In celebration of our 30th anniversary, Tin House Books has published a collection of some of the best original lectures shared on the Portland Arts & Lectures stage since our 1984 inaugural event. This single volume Literary Arts reader, The World Split Open: Great Authors on Why and How We Write, will be available from Tin House Books on November 11, 2014.
The World Split Open captures our prized Portland Arts & Lectures talks where writers discussed their work and their thoughts on the trajectory of contemporary literature and culture. Whether it’s Wallace Stegner exploring how we use fiction to make sense of life or Ursula K. Le Guin on where ideas come from, Margaret Atwood on the need for complex female characters or Robert Stone on morality and truth in literature, these essays illuminate not just the world of letters, but the world at large. Click here to visit the Tin House website for the full list of featured lectures and purchase your copy of The World Split Open starting November 11 through their website or your favorite local bookseller (we recommend Powell’s!).
Praise for The World Split Open:
“Marking the 30th anniversary of the nonprofit Literary Arts in Oregon, this collection of 10 lectures from celebrated writers reanimates the humanistic argument that, far from being a ‘marginal cultural activity,’ the production of serious literary fiction is an essential task. With eloquence, humility, and humor, contributors reflect both on their own creative processes and on literature as a whole. . . .The essays illuminate the importance of books in widening our intellectual horizons and the struggle to bring novels and their characters to life. The beautiful language these accomplished authors employ exemplifies the unteachable quality of the true ‘tricks of craft.’ Serious readers should find a welcome reminder in this collection that great literature emerges from a receptive mind engaged with the ‘unanswerable questions’ of human character and experience.” —Publishers Weekly
“With eloquence and grace, highly acclaimed authors ponder the complexities of the writer’s life and art form.” ––Kirkus Reviews