Conversations from the Sun Valley Writers' Conference 2008

Since 1995, the Sun Valley Writers' Conference has brought together some of the nation's best-known writers, poets, filmmakers and philosophers to engage an audience in provocative and thoughtful conversations.

The event takes place over four days in August on the grounds and rooms of the Sun Valley Lodge and Sun Valley Inn.

Dialogue host Marcia Franklin has been a regular attendee. In 2008, she interviewed four authors at the conference.


George Packer
George Packer
"I went into this war with a very ambivalent support for it, which was not public; it was my own feeling. And have felt somehow personally involved and somewhat responsible for that reason. And had high hopes. I mean, a lot of people did. A lot of Iraqis did. A lot of Americans did. To see those hopes disintegrate is pretty shattering. So, this is on a scale that I haven’t experienced in my life. It’s historic and big. And it will certainly be with me forever."  Learn more . . .

First aired October 5, 2008
John Hockenberry
John Hockenberry
"Certainly disability, in various communities around the world, has brought me in touch with a different group of people. I was just immediately in touch with other kinds of folks, other families, other people than just the diplomats and the spokespeople. And it just gave me a different kind of insight into these communities. And I think it made a lot of my reporting richer. And I’m very, very happy for that. And it was not something I expected. I really thought that the disability would be a handicap. But it was not."  Learn more . . .

First aired December 4, 2008
Shashi Tharoor
Shashi Tharoor
"There’s a feeling that Pakistan under General Musharraf was simultaneously encouraging, nurturing and shielding the very extremists against whom they said they were the sole bulwark. They were saying, “You better support us and give us money… because otherwise it’s going to be Islamic fundamentalism.” But who’s financing the Islamic fundamentalists? And very often it appeared to be agencies of the Pakistani government. This is a great problem. It’s a double game that has gone on long enough, but how the world can stop it no one knows."  Learn more . . .

First aired December 11, 2008
Ethan Watters
Ethan Watters
"These friendship groups are very difficult to count. They exist within people’s lives, there’s no membership rolls; there’s no way to see them as a statistician. And they do more than just help you find a girlfriend. They’re helping you find jobs; they’re helping you negotiate city life, which is a very difficult thing to do. And they help in all manners of ways. In fact, I would make the case, in a lot of ways more significantly than those social groups your parents belonged to."  Learn more . . .

First aired December 18, 2008