Panel: Sympathy for All Devils (Lina Maria Ferreira Cabeza-Venegas, Sarah Viren, Kerry Howley, Patricia Foster) Though unsympathetic narrators are common in fiction, there’s still an expectation that the essayist, and in particular the woman essayist, tread lightly and not only be sympathetic, but also avoid the unsympathetic. Panelists discuss the genre history and gender bias underlining these expectations, our experiences being unsympathetic essayists and empathizing with unsympathetic characters—from combatants to murderers—and what we stand to gain from sympathizing with the devil.
Reading with Lucas Mann, author of Lord Fear
With Colin Rafferty, Brian Oliu, Lucas Mann, and Meghan Daum.
California native Joan Didion, with her blend of reportage, lyricism, and the personal, forged a path in the sixties and seventies for the writing that we now call “creative nonfiction.” Five essayists who have followed in Didion’s wake discuss her influence on them, considering how she serves as a guide for navigating the complicated terrain of today and explaining how her models, whether in the essay, the memoir, or the travelogue, have affected their own writing.
Room 518, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level
With Beowulf Sheehan, Jeff Sharlet, Timothy Taranto, and Nomi Victor.
From a book cover or author portrait to comics, photo essays, and accompanying illustrations, writers are constantly confronted with how visual imagery compliments or complicates the written word. How can images be crafted that contribute to poetry and prose? Can an image ever take the place of language? What role does design and photography play within contemporary publishing? This panel examines how images and text cohere to create a product that is arresting for both reader and writer.
Room 511, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level