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Conversations from the Sun Valley Writers' Conference - 2018

Author Adam Johnson

Author Adam Johnson talks with Marcia Franklin about his work and writing philosophy.

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Producer and host Marcia Franklin talks with author Adam Johnson about his works and writing philosophy. Johnson, a professor of creative writing at Stanford University, is the recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for his novel, The Orphan Master's Son, and the National Book Award for his short story collection, Fortune Smiles. He is also the author of another novel, Parasites Like Us, and a short story collection, Emporium.

During the interview, which was conducted at the 2018 Sun Valley Writers' Conference, Franklin talks with Johnson about North Korea, which he has visited and which provides the backdrop for The Orphan Master's Son. They also discuss some of the stories in Fortune Smiles, and Johnson's research techniques for them. He also talks about his next novel, which will revolve around the theme of climate change.

Related Links:
Adam Johnson's Penguin Radom House author page

Journalist Eliza Griswold

Eliza Griswold talks with Marcia Franklin about her latest book, "Amity and Prosperity."

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On this episode of Dialogue, Marcia Franklin talks with journalist Eliza Griswold about her latest book, Amity and Prosperity. It chronicles the effects of “fracking” on some residents of a western Pennsylvania community. Fracking is a method of getting natural gas out of rock, and is controversial for several reasons.

Griswold spent seven years researching and writing the book. During the conversation, recorded at the 2018 Sun Valley Writers’ Conference, she talks about what motivated her to cover the story, which she calls one of the most difficult she has ever reported, the results of her investigation, and the deep rural/urban divide she observed.

A former Guggenheim Fellow and a regular contributor to The New Yorker magazine, Griswold is also the author of The Tenth Parallel: Dispatched from the Fault Line Between Christianity and Islam, which won the J. Anthony Lukas Prize. She also penned a collection of poems, Wideawake Field. She talks with Franklin about her forthcoming book of poetry.

Related Links:
Eliza Griswold's New Yorker contributors page

Journalist Steve Coll

Journalist Steve Coll talks with Marcia Franklin about his latest book, "Directorate S."

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On this episode of Dialogue, Marcia Franklin talks with journalist Steve Coll about his latest book, Directorate S: the C.I.A. and America's Secret Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The exhaustively researched book is a follow-up to Coll’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001.

In his new book, Coll takes a look at the complex relationship the United States has with Pakistan, particularly with that country’s intelligence agency, the ISI. The U.S. has funded the agency in the past, only to find that it was supporting terrorism.

Franklin asks Coll about what he learned during his investigation, and what he thinks of the Trump’s administration’s policies towards Pakistan. The two also discuss what Coll says is new information he gleaned about the negotiations over Idahoan Bowe Bergdahl, who was held hostage by the Haqqani network of the Taliban for five years.

Coll, a longtime reporter and editor for The Washington Post who won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting there, is currently the dean of the School of Journalism at Columbia University. In addition to his conversation with Franklin about his book, he shares his thoughts on the journalistic landscape today.

Related Links:
Steve Coll's Columbia University faculty page
Steve Coll's New Yorker contributors page

Architect Jeanne Gang

Marcia Franklin talks with architect Jeanne Gang about her work.

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Host Marcia Franklin talks with award-winning architect Jeanne Gang. Gang, the recipient of a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship, was a speaker at the 2018 Sun Valley Writers' Conference. The two discuss some of Gang's designs, as well as her architectural philosophy.

Known for her innovative designs and use of materials, Gang is based in Chicago, where she founded her firm, Studio Gang. She and her team have designed several skyscrapers, including Aqua Tower and Vista Tower, which is the tallest building ever designed by a woman-owned firm. Studio Gang also designs smaller buildings and structures embedded in their communities, such as the Arcus Center for Social Justice in Kalamazoo, and the nature boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago.

Currently, Gang is working on a new wing on the American Museum of Natural History in New York, the Arkansas Arts Center in Little Rock, and the new campus for the California College of the Arts in San Francisco.