Truth or Dare: On authenticity, risk, and the future of fiction

Recorded on June 1st, 2021

TO CELEBRATE THE JUNE/JULY/AUG 2021 ISSUE OF BOOKFORUM, editor Michael Miller moderates a public conversation between Jo Livingstone, Lauren Oyler, Ed Park, and Omari Weekes regarding authenticity, risk, and the future of fiction. What forms of art, activism, and literature can speak authentically now? What risks are still available to writers? Truth or dare (or both)?

Jo Livingstone is the recipient of the 2020 Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing. They are a culture staff writer at the New Republic, and have written for the New York Times, the Times Literary Supplement, Bookforum, and other publications.

Lauren Oyler’s essays and criticism appear regularly in Bookforum, as well as in the New Yorker, the New York Times, the London Review of Books, Harper’s Magazine, and many other publications. Her debut novel, Fake Accounts, was published in February.

Ed Park is the author of the novel Personal Days and is finishing another novel. His fiction has appeared in the New Yorker and elsewhere. His last piece for Bookforum was about Susanna Clarke’s Piranesi. He has been a book editor at Penguin Press and Little A.

Omari Weekes is an assistant professor of English and American ethnic studies at Willamette University. His writing has appeared in Bookforum, n+1, The Point, The Black Scholar, and other publications.