Literature

Podcasts

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Azar Nafisi

Photo by Tom Slocum

Author

Author of two memoirs about her life in Iran, Reading Lolita in Tehran and Things I've Been Silent About, Azar Nafisi talks about her books, her life in Iran, her parents, the Iranian Revolution, and, of course, the power of literature. [25:05]

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Luis Alberto Urrea

Photo by Nicole Waite

Author

Author Luis Alberto Urrea talks about the inspiration for and writing of his novel Into the Beautiful North, which takes place from Sinaloa, Mexico, all the way up north to Kankakee, Illinois. [25:54]

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Natasha Wimmer

Photo courtesy of Ms. Wimmer

NEA Literature Fellow for Translation

Natasha Wimmer was awarded an NEA Literature Fellowship in 2007 to translate Roberto Bolaño's epic novel 2666. In this interview, she discusses the complexities of translating Bolaño's work and other tribulations of working as a translator. [27:08]

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Rudolfo Anaya

Photo by Marion Ettlinger

NEA Big Read Selection (Bless Me, Ultima)

Rudolfo Anaya talks about the writing of his acclaimed novel Bless Me, Ultima as well as in the influence of the oral tradition and folk tales on his writing and his life growing up in New Mexico.  [23:56]

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Julia Alvarez

Photo © Bill Eichner

NEA Literature Fellow

Writer Julia Alvarez discusses how her life as a reader led to her life as a writer and the rich source material she finds in her family's immigrant experience. [22:05]

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Unai Elorriaga

Photo by Debra Corrie

NEA International Literary Award (Plants Don't Drink Coffee)

Basque writer Unai Elorriaga and Amaia Gabantxo, translator of Elorriaga's novel Plants Don’t Drink Coffee, discuss the book as well as the art of translation and the Basque language. [25:50]

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Joel Nelson

Photo courtesy of Joel Nelson

NEA National Heritage Fellow

Joel Nelson talks about how he grew to love poetry and how he writes and recites poetry, as well as growing up on a ranch and his love of horses, among other subjects. [27:00]

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Amy Tan

Photo by Bob Shonbrun

NEA Big Read Selection (The Joy Luck Club)

Amy Tan talks about her first novel, The Joy Luck Club, her relationship with her mother, and the art of writing. [27:49]

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Kay Ryan

Photo by Tom Roster

Poet (U.S. Poet Laureate, NEA Literature Fellow)

U.S. Poet Laureate talks about her teaching career, her reaction to that initial phone call from the Library of Congress, and, of course, poetry. [21:52]

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Stan Lee

Photo courtesy of POW! Entertainment

Comic book writer, producer (National Medal of Arts recipient)

Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, the X-Men, Iron Man, the Hulk, Doctor Strange: Stan Lee was there at the creation. [29:56]

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