F127. Strange Bedfellows: The Unholy Mingling of Politics and Art

Room 202A, Washington Convention Center, Level Two
Friday, February 10, 2017
9:00 am to 10:15 am


If the pen is mightier than the sword, why are young writers so often told that politics and literature don’t—or shouldn't—mix? The introduction of real-world conflicts interferes with good storytelling, the theory goes, favoring ideas over characters and the general over the concrete. How then can writers find a space to explore the matters of life and death, wealth and poverty, war and governance that affect us all? How should art respond to the terrors of modern life?



Andrew Altschul is the author of the novels Deus Ex Machina and Lady Lazarus, and short fiction that has appeared in Best American Nonrequired Reading, Best New American Voices, O. Henry Prize Stories, and elsewhere. He teaches at Colorado State University.

Nick Flynn has published nine books, including My Feelings, Some Ether, Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, The Captain Asks for a Show of Hands, The Reenactments, The Ticking is the Bomb, and Blind Huber. His work has been translated into fifteen languages.

V.V. Ganeshananthan's debut novel, Love Marriage, was longlisted for the Orange Prize and named one of Washington Post Book World's Best of 2008. Her work has appeared in Granta and The New York Times, among others. She teaches at the University of Minnesota and she was a 2014 NEA and Radcliffe Fellow.

Anthony Marra is the author of A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, winner of the NBCC John Leonard Award and longlisted for the National Book Award, and The Tsar of Love and Techno, finalist for the NBCC Award in Fiction.

Karen Yamashita


March 23–26, 2022
Philadelphia, PA

Pennsylvania Convention Center