Conversations from the Sun Valley Writers' Conference 2014

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 2014, she interviewed six authors at the conference.


David Epstein
David Epstein
"I write about race and gender, biological sex in the book. And I felt strongly that it would be strange not to take those on in a book about genetics in athleticism. The idea that sort of hiding from taking on that topic helps anything in society is a mistake. If you don't look for what differences are real and important, then you will not end up finding the best environment for all people."  Learn more . . .

Aired October 24, 2014
Yiyun Li
Yiyun Li
"I have often heard from people saying that the writing is bleak, or the story is bleak, which at moments I agree . . . but I think that's one thing you do as a writer, is that you don't let things go easily. And you don't sugarcoat anything in life. The writer's job is to really go deeper into the internal world of the characters."  Learn more . . .

Aired October 31, 2014
John Lewis
John Lewis
"I feel like I have an obligation, a mission, to do what I can to continue to tell the story and to be a witness. Just to be a witness and say to people, 'This is what happened, this is how it happened. And we made progress, but we're not quite there yet'."  Learn more . . .

Aired November 14, 2014
Andrew Aydin
Andrew Aydin
"My generation doesn't know the truth of the brutality, of the disrespect that was so often accepted as universal behavior in many places. And so when it came time to make those decisions, the answer was always very simple. It was, 'Tell it like it was. Make it plain.' Show them what this life was, so that they can understand where we came from . . . "  Learn more . . .

Web Extra available November 14, 2014
Dave Barry
Dave Barry
"I've never caught a trout. I've never seen anybody else catch a trout, and I've never seen a trout. I don't believe there is such a thing as trout. I think the trout industry has created this myth of trout so that they can get guides and get you to go out there . . . it's time that word got out."  Learn more . . .

Aired November 21, 2014
Gretel Ehrlich
Gretel Ehrlich
"I think everybody has all sorts of losses. It's part of being alive, is losing people you love, losing houses to fires. And what I learned in Japan and from Japanese literature is that perishability is linked with beauty."  Learn more . . .

Aired December 19, 2014