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Three Minutes or Less: Life Lessons from America's Greatest Writers

Overview

An anthology of never-before-published short essays by America's literary greats. Each October at the PEN Gala, well-known authors take the stage of the Folger Shakespeare Library's Theatre to ponder the meaning of such universal mysteries as "obsession," "illusion," "first love," and more. Each author is given only three minutes or less to speak. The results have been unpredictable—clever, confessional, inspiring, hilarious, profound, and all of them entertaining. These essays have been transcribed for the first...

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3 Minutes or Less

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Overview

An anthology of never-before-published short essays by America's literary greats. Each October at the PEN Gala, well-known authors take the stage of the Folger Shakespeare Library's Theatre to ponder the meaning of such universal mysteries as "obsession," "illusion," "first love," and more. Each author is given only three minutes or less to speak. The results have been unpredictable—clever, confessional, inspiring, hilarious, profound, and all of them entertaining. These essays have been transcribed for the first time, and comprise this unique anthology.

Among the authors are: Russell Banks, T. Coraghessan Boyle, Annie Dillard, Gail Godwin, Allan Gurganus, Jane Hamilton, Alice Hoffman, Susan Isaacs, Charles Johnson, William Kennedy, Chang-rae Lee, Larry McMurtry, Sue Miller, Joyce Carol Oates, George Plimpton, Francine Prose, Maurice Sendak, Anita Shreve, Jane Smiley, William Styron, Deborah Tannen, John Edgar Wideman.

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What People Are Saying

John Sherer
I read most of this in one sitting, an experience skin to racing through an art museum in an afternoon. Ambitiously wrestling with life's great joys and sadness, these poignant and illuminating lessons should be, like fine art, appreciated deliberately and pensively.
—John Sherer, Olsson's Books & Records, Washington, DC
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781582340692
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 3/22/2000
  • Edition description: 1st U.S. Edition
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 625,569
  • Product dimensions: 5.74 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Meet the Author

The PEN/Faulkner Foundation confers an annual national prize for the best work of fiction by an American author and brings literary programs of quality to the citizens of the Washington metropolitan area.

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Table of Contents

Introduction

Beginnings

William Kennedy

Robert Stone

Pat Conroy

William Styron

Hortense Calisher

Eudora Welty

Larry McMurtry

Maurice Sendak

Amiri Baraka

Richard Bausch

Annie Dillard

Brendan Gill

Dons Grumbach

Stephen Goodwin

Gloria Naylor

Joyce Carol Oates

Mary Lee Settle

Susan Sontag

Reynolds Price

Susan Richards Shreve

First Love

Pete Hamill

Rita Mae Brown

Christopher Buckley

Allan Gurganus

Thomas Caplan

Reginald McKnight

John Casey

Elena Castedo

Rita Dove

Alice Hoffman

Mona Simpson

Kaye Gibbons

William Kittredge

Lee Smith

Kichara Wiley

Cynthia Ozick

Illusions

Grace Paley

Jim Lehrer

Robert Stone

Russell Banks

Susan Richards Shreve

William Least Heat-Moon

Lee Smith

Tobias Wolff

John Edgar Wideman

Elmore Leonard

Gay Talese

Bette Bao Lord

Ward Just

Vasily Aksyonov

Obsession

David Bradley

Robert Olen Butler

Barry Hannah

Jayne Anne Phillips

George Plimpton

Ernest Gaines

Francine Prose

Mary Lee Settle

Ntozake Shange

Elizabeth Spencer

Scott Spencer

Louis Begley

Thomas Flanagan

Maureen Howard

Heroes

Sue Miller

Tim O'Brien

Allan Gurganus

T. Coraghessan Boyle

George Garrett

Gail Godwin

Patricia Browning Griffith

Terry McMillan

Amy Tan

Charles Johnson

Beverly Lowry

James Salter

Journeys

William Kennedy

Jane Smiley

Toby Olson

Michael Chabon

Alan Cheuse

Maxine Clair

Barbara Kingsolver

E. Annie Proulx

Susan Minot

Kate Lehrer

Walter Mosley

Octavia E. Butler

Denise Chávez

A Sense of Place

Eudora Welty

Norman Mailer

Bobbie Ann Mason

John Edgar Wideman

William W. Warner

Blanche McCrary Boyd

Ellen Douglas

Shelby Foote

Marita Golden

Larry L. King

Paule Marshall

Peter Matthiessen

Geoffrey Wolff

ardA Lesson

Francisco Goldman

Alice Adams

Richard Bausch

Susan Isaacs

Robert MacNeil

Jill McCorkle

K Ethelbert Miller

Faye Moskowitz

Lynne Sharon Schwartz

Deborah Tannen

Christopher Tilghman

William Gass

Mary Gordon

Ward Just

Gish Jen

Confessions

Tony Kushner

Barry Lopez

Kathryn Harrison

David Ignatius

Willie Morris

Howard Norman

Tina McElroy Ansa

Robert Pinsky

Alice McDermott

Madison Smartt Bell

Mary Karr

Amy Tan

Reunion

Allan Gurganus

Larry L. King

John Casey

Thomas Flanagan

Maureen Howard

Kate Lehrer

Willie Morris

Grace Paley

Ntozake Shange

Lee Smith

Denise Chávez

Kaye Gibbons

Endings

Herbert Gold

Jane Hamilton

Oscar Hijuelos

Chang-rae Lee

Claire Messud

Francine Prose

Richard Selzer

Anita Shreve

Calvin Trillin

Edward Albee

Rilla Askew

Judy Blume

Lorene Cary

George Garrett

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