#AWP16 Featured Presenter Q&A with Peter Davies & Roxana Robinson
AWP | February 2016
Event Title: Peter Ho Davies, Joyce Carol Oates, and Roxana Robinson: A Reading and Conversation, Sponsored by the Author's Guild, Ecco, and Kundiman
Description: Peter Ho Davies is the author of the novel The Welsh Girl, which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, and two story collections, The Ugliest House in the World and Equal Love. Joyce Carol Oates has written some of the most enduring fiction of our time, including We Were the Mulvaneys; Blonde, which was nominated for the National Book Award; and the New York Times bestseller The Accursed. Roxana Robinson is the author of Sparta, four earlier novels including Cost, three story collections, and the biography Georgia O’Keeffe: A Life. Four of these were New York Times notable books. Robinson has received fellowships from the NEA, the MacDowell Colony, and the Guggenheim Foundation, and is President of the Authors Guild.
Participants: Peter Davies, Joyce Carol Oates, and Roxana Robinson
Date & Time: Saturday April 2, 2016, 8:30pm – 10:00pm
Q: What book or books that you’ve read over the last year would you most highly recommend?
Peter: Kate Atkinson's Life After Life and Richard Flanagan's The Narrow Road to the Deep North.
Roxana: My Struggle by Karl Ove Knausgaard, The Bullet-Proof Vest by Maria Venega, and The Servants’ Quarters by Lynn Freed.
Q: Given how much time writers spend alone to practice their craft, what do you think are the advantages of creating the large community that exists at the AWP conference?
Peter: Misery loves company...
Roxana: I think it can be very heartening to meet other members of your tribe. Writers are peculiar creatures, and if you feel you are the only one of your kind, it’s dispiriting. Finding the rest of your kin is crucial!
Q: Outside of the conference, what about Los Angeles are you looking forward to? Are there any Los Angeles activities you would recommend to conference attendees?
Peter: I promised my eleven-year-old son we'd spend the day before or after the conference at a theme park. We went on the rides at the Mall of America at last year's AWP Conference in Minneapolis and there's a lot to be said for the sheer visceral thrill of a roller coaster after days of panels and readings!
Peter Ho Davies is the author of the novel The Welsh Girl, which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, and two story collections, The Ugliest House in the World and Equal Love. His work has appeared in Harpers, the Atlantic, and the Paris Review, and has been anthologized in Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards and The Best American Short Stories. In 2003, Granta named him among its “Best of Young British Novelists,” and he was a 2008 recipient of the PEN/Malamud Prize for excellence in the short story. Born in Britain to Welsh and Chinese parents, Davies now lives in the United States and teaches at the University of Michigan. (Photo credit: Lynne Raughley)
Roxana Robinson is the author of Sparta, four earlier novels including Cost, three story collections, and the biography Georgia O’Keeffe: A Life. Four of these were New York Times notable books. Robinson’s work has appeared in the New Yorker, the Atlantic, Harper’s, BASS, and elsewhere. She was named a Literary Lion by the New York Public Library, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle’s Balakian Award, and has received fellowships from the NEA, the MacDowell Colony, and the Guggenheim Foundation. She is President of the Authors Guild. (Photo credit: David Ignaszewski / Koboy)