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Dialogue

Dialogue

Conversations from the Sun Valley Writers' Conference - 2011

Suzanne Maloney

Marcia Franklin talks with Suzanne Maloney of the Saban Center about the Middle East.

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When a Tunisian street vendor set himself on fire in December, 2010 to protest treatment by a police officer, he set off an unlikely chain of uprisings throughout the region, now dubbed as the "Arab Spring." Both Tunisia and Egypt's revolutions resulted in a change of government, and later in 2011, Libya's government also fell to rebels.

Marcia Franklin talks with Suzanne Maloney, a scholar at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, about the reasons why the uprisings are occurring, and their potential effects on the United States. The two also discuss U.S.-Iranian relations. Maloney is an expert on Iran.

Before she took her current position, Maloney worked as the Middle East advisor for ExxonMobil Corporation, was a member of the U.S. State Department's Policy Planning Staff, and directed the 2004 Council on Foreign Relations Task Force on US Policy toward Iran.

She is the author of Iran's Long Reach: Iran as a Pivotal State in the Muslim World.

The interview is part of >Dialogue's ongoing "Conversations from the Sun Valley Writers' Conference" and was taped at the 2011 conference. Since 1995, the conference has been bringing together authors to discuss literature and life. Marcia Franklin has interviewed speakers there since 2005.

Colum McCann

Marcia Franklin talks with author Colum McCann.

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Marcia Franklin talks with Colum McCann, author of Let the Great World Spin. The book, which has been called the "first great 9/11 novel," won the 2009 National Book Award for fiction, and was Amazon.com's 2009 Book of the Year.

The novel weaves together the stories of fictional characters all living in New York City in 1974 during the week Philippe Petit made his famous tightrope walk between the Twin Towers. Although the book barely mentions the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, it is considered an homage to that day and its effect on the country.

Franklin talks with the Irish-born McCann about what prompted him to write the work, as well as the themes behind his other books, which include This Side of Brightness, about dwellers in the subway tunnels of New York City; Zoli, about a Roma woman in Europe; and Dancer, based on the life of Rudolf Nureyev. McCann has also written several collections of short stories.

The interview is part of Dialogue's ongoing "Conversations from the Sun Valley Writers' Conference" and was taped at the 2011 conference. Since 1995, the conference has been bringing together authors to discuss literature and life. Marcia Franklin has interviewed speakers there since 2005.

Related Links:
Colum McCann website

Kati Marton

Marcia Franklin talks with author Kati Marton.

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Marcia Franklin talks with author and former journalist Kati Marton. Marton, who has written seven books, is a former correspondent for NPR and ABC News.

Franklin talks with Marton about her experience researching her most recent work, Enemies of the People. The book chronicles Marton's search to learn more about her parents, who were imprisoned by the Hungarian government during the Cold War for their work as reporters for American news outlets.

Released after nearly two years, her parents fled to the United States, where they lived out their lives and never discussed their ordeal. Years after their death, Marton had the unique opportunity to look at the once-secret files compiled on her family. She discovered not only who had betrayed her parents, but more about their past lives than she had ever imagined.

Franklin also asks Marton about the themes of her other works, which include The Great Escape: Nine Jews who Fled Hitler and Changed the World; Wallenberg: Missing Hero; and The Polk Conspiracy. The two also discuss the legacy of Marton's late husband, Ambassador Richard Holbrooke. Holbrooke died on December 13, 2010 of complications from a torn aorta.

In a separate web extra, the two talk about Marton's work in human rights, and about her next book.

The interview is part of Dialogue's ongoing "Conversations from the Sun Valley Writers' Conference" and was taped at the 2011 conference. Since 1995, the conference has been bringing together authors to discuss literature and life. Marcia Franklin has interviewed speakers there since 2005.

Related Links:
website