‘Dialogue’ Returns With New Conversations From the Sun Valley Writers’ Conference

After a hiatus due to the pandemic, Conversations From the Sun Valley Writers’ Conference on Dialogue is back with six new interviews from the acclaimed event.

“I’m enthusiastic about our lineup of guests,” says Marcia Franklin, the producer and host of the series, which has been visiting the literary event since 2005. “Each brings a new view to our shared American story. I hope viewers will come away from these interviews with new insights.”

The conversations air every Friday in December at 8:30 PM, with one of the interviews airing the first Friday in January

The first three shows feature speakers from the conference who have focused on World War II. On Dec. 3, Daniel James Brown, the best-selling author of The Boys in the Boat, talks about his newest book, Facing the Mountain, which honors the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, a segregated unit of Japanese-Americans who fought in World War II despite the fact that many of their families were incarcerated in the United States simply for being of Japanese descent. 

Tom Ikeda (Dec. 10), who provided critical research for Brown’s book, discusses his Seattle-based nonprofit, Densho, which preserves the stories of Americans of Japanese descent during World War II. Ikeda’s parents and grandparents were imprisoned in the Minidoka camp in Idaho.

Catherine Grace Katz (Dec. 17) talks with Franklin about The Daughters of Yalta, her first book. In it, she illuminates the contributions of Anna Roosevelt, Sarah Churchill and Kathleen Harriman to the seminal 1945 meeting of world leaders at Yalta, which included their fathers — Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Averell Harriman.

On Dec. 24, Sarah Broom unpacks her National Book Award-winning memoir, The Yellow House, which chronicles the devastating effects that decades of neglect and bureaucratic amnesia have had on her childhood neighborhood of New Orleans East. The book also pays homage to the house in which she and her 11 siblings grew up. It was destroyed in Hurricane Katrina, but lives on in Broom’s prose.

Longtime New Yorker writer and author Susan Orlean (Dec. 31) rounds out the month in a lively chat with Franklin about her writing style and her work, which includes hundreds of magazine articles, The Library Book, and an upcoming memoir.

On Jan. 7, novelist Tayari Jones describes the process of writing An American Marriage, a novel that chronicles the trajectory of a marriage when one of the spouses is wrongfully imprisoned. Jones talks with Franklin about the serendipity that led to the book’s characters, as well as how her writing is informed by the experiences of her parents, who were both active in the civil rights movement. 

Major funding for Dialogue is provided by the Laura Moore Cunningham Foundation. Additional funding is provided by the James and Barbara Cimino Foundation, Friends of Idaho Public Television and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

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