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Writers & Company from CBC Radio

  1. In Warlight, Michael Ondaatje explores family secrets and betrayal2018/06/24
    The Canadian literary icon joined Eleanor Wachtel onstage at the Rialto Theatre in Montreal. His new novel, Warlight, is being hailed as a masterpiece.
  2. Danzy Senna's darkly comic take on racial identity2018/06/17
    The American novelist draws on her experience growing up in an interracial family in her edgy, prize-winning fiction. In her latest novel, New People, she writes with insight and subversive humour about what it means to be half-black and half-white.
  3. Jonas Hassen Khemiri crosses borders through words and imagination2018/06/13
    The Swedish novelist and playwright has received international acclaim for his innovative, politically charged work. Khemiri spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about his latest novel, "Everything I Don't Remember," onstage at the Blue Metropolis Literary Festival in Montreal.
  4. The incomparable Philip Roth: looking back on his life in fiction 2018/06/03
    The acclaimed American author of novels such as Portnoy's Complaint and The Plot Against America died on May 22, 2018. He spoke with Eleanor Wachtel in 2009 at his apartment in New York City.
  5. Rachel Kushner examines California's prison system in her new novel, The Mars Room2018/05/27
    One of the most dynamic American novelists writing today, Rachel Kushner has a new novel, The Mars Room, which centres on a former stripper and single mother serving two life sentences in a California prison.
  6. Looking back at Tom Wolfe, groundbreaking author and journalist 2018/05/25
    Regarded as a pioneer of New Journalism, the American author, journalist and essayist died on May 14 at the age of 88. He spoke with Eleanor Wachtel in 2005 about his novel, I Am Charlotte Simmons.
  7. From the Norse sagas to Björk — Hallgrímur Helgason on Iceland's explosion of culture2018/05/13
    Eleanor Wachtel talks to the prize-winning painter and novelist about Iceland's transformation from a forgotten nation to a booming cultural hub. Helgason's latest book, Woman at 1,000 Degrees, is an international bestseller.
  8. From Hans Christian Andersen to hygge — Dorthe Nors on the Danish psyche2018/05/06
    Eleanor Wachtel travels to Copenhagen to talk to prominent Danish writer Dorthe Nors. The author's latest novel, Mirror, Shoulder, Signal, is about a woman dealing with family, loneliness and learning how to drive.

  9. Karl Ove Knausgaard: after My Struggle, a new outlook on the world2018/04/29
    The Norwegian author of the epic memoir My Struggle talks to Eleanor Wachtel about a new series, The Seasons Quartet, which takes the form of a letter to his daughter.
  10. The haunting world of Nordic noir, with Hans Rosenfeldt2018/04/22
    Eleanor talks to the Swedish screenwriter, novelist and creator of the hit show The Bridge, in part one of a new series, Darkness and Light: The Nordic Imagination.
  11. Philippe Sands maps the intersection of unspeakable crime and modern justice in East West Street2018/04/15
    The English writer and lawyer talks to Eleanor Wachtel about his groundbreaking book, East West Street, which explores the origins of human rights law at the Nuremberg Trials... and follows Sands on a journey to uncover the truth about his own family's story.
  12. How Jane Austen inspired Amma Asante's films about race and class in Britain2018/04/08
    The award-winning British filmmaker talks to Eleanor Wachtel about breaking down barriers in the film industry, and why she turns to period romance to explore modern concerns relating to race and politics.
  13. James Ivory on his storied career and Oscar-winning screenplay2018/04/03
    At the age of 89, the writer and director just won his first Academy Award for his screenplay for the hit movie, Call Me by Your Name. While in Toronto for TIFF's Books on Film series, James Ivory spoke to Eleanor Wachtel about some of his most famous films, and why he's drawn to stories about first love... and Italy.
  14. ‘He was my best teacher.’ Liv Ullmann on the legendary Ingmar Bergman2018/03/25
    From "Persona" to "Scenes from a Marriage," Norwegian actress Liv Ullmann captivated audiences in the films of Ingmar Bergman. But since the early '90s, she's found her true calling as a director. In 2014, Ullmann spoke to Eleanor Wachtel about her latest film, "Miss Julie," and about the special bond she shared with the Swedish master himself.
  15. Mary Gaitskill: from bad behaviour to surprising tenderness2018/03/18
    Eleanor Wachtel speaks to literature's "bad girl," American writer Mary Gaitskill. In a book of essays, Gaitskill explores her unexpected bond with three inner-city children, her complicated relationship with her dying father, and the profound grief she experienced when her beloved kitten went missing.
  16. With 'Bunk,' Kevin Young reminds us there's nothing new about fake news2018/03/12
    In his new book, the African American poet and essayist traces the history of the hoax — from P. T. Barnum to made-up memoirs — making the case that hoaxes are embedded in race.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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."
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. '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.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
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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