43 episodes

Welcome to Beyond the Page: The Best of the Sun Valley Writers’ Conference. Over the past 25 years, SVWC has become the gold standard of American literary festivals, bringing together contemporary writing's brightest stars for their view of the world through a literary lens. Every month, Beyond the Page will curate and distill the best talks from the past quarter century at the Writers’ Conference, giving you a front row seat on the kind of knowledge, inspiration, laughter, and meaning that Sun Valley has come to be known for.

Beyond the Page: The Best of the Sun Valley Writers’ Conference Sun Valley Writers’ Conference

    • Arts
    • 4.6 • 21 Ratings

Welcome to Beyond the Page: The Best of the Sun Valley Writers’ Conference. Over the past 25 years, SVWC has become the gold standard of American literary festivals, bringing together contemporary writing's brightest stars for their view of the world through a literary lens. Every month, Beyond the Page will curate and distill the best talks from the past quarter century at the Writers’ Conference, giving you a front row seat on the kind of knowledge, inspiration, laughter, and meaning that Sun Valley has come to be known for.

    Javier Zamora in conversation with Mitchell Kaplan

    Javier Zamora in conversation with Mitchell Kaplan

    In this episode of Beyond the Page, recorded live at the 2023 conference, poet and memoirist Javier Zamora talks to legendary bookseller Mitchell Kaplan about his memoir Solito, which chronicles his experiences traveling from El Salvador to the United States, by himself, when he was 9 years old.
    Javier Zamora writes, and speaks, like someone who believes he can never afford to forget that journey, or the experience on the other side, in America, of growing up undocumented. You won’t be able to forget, either. And that is the power of great literature.
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    • 22 min
    Swamp Story: Dave Barry's Florida

    Swamp Story: Dave Barry's Florida

    Recorded at the closing of the 2023 Sun Valley Writers' Conference, Pulitzer Prize-winning humor writer (and one of the funniest people alive) Dave Barry talks about his latest novel Swamp Story, using it mainly as a springboard to talk about his crazy home state of Florida, and from there, about some of the problems facing our nation in general, and what he would do to fix them if by chance he ever gets the authority to do so – which, Dave says, we should all pray he never does. And finally, Dave assures us that the one promise he can make is that nobody will come away from this talk with any useful information whatsoever.
    Here’s Dave Barry, closing the 2023 Sun Valley Writers’ Conference.
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    • 34 min
    Andrea Elliott in conversation with Ayad Akhtar

    Andrea Elliott in conversation with Ayad Akhtar

    Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist Andrea Elliot sits down with another Pulitzer winner, novelist and playwright Ayad Akhtar, at the 2023 Writers’ Conference to talk about Elliot’s book, Invisible Child: Poverty, Survival, and Hope in an American City. The subject of the book is a Black girl in New York City named Dasani, whose story – told through the lens of almost a decade of Elliot’s deep reporting – brings to vivid and devastating life the realities of how poverty and race and the moral failings of our institutions impact the most marginal among us.  Elliott tells us about Dasani's life and how it is both singular and emblematic, and she talks about her own passions for the deeply immersive journalism that is the hallmark of her professional life.
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    • 42 min
    Abraham Verghese: Writer in the World

    Abraham Verghese: Writer in the World

    On this episode, author and physician Abraham Verghese – who received the 2023 Sun Valley Writers’ Conference WRITER IN THE WORLD prize – brings us intimately and poetically into the heart of his remarkable, inspiring journey from his childhood in Ethiopia to his experiences as a young doctor in America during the AIDS epidemic, to his beginnings as a writer. Verghese would go on to become a professor of medicine at Stanford, as well as the author of the classic memoir My Own Country and the beloved, bestselling novels Cutting for Stone and The Covenant of Water. Here, he describes the meaning and arc of his personal journey with heartfelt tenderness and appreciation, offering new insights into his vision and practice of his joint vocations, and of the profound link between healing and storytelling.
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    • 28 min
    Will Democracy Survive?

    Will Democracy Survive?

    In this episode, three of our most cogent and influential writers on global affairs and history – Anne Applebaum, Robert Kagan, and Evan Osnos – discuss the geopolitical ramifications of Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine, the ongoing battle between democracy and authoritarianism, Vladimir Putin’s endgame, China’s power plays, and the future of the Western alliance, among other urgent questions.

    Anne Applebaum is a staff writer for The Atlantic and a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, the author of such books as RED FAMINE: STALIN’S WAR ON UKRAINE; GULAG: A HISTORY; and, most recently, TWILIGHT OF DEMOCRACY: THE SEDUCTIVE LURE OF AUTHORITARIANSIM.
    Robert Kagan is a senior fellow at Brookings, a contributing columnist at the Washington Post, and the author, most recently, of THE GHOST AT THE FEAST: AMERICA AND THE COLLAPSE OF WORLD ORDER, 1900-1941.
    Evan Osnos is a New Yorker staff writer, and the author of WILDLAND: THE MAKING OF AMERICA’S FURY as well as the National Book Award-winning AGE OF AMBITION: CHASING FORTUNE, TRUTH AND FAITH IN THE NEW CHINA.
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    • 41 min
    Endangered Species: Tad Friend and the Art of Long-Form Journalism

    Endangered Species: Tad Friend and the Art of Long-Form Journalism

    Beyond the Page host John Burnham Schwartz talks with New Yorker staff writer Tad Friend, a longtime contributor to the magazine’s Letter from California and the author of two funny, poignant family memoirs, Cheerful Money and In the Early Times. In a notable testament to Friend’s curiosity, range, and talent, over the years his work has been chosen for “The Best American Travel Writing,” “The Best American Sports Writing,” “The Best American Crime Reporting,” and “The Best Technology Writing” – not to mention the James Beard award for feature writing he won in 2020. In this episode, a recent piece of Friend’s in the magazine about “a conservation N.G.O. that infiltrates wildlife-trafficking rings to bring them down” becomes a conversational prism for a larger discussion about the writer’s methodology and philosophy of long-form journalism.
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    • 30 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
21 Ratings

21 Ratings

Camasoge ,

Mitch Landrieu

Very moving story about New Orleans’ past and present. Mitch Landrieu is an inspiration. Crisp, well-edited, and worth your time!

KellyA310 ,

The next best thing to being there

If you haven’t attended the Sun Valley Writers Conference - and even if you have - this is a must-listen podcast if you want to be entertained, inspired and moved. Superbly edited and thoughtfully narrated. I will eagerly be awaiting the next and all future episodes. Bravo and thank you SVWC!

STSnyder12 ,

Keep them coming

Fascinating and concise exploration of such a big idea. Looking forward to more.

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