George Saunders on Good Storytelling

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“When you read a good story, you’re kind of being lured out of yourself and you’re having someone else’s experience,” says George Saunders, author most recently of A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life (Random House, 2021), explaining how good storytelling expands a reader’s consciousness and sense of empathy in this Late Night With Seth Meyers interview.

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Weike Wang Reads From Joan Is Okay

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“When I think about people, I think about space, how much space a person takes up and how much use that person provides.” In this Alaska Quarterly Review reading, Weike Wang reads from her second novel, Joan Is Okay (Random House, 2022), which is featured in Page One in the January/February issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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W. G. Sebald at 92nd Street Y

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“The place was so deathly still and deserted that you might have thought the time long after midnight.” In this 2001 reading at the 92nd Street Y, the late W. G. Sebald reads from his novel Austerlitz (Random House, 2001), translated from the German by Anthea Bell, for which he received the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Emily Rapp Black: Throw Us a Line

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“Everyone can do a paragraph.” Emily Rapp Black speaks about working with a writing partner during the pandemic in this video for the Throw Us a Line series hosted by Lighthouse Writers Workshop program director Andrea Dupree. Black’s new memoir, Sanctuary (Random House, 2021), is featured in Page One in the January/February issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

Utopia Avenue

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“It follows the band’s ascent up the wobbly ladder of stardom and the Faustian pact with fame, the hidden costs of getting what they want and the way dreams are not quite the same when they come true.” In this Booktopia TV video, David Mitchell talks about the premise of his eighth novel, Utopia Avenue (Random House, 2020), which is featured in Page One in the July/August issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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Afia Atakora

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“For me, the library was an ultimate treat, it was a second home, and it was a place that I could lose myself if I had to, it was an escape.” In this 2019 video, Afia Atakor speaks about how the library inspired her writing career and introduces a crowd of librarians to her debut novel, Conjure Women (Random House, 2020), which is featured in Page One in the May/June issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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A Conversation With Yiyun Li

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“I have an obligation to human beings, my characters, so that’s all I care about.” In this PEN International interview, Yiyun Li speaks about the expectation as a Chinese American writer to be a spokesperson for a particular experience, and how she enjoys exploring the interior struggles of her characters. Li won the 2020 PEN/Jean Stein Book Award for her novel Where Reasons End (Random House, 2020).

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The Nobody People

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“The book is really about how these people, while they have superpowers on their own, don’t truly become powerful until they’re together as a group.” Bob Proehl talks about his dystopian science fiction novel, The Nobody People (Del Rey, 2019), which follows a group of outcasts with supernatural abilities who band together against violent mobs and a discriminatory government.

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Olive, Again

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“Olive is going through the late—very late—autumn of her life.” Elizabeth Strout talks about the title character and depictions of weather and seasons in her new novel, Olive, Again (Random House, 2019), the follow-up to her Pulitzer Prize–winning novel, Olive Kitteridge (Random House, 2008). Olive, Again is featured in Page One in the November/December issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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Ron Charles Reviews Inland

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Washington Post book critic Ron Charles tries not to spoil the plot of Téa Obreht’s second novel, Inland (Random House, 2019), in this humorous video for his Totally Hip Video Book Review series. Obreht is profiled by Amy Gall in the September/October issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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