#AWP17 Featured Presenter Q&A with Emma Straub

AWP | January 2017

Event Title: In Conversation: Emma Straub and Ann Patchett, Sponsored by the Center for Fiction and Write On Door County
Description: New York Times bestselling author of Modern Lovers and The Vacationers Emma Straub is joined by Orange Prize–winner Ann Patchett (The Patron Saint of Liars, Bel Canto, State of Wonder, Commonwealth). Both have written extensively on family, friendships, and the tensions of adulthood. They will read from and discuss their work.
Participants: Emma Straub, Ann Patchett
Location: Ballroom A, Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Level Three
Date & Time: Friday, February 10, 2017 from 3:00 p.m.–4:15 p.m.

Q: What are some of the conference events or bookfair exhibitors you look forward to seeing?
A: The book fair is always my favorite part of AWP—running into friends and heroes and editors all while shopping for books! It's like killing two thousand birds with one stone. One Story's booth is particularly irresistible, can't leave AWP without a few back issues.

Q: What book or books that you’ve read over the last year would you most highly recommend?
A: I really enjoyed Ann Patchett's Commonwealth, Jade Chang's The Wangs vs. the World, Belle Boggs's The Art of Waiting, Maria Semple's Today Will Be Different...oh man, I had a baby this year and my reading log has suffered mightily.

Q: Has public funding for the arts made a difference in your life and career as a writer?
A: Public funding for the arts has made a difference in my life because without it there would be less art for me (and everyone else) to enjoy. Public funding makes creative work possible for many, many people. Let's hope the new administration knows that.

Q: When AWP was founded in 1967, there were a dozen creative writing programs. Now there are approximately 1,800 undergraduate and graduate programs. What do you think has changed for readers and writers since creative writing became ascendant as an academic discipline?
A: Maybe I'm just a Pollyanna, but I'm of the mind that there is room enough for all of us—the more the better. More students, more teachers, more jobs, more books. I think it's all good.

Q: If you could run into any author, contemporary or historical, at #AWP17, who would it be and what would you talk about?
A: Lucky for me, Ann Patchett is forced to sit next to me and chat for at least an hour! What more could I ask for? But since you asked, I'd also like to run into all my friends and professors from my University of Wisconsin MFA program, and all my other writer friends who have the good sense to live somewhere other than New York City.


Emma Straub Emma Straub is the New York Times bestselling author of Modern Lovers, The Vacationers, Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures, and Other People We Married. Her books have been published in seventeen countries.

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