Love/Hate: The villain as hero in contemporary fiction.
Annasue Wilson, who moderates this panel, kicked off a national debate earlier this year with a controversial interview in Publishers Weekly, riling up everyone from Margaret Atwood to Jonathan Franzen on the topic of whether literary characters should be likable. Annasue will explore this topic with Lit Fest authors: Carolyn Turgeon, whose The Fairest of Them All tells the story of a fairy-tale heroine-turned-villain; Monica Drake, whose The Stud Book is “the freshest look at the tyranny of the baby bump since Rosemary got pregnant,” according to Chelsea Cain; Alissa Nutting, whose Tampa was declared the “sickest, most controversial book of the summer” by Cosmopolitan; and Kelly Braffet, whose Save Yourself is “an electrifying tomahawk missile of a thriller with honest-to-God people at its core,” according to Dennis Lehane.
Obsessed: Research and biography.
Authors discuss the rigorous, obsessive (and sometimes unhealthy) pursuit of their subjects. Panelists: Author and journalist Leo Adam Biga (Alexander Payne: His Journey in Film), who has followed the career of Alexander Payne since the Oscar-winning filmmaker’s earliest projects, and visited the set of his most recent film, Nebraska; Mary K. Stillwell, who has written The Life and Poetry of Ted Kooser, the first critical biography to consider the poet’s life and work together; Owen King, who researched his novel, Double Feature, by watching hours and hours of horror films, and is currently furthering his obsession with baseball; and Timothy Schaffert, whose forthcoming novel, The Swan Gondola, involved full immersion into 1898 Omaha.
Experiments: Writing around the mainstream.
Authors talk about risk, invention, small-press publishing, dangerous subjects, and the literary underground. Panelists include: Elwin Cotman, author of Jack Daniels Sessions EP: A Collection of Fantasies; Brion Poloncic, author of Xanthous Mermaid Mechanics (published by Journal of Experimental Fiction); and Thom Sibbitt, who explores sex, death, and drugs in his novel The Turnpike.
Cinematic: Movies as subject, inspiration, and influence.
Leo Adam Biga (Alexander Payne: His Journey in Film) moderates a panel on how movies shape a novelist’s vision. Panelists: Owen King, whose novel, Double Feature, is about a famous B-movie director; Monica Drake, author of Clown Girl (optioned for film by Kristen Wiig) and The Stud Book; Carolyn Turgeon, whose novel Mermaid has been optioned for film; and Sean Doolittle, recently involved with the development of an adaptation of his thriller The Cleanup.
Trigger Warnings: writing about sex, perversion, and the politics of pleasure.
Our semi-annual “writing about sex” panel… writing about love, twisted romance, and intimacy in the apocalyptic 21st century. Panelists: Alissa Nutting, whose Tampa centers on a sexual deviant); Kelly Braffet, whose first novel was written with a “restraint” that “lends the novel a prim mystery, deepening its creepy intensity,” according to the New York Times; and Elwin Cotman, who is a “synthesizer… of lewd dialect and high lyricism,” according to Karen Russell.
Book signings by lit fest authors.
Event Type(s): Author Events, Literature/Writing Events
Age Group(s): Adults