Min Jin Lee on Pachinko

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“Fiction has the ability to expand people’s points of view, and also to have the contradictions...” In this video, Min Jin Lee answers questions from readers about her novel Pachinko (Grand Central Publishing, 2017) for PBS NewsHour’s Now Read This book club, a partnership with the New York Times.

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Kevin Young’s Brown

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“I think poetry should be part of popular culture, in the sense that poetry should be something we reach to.” Kevin Young, director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, speaks about how his childhood in Topeka, Kansas influenced his new poetry collection, Brown (Knopf, 2018), with PBS NewsHour’s Jeffrey Brown.

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Nicole Dennis-Benn

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“I wanted their lives, especially our working-class women, to be out there. People need to be seen. I wanted to show that.” Nicole Dennis-Benn talks about the working-class town she grew up in Jamaica and how her experiences inspired her debut novel, Here Comes the Sun (Liveright, 2016), in this video for PBS NewsHour’s “Brief but Spectacular” series.

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Recommendations From Tracy K. Smith

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For PBS NewsHour, U.S. poet laureate Tracy K. Smith recommends recent poetry titles, including Look (Graywolf Press, 2016) by Solmaz Sharif, who was featured in “Shadows of Words: Our Twelfth Annual Look at Debut Poets” in Poets & Writers Magazine, and Lessons on Expulsion (Graywolf Press, 2017) by Erika L. Sanchez, who was profiled in “First” by Rigoberto González in the September/October issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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Jesmyn Ward

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“When you see yourself reflected in literature, it enlarges your ideas of what is possible for you.” MacArthur “Genius” Grant recipient Jesmyn Ward takes PBS NewsHour’s Jeffrey Brown on a tour of her hometown in Mississippi and shares the parts of her life and community that inspire her writing. Ward is the winner of the 2017 National Book Award in fiction for Sing, Unbured, Sing (Scribner, 2017).

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William Brewer

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“I gave my body to the mountain whole. / For my body, the clinic gave out petals inked with curses. / Refill, refill, refill, until they stopped.” William Brewer reads poems from his debut poetry collection, I Know Your Kind (Milkweed Editions, 2017), and takes PBS NewsHour’s Jeffrey Brown on a tour of his hometown of Morgantown, West Virginia to speak about the opioid crisis.

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Dark at the Crossing

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“I think that’s one of the great things that fiction has the power to do: it allows you to create a character, a character you might find despicable or with whom you might not agree, but then give them the power to basically make their case as though they were making it before God.” Elliot Ackerman talks to PBS NewsHour’s Jeffrey Brown about his second novel, Dark at the Crossing (Knopf, 2017), which is a finalist for the 2017 National Book Award in fiction.

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