of essays, short stories, and nonfiction—winner of the National Book Award, the Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and numerous other honors—talks about the landscape of his home in western Oregon and the art of storytelling in this video from Open Road Media.

All the Light We Cannot See

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"I wanted to try to capture the magic of hearing the voice of a stranger on a little device in your home." Anthony Doerr discusses what inspired him to write his new novel, which took him ten years to complete. All the Light We Cannot See, published in May by Scribner, was a finalist for the 2014 National Book Award in Fiction.

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