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Writers & Company from CBC Radio

  1. Ali Smith on the circular movement of time — in nature, life and art 2018/03/04
    Eleanor talks to the award-winning Scottish writer about her recent books, "Autumn" and "Winter," which marked the launch of a new series inspired by the seasons.
  2. BONUS: James McBride on the complicated history of race in the United States2018/02/25
    The surprise winner of the 2013 American National Book Award talked to Eleanor Wachtel about his prize-winning book, "The Good Lord Bird," which centres on the controversial abolitionist John Brown; and about the life lessons he learned from his Polish Jewish mother.
  3. Daniel Mendelsohn on his journey with his father through Homer's Odyssey2018/02/25
    Eleanor talks to the American writer and classicist about his recent memoir, "An Odyssey: A Father, a Son, and an Epic." The book explores Mendelsohn's relationship with his late father, and the "Odyssey Cruise" they took together, retracing the journey of Homer's Greek hero.
  4. Edna O'Brien: from Ireland's outcast to celebrated icon2018/02/18
    Her books were burned and banned, but Edna O'Brien's writing opened up a new chapter in modern Irish literature. Eleanor Wachtel talks to the 2018 winner of the PEN/Nabokov award about her controversial first novel, her mother, and breaking down "social and sexual barriers for women in Ireland and beyond."
  5. Kapka Kassabova on the untold stories of Bulgaria's haunted borderland2018/02/11
    Poet, travel writer and memoirist Kapka Kassabova talks to Eleanor Wachtel about returning to the forbidden borders of her communist childhood — between Bulgaria, Turkey and Greece — and engaging with the stories of the land and its people. Her book, Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe, is a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.
  6. Sebastián Lelio on the fantastic woman at the heart of his Oscar-nominated film2018/02/04
    The Chilean director of the hit film 'Gloria' and the Oscar-nominated 'A Fantastic Woman' talks to Eleanor Wachtel about casting transgender actor Daniela Vega, and why he's attracted to stories about the complex lives of women.
  7. Ursula K. Le Guin explored the nature of reality through her imaginative fiction2018/01/28
    From the Writers & Company archives, Eleanor Wachtel speaks to celebrated fantasy and science fiction writer Ursula K. Le Guin, who died on January 22 at the age of 88. The conversation is followed by a reading from Le Guin's short story collection, Searoad.
  8. Xiaolu Guo traces her life's unlikely journey from East to West2018/01/21
    In her new memoir, Nine Continents, Chinese writer and filmmaker Xiaolu Guo takes an unsentimental look at her family and country's history, and how it has shaped her art.
  9. 'My grandparents were Nazis.' Novelist Rachel Seiffert mines her family's dark past2018/01/14
    The Man Booker Prize-shortlisted author of "The Dark Room" and "A Boy in Winter" talks to Eleanor Wachtel about how her German family's history informs her powerful fiction.
  10. Witi Ihimaera and Ali Cobby Eckermann on the power of Indigenous storytelling2018/01/07
    Maori novelist Witi Ihimaera (The Whale Rider) and Australian Aboriginal poet Ali Cobby Eckermann (Ruby Moonlight) discuss how stories can bring us closer to reconciliation, and what it's like to navigate between two cultures.
  11. Julian Barnes on love, loss and Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich2017/12/31
    In this intimate, onstage conversation from 2016, British writer Julian Barnes talks to Eleanor Wachtel about his recent novel, The Noise of Time, and how writing has helped him cope with the death of his wife.
  12. Shirley Hazzard: looking back on her life of great adventure2017/12/24
    The celebrated writer, who died last year, led an extraordinary life that took her around the world working for British Intelligence and the U.N. She spoke to Eleanor in 2001, shortly before winning the National Book Award for her novel, The Great Fire.
  13. Edwidge Danticat on the powerful influence of her Haitian childhood2017/12/17
    The Haitian-American writer has won the 2018 Neustadt International Prize for Literature, also known as the 'American Nobel.' In this conversation from 2013, Danticat talks to Eleanor Wachtel about her novel, Claire of the Sea Light.
