Category Archives: Fiction

Richard Powers with Tayari Jones, Conversation, 27 February 2019 – Video

Recorded at the Lensic Theater in Santa Fe, New Mexico on February 27, 2019.

Richard Powers is the author of 12 novels. These works employ multiple narrative frames to explore connections among disciplines as disparate as photography, artificial intelligence, musical composition, genomics, game theory, virtual reality, race, business, and ecology. He has said, “Science is not about control. It is about cultivating a perpetual condition of wonder in the face of something that forever grows one step richer and subtler than our latest theory about it. It is about reverence, not mastery.”

His novels include Three Farmers on Their Way to a Dance (1985), inspired by German photographer August Sander’s 1914 image of the same title; The Gold Bug Variations (1991), a double love story of two young couples separated by a distance of 25 years; and The Echo Maker (2007), whose main character, Mark, suffers a traumatic brain injury in a car accident and becomes convinced that the woman who looks, acts, and sounds just like his sister Karin is actually an imposter.

His most recent book, The Overstory (2018), is a tale of activism and resistance, about the secret language of trees and the people they bring together to save the last few remaining acres of virgin forest. In the New York Times Book Review, author Barbara Kingsolver called it “monumental… The Overstory accomplishes what few living writers from either camp, art or science, could attempt. Using the tools of the story, he pulls readers heart-first into a perspective so much longer-lived and more subtly developed than the human purview that we gain glimpses of a vast, primordial sensibility, while watching our own kind get whittled down to size… A gigantic fable of genuine truths.”

His fiction and speculative essays have appeared in the New Yorker, Harper’s, Esquire, Grand Street, the New York Times, Conjunctions, Granta, the Guardian, Common Knowledge, Wired, Tin House, Zoetrope, Paris Review, the Believer, Best American Short Stories, and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His work has been translated into 16 languages. In 2010 he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Powers’ books have won numerous honors, including the Rosenthal and Vursell Awards, the James Fenimore Cooper Prize from the Society of American Historians, the Corrington Award, a PEN/Hemingway Special Citation, the John Dos Passos Prize for Literature, and two Pushcart Prizes. The Gold Bug Variations was named Time magazine’s Book of the Year. Powers is a MacArthur Fellow, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a recipient of a Lannan Literary Award. He won the W. H. Smith Literary Award (UK) for best novel of 2003 and the Ambassador Book Award from the English-Speaking Union in 2004. The Echo Maker won the 2006 National Book Award. In 2014 Powers was among the first Americans long-listed for the Man Booker Prize.

This was a Readings and Conversations event.

In this event, Richard Powers also read from his work. You can find the companion post here.

You may learn more about this event on the Lannan website; you may also listen to the audio recording / watch the videos of this event there. Photos from this event are available on Flickr.

Possibly Related Posts:

Richard Powers with Tayari Jones, 27 February 2019 – Audio

Recorded at the Lensic Theater in Santa Fe, New Mexico on February 27, 2019.

Richard Powers with Tayari Jones

Richard Powers is the author of 12 novels. These works employ multiple narrative frames to explore connections among disciplines as disparate as photography, artificial intelligence, musical composition, genomics, game theory, virtual reality, race, business, and ecology. He has said, “Science is not about control. It is about cultivating a perpetual condition of wonder in the face of something that forever grows one step richer and subtler than our latest theory about it. It is about reverence, not mastery.”

His novels include Three Farmers on Their Way to a Dance (1985), inspired by German photographer August Sander’s 1914 image of the same title; The Gold Bug Variations (1991), a double love story of two young couples separated by a distance of 25 years; and The Echo Maker (2007), whose main character, Mark, suffers a traumatic brain injury in a car accident and becomes convinced that the woman who looks, acts, and sounds just like his sister Karin is actually an imposter.

His most recent book, The Overstory (2018), is a tale of activism and resistance, about the secret language of trees and the people they bring together to save the last few remaining acres of virgin forest. In the New York Times Book Review, author Barbara Kingsolver called it “monumental… The Overstory accomplishes what few living writers from either camp, art or science, could attempt. Using the tools of the story, he pulls readers heart-first into a perspective so much longer-lived and more subtly developed than the human purview that we gain glimpses of a vast, primordial sensibility, while watching our own kind get whittled down to size… A gigantic fable of genuine truths.”

