A Particular Kind of Black Man

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“The protagonist of my novel is forced to construct a persona because the persona that he inherits from his father and from society doesn’t match who he actually is.” Nigerian American author Tope Folarin, winner of the 2013 Caine Prize for African Writing, talks about the theme of identity construction in his debut novel, A Particular Kind of Black Man (Simon & Schuster, 2019).

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Three Women by Lisa Taddeo

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“I think desire is at once the thing we think most about and also our most slippery secret, and I wanted to explore the nuance of that intersection.” In this Simon & Schuster interview, Lisa Taddeo discusses the intimate research done for her first book, Three Women (Avid Reader Press, 2019), which is featured in Page One in the July/August issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

Kristen Roupenian

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“I’ve always wanted to meet Stephen King—he’s like the author of all my nightmares.” In this video, Kristen Roupenian reveals some of her favorite things, dreams, secrets, and excuses. Her debut short story collection, You Know You Want This (Gallery/Scout Press, 2019), includes “Cat Person,” which was published by the New Yorker in 2017 and went viral on the Internet.

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Siri Hustvedt on Reading

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“Inside a novel, one has the opportunity to experience the ambiguous reality of a whole other consciousness. When you read, you are possessed by the voice of another.” In this 2017 Louisiana Channel interview, Siri Hustvedt talks about the transformative experience of reading novels. Hustvedt’s seventh novel, Memories of the Future (Simon & Schuster, 2019), is featured in Page One in the March/April issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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Looker

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“It’s a novel of ideas, too—it’s concerned with the consequences of our societal obsession with celebrity, status, appearance, and wealth,” says Laura Sims about her debut novel, Looker (Scribner, 2019). In this video, Sims also talks about how libraries have played an important role throughout her life, and how she drew inspiration from the work of Elena Ferrante and Jenny Offill, and numerous science fiction, murder mystery, and horror novels.

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Vacuum in the Dark

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“I kept notes about the interesting things I would find in people’s garbage. You can tell quite a bit about a person by what they throw away.” Jen Beagin, whose second novel, Vacuum in the Dark, will be published by Scribner in February, talks about how her experience cleaning homes in New Mexico inspired her to start writing fiction.

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Reyna Grande

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“This story is not just about an immigrant girl making her way through the world, but it’s a story of a girl who is fighting hard for her American dream.” In this video, Reyna Grande discusses her memoir A Dream Called Home (Atria Books, 2018), a sequel to her best-selling memoir The Distance Between Us, and the inspiration she hopes her books will bring to young readers.

The Library Book

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“That’s always the surprise to me, that I find myself in the middle of a subject that I had never anticipated.” In this video, Susan Orlean speaks about what led her to write The Library Book (Simon & Schuster, 2018), which explores her love of libraries and reexamines the historic 1986 fire at the Los Angeles Public Library. Orlean is profiled in the November/December issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

Sharlene Teo

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“I grew up reading a gigantic compendium of all the Grimm’s fairy tales, and also fairy tales originating from other parts of the world....” Singaporean author Sharlene Teo talks with Manchester Literature Festival’s Naomi Frisby about the inspiration behind her debut novel, Ponti (Simon & Schuster, 2018), the work of writers Guy Gunaratne and Nikesh Shukla, and her fascination with ideas of beauty, superficiality, and artifice.

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