  14. From Zanzibar to England, Abdulrazak Gurnah explores the pain of dislocation2017/12/10
    Abdulrazak Gurnah writes about immigrant life, dislocation, power and shame. He talks to Eleanor about his new book, Gravel Heart — a powerful story of a young man's experience as an immigrant to England, which reflects elements of Gurnah's own life.
  15. Richard Holmes reflects on his life as a 'Romantic biographer'2017/12/03
    One of Britain's leading literary biographers, Holmes writes passionately about Romantic era greats — such as Shelley, Coleridge, Keats and Blake. He talks to Eleanor Wachtel about his new book, This Long Pursuit: Reflections of a Romantic Biographer.
  16. Colm Tóibín on redrawing Greek tragedy for modern times2017/11/26
    Colm Tóibín talks to Eleanor Wachtel about his new novel, House of Names — a troubling tale of family, murder and vengeance that draws from Greek myth. They spoke onstage at the International Festival of Authors in Toronto.
  17. Novelist Anuradha Roy explores beauty, violence and power in modern India2017/11/19
    Anuradha Roy's elegant, provocative fiction looks at life in India from unusual angles. Eleanor spoke to Roy about her latest book, "Sleeping on Jupiter," which won the DSC South Asia Prize for Fiction.
  18. Remembering Leonard Cohen: biographer Sylvie Simmons on Montreal's beloved poet2017/11/12
    Eleanor speaks to Sylvie Simmons, author of the bestselling biography "I'm Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen," about the man behind the music, poetry and fiction — his early influences, struggles with depression, spiritual explorations, and more.
  19. David Bellos on why 'Les Misérables' still resonates today2017/11/05
    Eleanor talks to biographer and translator David Bellos about 19th-century French writer, Victor Hugo, and the dramatic history behind Hugo's masterpiece, Les Misérables — the most frequently adapted novel of all time.
  20. Min Jin Lee on the untold story of Koreans in Japan2017/10/29
    Korean American novelist Min Jin Lee talks to Eleanor Wachtel about her second book, "Pachinko," which was recently named a finalist for the National Book Award.
  21. George Saunders on his Man Booker Prize-winning novel, Lincoln in the Bardo2017/10/22
    George Saunders has won the 2017 Man Booker Prize for his debut novel, "Lincoln in the Bardo." In April, Saunders discussed the book with Eleanor Wachtel at a sold-out event in Toronto.
  22. Spanish novelist Javier Marías on secrets and betrayal — in politics and fiction2017/10/15
    Spain's most celebrated contemporary writer talks to Eleanor Wachtel about his country's dark past, his own family history, and his new novel that draws on both, "Thus Bad Begins."
  23. Nobel Prize for Literature winner Kazuo Ishiguro on his novels of 'great emotional force'2017/10/08
    Eleanor Wachtel speaks with the Japanese-British author and recipient of the 2017 Nobel Prize for Literature about his novels "The Buried Giant" and "Never Let Me Go."
  24. Daniel Mendelsohn on his journey with his father through Homer’s Odyssey2017/10/01
    In his memoir "An Odyssey," American writer and critic Daniel Mendelsohn gives an account of what happened when his elderly father sat in on his university seminar on Homer’s epic poem.
  25. Haifaa Al Mansour on Mary Shelley, the woman behind Frankenstein2017/09/24
    In her new film "Mary Shelley," Saudi Arabian filmmaker Haifaa Al Mansour explores the passion and pain that led the teenage author to write her groundbreaking novel, "Frankenstein." Eleanor spoke to Al Mansour at the Toronto International Film Festival.
  26. Kei Miller maps the intersections of race, class and privilege in Jamaica2017/09/17
    The Jamaican poet, novelist and essayist spoke to Eleanor Wachtel about his award-winning collection "The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way to Zion," and his imaginative new novel, "Augustown."
  27. John le Carré on his legacy as a spy-turned-novelist2017/09/10
    The master of the political thriller talks to Eleanor Wachtel about his storied career as both a spy and a writer, and discusses his new book, "A Legacy of Spies," which sees the return of his most iconic character, George Smiley.
Writers and Company from CBC Radio
CBC Radio's Writers and Company offers an opportunity to explore in depth the lives, thoughts and works of remarkable writers from around the world. Hosted by Eleanor Wachtel.

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