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Writers & Company

 

Writers & Company

Host Eleanor Wachtel explores the lives, thoughts and works of remarkable writers from around the world. Writers and Company

Updated: Sundays
Download episodes from this podcast for: 6 months
Visit Show Site: http://www.cbc.ca/writersandcompany

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Featured Podcast

Sex is more than sex

Steve wants to have more sex with his wife. But is his focus on the bedroom obscuring a bigger issue?

To download a file, right click and save.Download Podcast: Sex is more than sex
[mp3 file: runs 00:31:57]

Featured Podcast

Webby nomination

The Fridge Light is nominated for an award! Vote now.

To download a file, right click and save.Download Podcast: Webby nomination
[mp3 file: runs00:39:33]

Featured Podcast

Half-Life

Michelle explores hookup culture and the paradox of choice, meets a cute/crazy guy and finds love off the coast of Newfoundland.

To download a file, right click and save.Download Podcast: Half-Life
[mp3 file: runs00:27:40]

Featured Podcast

The Trouble with Rehab

Yet despite decades of research and practice, there's still no surefire way to get people clear of substance dependency.

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[mp3 file: runs01:06:44]

All podcast episodes

Use the links below to download a file.

Philippe Sands maps the intersection of unspeakable crime and modern justice in East West Street

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.

Download Philippe Sands maps the intersection of unspeakable crime and modern justice in East West Street
[mp3 file: runs 00:59:29]


How Jane Austen inspired Amma Asante's films about race and class in Britain

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.

Download How Jane Austen inspired Amma Asante's films about race and class in Britain
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:39]


James Ivory on his storied career and Oscar-winning screenplay

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.

Download James Ivory on his storied career and Oscar-winning screenplay
[mp3 file: runs 00:53:00]


‘He was my best teacher.’ Liv Ullmann on the legendary Ingmar Bergman

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.

Download ‘He was my best teacher.’ Liv Ullmann on the legendary Ingmar Bergman
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:33]


Mary Gaitskill: from bad behaviour to surprising tenderness

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.

Download Mary Gaitskill: from bad behaviour to surprising tenderness
[mp3 file: runs 01:00:13]


With 'Bunk,' Kevin Young reminds us there's nothing new about fake news

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.

Download With 'Bunk,' Kevin Young reminds us there's nothing new about fake news
[mp3 file: runs 00:58:13]


Ali Smith on the circular movement of time — in nature, life and art

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.

Download Ali Smith on the circular movement of time — in nature, life and art
[mp3 file: runs 00:51:58]


BONUS: James McBride on the complicated history of race in the United States

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.

Download BONUS: James McBride on the complicated history of race in the United States
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:44]


Daniel Mendelsohn on his journey with his father through Homer's Odyssey

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.

Download Daniel Mendelsohn on his journey with his father through Homer's Odyssey
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:49]


Edna O'Brien: from Ireland's outcast to celebrated icon

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."

Download Edna O'Brien: from Ireland's outcast to celebrated icon
[mp3 file: runs 00:53:14]


Kapka Kassabova on the untold stories of Bulgaria's haunted borderland

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.

Download Kapka Kassabova on the untold stories of Bulgaria's haunted borderland
[mp3 file: runs 00:58:55]


Sebastián Lelio on the fantastic woman at the heart of his Oscar-nominated film

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.

Download Sebastián Lelio on the fantastic woman at the heart of his Oscar-nominated film
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:54]


Ursula K. Le Guin explored the nature of reality through her imaginative fiction

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.

Download Ursula K. Le Guin explored the nature of reality through her imaginative fiction
[mp3 file: runs 00:53:40]


Xiaolu Guo traces her life's unlikely journey from East to West

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.

Download Xiaolu Guo traces her life's unlikely journey from East to West
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:51]


'My grandparents were Nazis.' Novelist Rachel Seiffert mines her family's dark past

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.

Download 'My grandparents were Nazis.' Novelist Rachel Seiffert mines her family's dark past
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:15]


Witi Ihimaera and Ali Cobby Eckermann on the power of Indigenous storytelling

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.

Download Witi Ihimaera and Ali Cobby Eckermann on the power of Indigenous storytelling
[mp3 file: runs 00:58:26]


Julian Barnes on love, loss and Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich

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.

Download Julian Barnes on love, loss and Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich
[mp3 file: runs 00:53:10]


Shirley Hazzard: looking back on her life of great adventure

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.

Download Shirley Hazzard: looking back on her life of great adventure
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:10]


Edwidge Danticat on the powerful influence of her Haitian childhood

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.

Download Edwidge Danticat on the powerful influence of her Haitian childhood
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:56]


From Zanzibar to England, Abdulrazak Gurnah explores the pain of dislocation

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.

Download From Zanzibar to England, Abdulrazak Gurnah explores the pain of dislocation
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:49]


Richard Holmes reflects on his life as a 'Romantic biographer'

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.

Download Richard Holmes reflects on his life as a 'Romantic biographer'
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:44]


Colm Tóibín on redrawing Greek tragedy for modern times

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.

Download Colm Tóibín on redrawing Greek tragedy for modern times
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:27]


Novelist Anuradha Roy explores beauty, violence and power in modern India

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.

Download Novelist Anuradha Roy explores beauty, violence and power in modern India
[mp3 file: runs 00:53:19]


Remembering Leonard Cohen: biographer Sylvie Simmons on Montreal's beloved poet

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.

Download Remembering Leonard Cohen: biographer Sylvie Simmons on Montreal's beloved poet
[mp3 file: runs 00:59:42]


David Bellos on why 'Les Misérables' still resonates today

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.

Download David Bellos on why 'Les Misérables' still resonates today
[mp3 file: runs 00:53:18]


Min Jin Lee on the untold story of Koreans in Japan

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.

Download Min Jin Lee on the untold story of Koreans in Japan
[mp3 file: runs 01:02:44]


George Saunders on his Man Booker Prize-winning novel, Lincoln in the Bardo

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.

Download George Saunders on his Man Booker Prize-winning novel, Lincoln in the Bardo
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:37]