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The Domestic Drama: Novel Form or Formula?

Antonya Nelson, Marisa Silver
Moderated by author Bernadette Murphy
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
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Episode Summary
American novelists are preoccupied with the tale of our (mostly dysfunctional) families. Unfortunately, contrary to Tolstoy's famous assertion, a lot of these unhappy families are starting to seem exactly alike. Two acclaimed novelists discuss ways to tell a true, new, enduring story of our most prized institution.

Participant(s) Bio
Antonya Nelson is the author of eight books of fiction. Her works include Female Trouble and the novels Talking in Bed, Nobody's Girl, and Living to Tell. Nelson's work has appeared in the New Yorker, Esquire, Harpers, Redbook, and in many other magazines, as well as in anthologies such as Prize Stories, the O. Henry Awards, and Best American Short Stories. The New Yorker called her one of the "twenty young fiction writers for the new millennium." She is also the recent recipient of the Rea Award for Short Fiction and is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and an NEA Grant.

After attending Harvard University for two years, Marisa Silver left to co-direct a documentary film for PBS entitled Community of Praise. She then wrote and directed her first feature film called Old Enough which won the top prize at the Sundance Festival. She went on to direct three more feature films, "Permanent Record," "Vital Signs," and "He Said, She Said." Silver left directing to pursue writing and she made her fictional debut in The New Yorker. Her collection of short stories, Babe in Paradise, was published in 2001 and named a New York Times "Notable Book of the Year," and a Los Angeles Times "Best Book of the Year." She is the author of the novels No Direction Home, and The God of War.


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