2020 Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards Documentary Now Available To Stream

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Anisfield-Wolf jury member Joyce Carol Oates explains how writers can get in touch with the core of their characters, using examples from her book, The Gravedigger’s Daughter. “If you allow your people to talk, they will express themselves in a way that the writer might not have thought of,” she says. “I give my students an assignment to create people talking to each other and my students say, “I don’t know these people.” I tell them, you have to listen.”

Check out the video below and let us know which characters from literature you most deeply resonated with.