His fiction and speculative essays have appeared in the New Yorker, Harper’s, Esquire, Grand Street, the New York Times, Conjunctions, Granta, the Guardian, Common Knowledge, Wired, Tin House, Zoetrope, Paris Review, the Believer, Best American Short Stories, and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His work has been translated into 16 languages. In 2010 he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Powers’ books have won numerous honors, including the Rosenthal and Vursell Awards, the James Fenimore Cooper Prize from the Society of American Historians, the Corrington Award, a PEN/Hemingway Special Citation, the John Dos Passos Prize for Literature, and two Pushcart Prizes. The Gold Bug Variations was named Time magazine’s Book of the Year. Powers is a MacArthur Fellow, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a recipient of a Lannan Literary Award. He won the W. H. Smith Literary Award (UK) for best novel of 2003 and the Ambassador Book Award from the English-Speaking Union in 2004. The Echo Maker won the 2006 National Book Award. In 2014 Powers was among the first Americans long-listed for the Man Booker Prize.

This was a Readings and Conversations event.

You may learn more about this event on the Lannan website; you may also watch the videos of this event there. Photos from this event are available on Flickr.

Possibly Related Posts:

Rachel Kushner with Michael Silverblatt, Reading, 18 April 2018 – Video

Recorded at the Lensic Theater in Santa Fe, New Mexico on April 18, 2018.

Rachel Kushner’s first novel, Telex from Cuba, is set in Oriente, Cuba, in an expat community funded by the United Fruit Company and a nickel mine, during the years leading up to Castro’s revolution. Of the book, the New York Times wrote, “Out of tropical rot, Kushner has fashioned a story that will linger like a whiff of decadent Colony perfume.”

Her second novel, The Flamethrowers, is set mostly in the mid-1970s and follows the life of Reno, so named for her place of birth, a young artist who comes to New York intent on marrying her love of motorcycles, speed, and art. The title takes its name from weapons used by the Italian Arditi, a division of elite shock troops that operated during the First World War.

Kushner has twice been a finalist for the National Book Award and is a Guggenheim Fellow. Her fiction and essays appear regularly in the New York Times, the Paris Review, The Believer, Artforum, Bookforum, Fence, Bomb, and Grand Street.

This was a Readings and Conversations event.

In this episode, Rachel Kushner was introduced by Michael Silverblatt, then read from her work. You can find the companion conversation here.

You may learn more about this event on the Lannan website; you may also listen to the audio recording / watch the videos of this event there. Photos from this event are available on Flickr.

Possibly Related Posts:

Rachel Kushner with Michael Silverblatt, Conversation, 18 April 2018 – Video

Recorded at the Lensic Theater in Santa Fe, New Mexico on April 18, 2018.

Rachel Kushner’s first novel, Telex from Cuba, is set in Oriente, Cuba, in an expat community funded by the United Fruit Company and a nickel mine, during the years leading up to Castro’s revolution. Of the book, the New York Times wrote, “Out of tropical rot, Kushner has fashioned a story that will linger like a whiff of decadent Colony perfume.”

Her second novel, The Flamethrowers, is set mostly in the mid-1970s and follows the life of Reno, so named for her place of birth, a young artist who comes to New York intent on marrying her love of motorcycles, speed, and art. The title takes its name from weapons used by the Italian Arditi, a division of elite shock troops that operated during the First World War.

Kushner has twice been a finalist for the National Book Award and is a Guggenheim Fellow. Her fiction and essays appear regularly in the New York Times, the Paris Review, The Believer, Artforum, Bookforum, Fence, Bomb, and Grand Street.

This was a Readings and Conversations event.

In this episode, Rachel Kushner joined Michael Silverblatt in conversation. You can find the companion reading here.

You may learn more about this event on the Lannan website; you may also listen to the audio recording / watch the videos of this event there. Photos from this event are available on Flickr.

