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The Villa Council Presents "Writing Historical Fiction: The Ancient World in Modern Literature" (panel discussion)

Date: Thursday, March 6, 2008
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Location: Getty Villa, Auditorium

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Celebrated authors Steven Saylor and Steven Pressfield join award-winning journalist, author, and local commentator Patt Morrison to discuss the art of writing historical fiction set in antiquity and the challenges of interpreting the classical past for modern audiences. Saylor and Pressfield reveal why they chose to set their novels in the ancient world, how they combine research and imagination to create stories that are both riveting and historically accurate, and why the ancient world continues to resonate deeply with today's audiences.

About the Panelists

About Steven Saylor
Steven Saylor is praised for "putting human flesh on the bones of history." He is the author of the bestselling Roma Sub Rosa series of historical mysteries set in the ancient Rome of Cicero and Caesar. The twelfth novel in the series, The Triumph of Caesar, is eagerly anticipated for June 2008. He is currently at work on the sequel to his monumental Roma: The Novel of Ancient Rome, a richly imagined multi-generational saga about Rome's first thousand years. Saylor grew up in the small town in Texas, where his fascination for the ancient world was piqued by movies like Cleopatra and Spartacus shown at a drive-in theater surrounded by cattle fields.

Steven Saylor

About Steven Pressfield
An honorary citizen of Sparta, Steven Pressfield is the author of an ambitious series of novels set in ancient Greece, including Gates of Fire, Tides of War, Last of the Amazons, The Virtues of War, and The Afghan Campaign. His novels have re-imagined the stories of Alexander the Great, the Peloponnesian War, soldier-hero Alcibiades of Athens, and the barbaric empire of the Amazons. Gates of Fire, described as a masterful feat of storytelling that would have made Homer proud, has been included in the curriculum of the U.S. Military Academy and the U.S. Naval Academy and is on the Commandant's Reading List for the Marine Corps. Pressfield departs from the ancient past for his newest book, Killing Rommel, a novel set during the North Africa campaign in World War II.

Steven Pressfield

About Patt Morrison
Journalist, broadcaster, and author Patt Morrison is a longtime columnist and reporter at the Los Angeles Times and the host of the news and talk show Patt Morrison on KPCC. The founding host of the KCET public affairs program Life & Times and a founding blogger on, Morrison is also a member of reporting teams at the Times that won two Pulitzer Prizes. She brings a compelling combination of wit and intelligence to interviews with writers, scientists, actors, thinkers, and political and cultural leaders. Morrison is also the author of the best-selling book Rio LA, Tales from the Los Angeles River and the short story "Morocco Junction 90210," which is featured in the new mystery anthology Los Angeles Noir.

About This Event
This event inaugurates an annual program related to the theme of antiquity made possible by an endowment from the Villa Council. Founded in 2001, the Villa Council is comprised of dedicated supporters of the arts who believe strongly in the mission and goals of the Getty Villa. The unifying thread among the members of the Villa Council is their enthusiasm for the ancient world. The Getty Villa occupies a unique position among cultural institutions in this country as a center for the study of the cultures of the ancient Mediterranean world. The Villa Council aims to support a variety of interdisciplinary programs at the Getty Villa, including education, exhibitions, conservation, lectures, theater, and research.

Patt Morrison

How to Get Here
The Getty Villa is located at 17985 Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, California, approximately 25 miles west of downtown Los Angeles. See Hours, Directions, Parking for directions and parking information.

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