Elif Batuman

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“The main advice I would have is to be really easy on yourself, to shut off as much as you can the voice that’s saying maybe you’re wasting your time, and maybe everything that you do is stupid.” Elif Batuman, a finalist for the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for her debut novel, The Idiot (Penguin Press, 2017), talks to Granta about the literary model of Charles M. Schulz’s Snoopy and the blurred boundary between fiction and nonfiction.

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Evie Shockley

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“Poetry travels, you don’t need a lot of money to write it, you don’t need a lot of money to print it and distribute it.” Evie Shockley, a finalist for the 2018 Pulitzer Prize in poetry for her third collection, semiautomatic (Wesleyan University Press, 2017), talks with City of Asylum about the accessibility of writing poetry and its long and powerful tradition.

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Colson Whitehead on Rejections

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“I became a writer once I realized no one liked my stuff. I just had no choice but to keep going and start a new novel.” In an interview for Louisiana Channel, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Colson Whitehead talks about how rejections of his first manuscript pushed him forward to pursue writing and why he enjoys exploring different genres.

Viet Thanh Nguyen and Chinelo Okparanta

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“One person’s didacticism is another person’s revelation.” At the Center for Fiction, Parul Sehgal moderates a conversation with authors Viet Thanh Nguyen and Chinelo Okparanta as part of the 2017 PEN World Voices Festival.

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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.

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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Viet Thanh Nguyen on Refugee Stories

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“They’re unwanted where they come from, they’re unwanted when they arrive, but we have a great tradition of welcoming refugees and turning them into Pulitzer Prize winners.” Pulitzer Prize–winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen speaks about his experience as a refugee and the significance of refugees in the United States on Late Night With Seth Meyers. Nguyen’s first short 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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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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Written By Himself

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“I was born passing / off the problem of the twentieth century: I was born.” Gregory Pardlo reads “Written By Himself” from his Pulitzer Prize–winning poetry collection, Digest (Four Way Books, 2014), accompanied by the Finnish jazz combo Hot Heros at the Annikki Poetry Festival in Finland.

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