Possibly Related Posts:

Rachel Kushner with Michael Silverblatt, 18 April 2018 – Audio

Recorded at the Lensic Theater in Santa Fe, New Mexico on April 18, 2018.

Rachel Kushner with Michael Silverblatt

Rachel Kushner’s first novel, Telex from Cuba, is set in Oriente, Cuba, in an expat community funded by the United Fruit Company and a nickel mine, during the years leading up to Castro’s revolution. Of the book, the New York Times wrote, “Out of tropical rot, Kushner has fashioned a story that will linger like a whiff of decadent Colony perfume.”

Her second novel, The Flamethrowers, is set mostly in the mid-1970s and follows the life of Reno, so named for her place of birth, a young artist who comes to New York intent on marrying her love of motorcycles, speed, and art. The title takes its name from weapons used by the Italian Arditi, a division of elite shock troops that operated during the First World War.

Kushner has twice been a finalist for the National Book Award and is a Guggenheim Fellow. Her fiction and essays appear regularly in the New York Times, the Paris Review, The Believer, Artforum, Bookforum, Fence, Bomb, and Grand Street.

This was a Readings and Conversations event.

You may learn more about this event on the Lannan website; you may also listen to the audio recording / watch the videos of this event there. Photos from this event are available on Flickr.

Possibly Related Posts:

Roxane Gay with Tressie McMillan Cottom, Reading, 14 March 2018 – Video

Recorded at the Lensic Theater in Santa Fe, New Mexico on March 14, 2018.

Roxane Gay is an author and cultural critic. Her works include the story collection Difficult Women and Ayiti, a blend of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry interwoven into a tale of the Haitian diaspora. In her essay collection Bad Feminist, she writes, “I never want to be placed on a Feminist Pedestal. People who are placed on pedestals are expected to pose, perfectly. Then they get knocked off…. Consider me already knocked off.”

Gay’s most recent book is Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body. The New York Times writes, “At its simplest, it’s a memoir about being fat — Gay’s preferred term — in a hostile, fat-phobic world. At its most symphonic, it’s an intellectually rigorous and deeply moving exploration of the ways in which trauma, stories, desire, language and metaphor shape our experiences and construct our reality.”

Gay is the author of the comic series World of Wakanda and is the first African American woman to write for Marvel Comics. She is a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times.

This was a Readings and Conversations event.

In this episode, Roxane Gay was introduced by Tressie McMillan Cottom, then talked about her work. You can find the companion conversation here.

You may learn more about this event on the Lannan website; you may also listen to the audio recording of this event there. Photos from this event are available on Flickr.

Possibly Related Posts:

Roxane Gay with Tressie McMillan Cottom, Conversation, 14 March 2018 – Video

Recorded at the Lensic Theater in Santa Fe, New Mexico on March 14, 2018.

Roxane Gay is an author and cultural critic. Her works include the story collection Difficult Women and Ayiti, a blend of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry interwoven into a tale of the Haitian diaspora. In her essay collection Bad Feminist, she writes, “I never want to be placed on a Feminist Pedestal. People who are placed on pedestals are expected to pose, perfectly. Then they get knocked off…. Consider me already knocked off.”

Gay’s most recent book is Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body. The New York Times writes, “At its simplest, it’s a memoir about being fat — Gay’s preferred term — in a hostile, fat-phobic world. At its most symphonic, it’s an intellectually rigorous and deeply moving exploration of the ways in which trauma, stories, desire, language and metaphor shape our experiences and construct our reality.”

Gay is the author of the comic series World of Wakanda and is the first African American woman to write for Marvel Comics. She is a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times.

This was a Readings and Conversations event.

In this episode, Roxane Gay joined Tressie McMillan Cottom in conversation. You can find the companion reading here.

You may learn more about this event on the Lannan website; you may also listen to the audio recording of this event there. Photos from this event are available on Flickr.

Possibly Related Posts:

Roxane Gay with Tressie McMillan Cottom, 14 March 2018 – Audio

Recorded at the Lensic Theater in Santa Fe, New Mexico on March 14, 2018.

Roxane Gay

Roxane Gay is an author and cultural critic. Her works include the story collection Difficult Women and Ayiti, a blend of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry interwoven into a tale of the Haitian diaspora. In her essay collection Bad Feminist, she writes, “I never want to be placed on a Feminist Pedestal. People who are placed on pedestals are expected to pose, perfectly. Then they get knocked off…. Consider me already knocked off.”

Gay’s most recent book is Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body. The New York Times writes, “At its simplest, it’s a memoir about being fat — Gay’s preferred term — in a hostile, fat-phobic world. At its most symphonic, it’s an intellectually rigorous and deeply moving exploration of the ways in which trauma, stories, desire, language and metaphor shape our experiences and construct our reality.”

Gay is the author of the comic series World of Wakanda and is the first African American woman to write for Marvel Comics. She is a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times.

This was a Readings and Conversations event.

You may learn more about this event on the Lannan website; you may also watch the videos of this event there. Photos from this event are available on Flickr.

Possibly Related Posts:

Aleksandar Hemon with John Freeman, Reading, 28 February 2018 – Video

Recorded at the Lensic Theater in Santa Fe, New Mexico on February 28, 2018.

Aleksandar Hemon’s books include the novels The Making of Zombie Wars and Nowhere Man, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the story collections The Question of Bruno and Love and Obstacles. Born in Sarajevo in the former Yugoslavia in 1964, Hemon was visiting Chicago as a tourist in 1992 when the Bosnian War broke out. Unable to return home, he eventually settled permanently in Chicago.

Having arrived with only a basic command of English, Hemon learned the language by reading the novels of Vladimir Nabokov; he published his first story in English in 1995. The New Yorker described him as having an “astonishing talent to notice the world with a sarcastic, wily precision that is then put in tension with his love of surreal metaphor.”

Hemon’s writing has appeared in The New Yorker, Esquire, and the New York Times, with more recent work addressing issues of immigration and the Trump administration. In a piece entitled “When Neighbors Turn on Each Other, It Happens Fast,” he writes, “Nevertheless, the question remains what happens to that sense of ethical stability when there is a societal rupture, when the infrastructure that allows for essentialist individualism is damaged and destroyed?” Hemon was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2003 and received a MacArthur “genius grant” the following year. He lives in Chicago with his family.

This was a Readings and Conversations event.

In this episode, Aleksandar Hemon was introduced by John Freeman, then talked about his work. You can find the companion conversation here.

You may learn more about this event on the Lannan website; you may also listen to the audio recording of this event there. Photos from this event are available on Flickr.

Possibly Related Posts:

Aleksandar Hemon with John Freeman, Conversation, 28 February 2018 – Video

Recorded at the Lensic Theater in Santa Fe, New Mexico on February 28, 2018.

Aleksandar Hemon’s books include the novels The Making of Zombie Wars and Nowhere Man, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the story collections The Question of Bruno and Love and Obstacles. Born in Sarajevo in the former Yugoslavia in 1964, Hemon was visiting Chicago as a tourist in 1992 when the Bosnian War broke out. Unable to return home, he eventually settled permanently in Chicago.

Having arrived with only a basic command of English, Hemon learned the language by reading the novels of Vladimir Nabokov; he published his first story in English in 1995. The New Yorker described him as having an “astonishing talent to notice the world with a sarcastic, wily precision that is then put in tension with his love of surreal metaphor.”

Hemon’s writing has appeared in The New Yorker, Esquire, and the New York Times, with more recent work addressing issues of immigration and the Trump administration. In a piece entitled “When Neighbors Turn on Each Other, It Happens Fast,” he writes, “Nevertheless, the question remains what happens to that sense of ethical stability when there is a societal rupture, when the infrastructure that allows for essentialist individualism is damaged and destroyed?” Hemon was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2003 and received a MacArthur “genius grant” the following year. He lives in Chicago with his family.

This was a Readings and Conversations event.

In this episode, Aleksandar Hemon joined John Freeman in conversation. You can find the companion reading here.

You may learn more about this event on the Lannan website; you may also listen to the audio recording of this event there. Photos from this event are available on Flickr.

Possibly Related Posts: