• Now Playing on CBC Radio

  • change

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

Subscribe:

Featured Podcast

Why do we feel so bad about feeling good?

If most drug users take substances because it feels good, why is pleasure left out of policy conversations?

To download a file, right click and save.Download Podcast: Why do we feel so bad about feeling good?
[mp3 file: runs 00:32:09]

Featured Podcast

Music and Indigenous youth

Meet Indigenous youth who are finding deeper meaning in music — and finding their voices along the way.

To download a file, right click and save.Download Podcast: Music and Indigenous youth
[mp3 file: runs00:25:32]

Featured Podcast

Undercover

A family of four examines their sleep habits, vying for the spare bedroom.

To download a file, right click and save.Download Podcast: Undercover
[mp3 file: runs00:23:40]

Featured Podcast

Why the Google 'manifesto' misses the point

Critics argue the Google "manifesto" debating a woman's biological abilities is another example of discrimination in the workplace.

To download a file, right click and save.Download Podcast: Why the Google 'manifesto' misses the point
[mp3 file: runs00:46:59]

All podcast episodes

Use the links below to download a file.

Margarethe von Trotta on telling the story of Germany through the eyes of women

Eleanor spoke with revered German filmmaker Margarethe von Trotta as part of our 2016 special series, "At the Centre of Europe: A Changing Germany".

Download Margarethe von Trotta on telling the story of Germany through the eyes of women
[mp3 file: runs 01:02:49]


Edna O'Brien on fear, dreams and LSD

Eleanor Wachtel speaks to the author of "The Country Girls" Trilogy and "The Little Red Chairs" about the power of dreams; her homeland, Ireland; and hallucinogens.

Download Edna O'Brien on fear, dreams and LSD
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:25]


Tracy K. Smith on life, death, poetry and outer space

In this conversation from 2016, Eleanor talks to the new Poet Laureate of the United States, Tracy K. Smith. Her last collection, "Life on Mars", won a Pulitzer Prize. Her memoir, "Ordinary Light", explores race, faith and her relationship with her mom.

Download Tracy K. Smith on life, death, poetry and outer space
[mp3 file: runs 00:55:23]


Patricia Grace on telling the stories of New Zealand's Indigenous people

In this conversation from 2003, Eleanor talks to Patricia Grace — one of New Zealand's most celebrated Maori writers.

Download Patricia Grace on telling the stories of New Zealand's Indigenous people
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:20]


Edward Said's ideas about power and identity still resonate today

Eleanor spoke with Edward Said, the eminent literary and cultural critic, in 1993. The author of "Orientalism" and "Culture and Imperialism" discusses Western attitudes toward the East, and explores the connection between politics and literature.

Download Edward Said's ideas about power and identity still resonate today
[mp3 file: runs 00:50:58]


Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on why she can't stay silent

Nigerian-American author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie spoke to Eleanor in 2009 about her Orange Prize-winning novel "Half of a Yellow Sun", her story collection "The Thing Around Your Neck", and how Nigeria's civil war continues to haunt her life and fiction.

Download Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on why she can't stay silent
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:16]


How Canada made Michael Ondaatje a writer

In this conversation from 1998, Eleanor talks to Canadian literary master Michael Ondaatje - author of "The English Patient" - about "Handwriting," a collection of poems about loss, landscape and the power of history in Sri Lanka.

Download How Canada made Michael Ondaatje a writer
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:27]


Arundhati Roy on love, war and the fragility of happiness

Indian writer and activist Arundhati Roy joins Eleanor to discuss "The Ministry of Utmost Happiness", the long-awaited second novel from the author of the Booker Prize winner, "The God of Small Things".

Download Arundhati Roy on love, war and the fragility of happiness
[mp3 file: runs 00:57:23]


Sherman Alexie on his bittersweet relationship with his mother

Eleanor speaks with Native American writer Sherman Alexie about his memoir, "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me." The book focuses on his complicated relationship with his mother, and his difficult upbringing on a Spokane reservation in Washington state.

Download Sherman Alexie on his bittersweet relationship with his mother
[mp3 file: runs 00:56:53]


Naturalist Charles Foster says living like a badger helped him understand humans

Eleanor speaks with English writer, professor, veterinarian and barrister, Charles Foster. His latest book, "Being a Beast", is a quest to see the world through the senses of five different animal species.

Download Naturalist Charles Foster says living like a badger helped him understand humans
[mp3 file: runs 00:51:52]


British novelist Rose Tremain on love, heroism and the Swiss soul

Eleanor speaks with Orange Prize-winning author Rose Tremain about her latest novel, "The Gustav Sonata" — an exploration of political and personal neutrality set in Switzerland before and after the Second World War.

Download British novelist Rose Tremain on love, heroism and the Swiss soul
[mp3 file: runs 00:51:38]


Novelist Tayeb Salih on culture and conflict in the Sudan

From 2002, Eleanor's conversation with the late Sudanese novelist Tayeb Salih, one of the foremost writers of the Arab world. His 1967 novel "Season of Migration to the North" has been called the most important Arabic novel of the 20th Century.

Download Novelist Tayeb Salih on culture and conflict in the Sudan
[mp3 file: runs 00:51:28]


Helen Macdonald on grief, dreams and birds of prey

Eleanor speaks with England's Helen Macdonald about her best-selling memoir, "H is for Hawk". In this interview from 2015, Macdonald discusses how she dealt with her father's sudden death by training a goshawk — the fiercest, wildest bird of prey.

Download Helen Macdonald on grief, dreams and birds of prey
[mp3 file: runs 00:51:32]


Voice and identity in America: Francisco Goldman, Imbolo Mbue and David Treuer

Francisco Goldman, Imbolo Mbue and David Treuer reflect on cultural collision in the United States. Eleanor sat down with the three prize-winning writers on stage at the Blue Metropolis Literary Festival in Montreal.

Download Voice and identity in America: Francisco Goldman, Imbolo Mbue and David Treuer
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:10]


Anita Desai - winner of the 2017 Blue Metropolis International Literary Festival's Grand Prix

In front of a live audience in Montreal, at the Blue Metropolis International Literary Festival, Eleanor speaks with the festival's Grand Prix winner, Anita Desai, about her life and the award-winning books she's written over more than fifty years.

Download Anita Desai - winner of the 2017 Blue Metropolis International Literary Festival's Grand Prix
[mp3 file: runs 00:58:09]


Paula Fox on tackling the book of her own life

A look back at Eleanor's conversation with American novelist and children's book author Paula Fox from 2002. Paula Fox died last month at age 93. In this interview, she discusses her memoir, "Borrowed Finery".

Download Paula Fox on tackling the book of her own life
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:15]


George Saunders on love, war, and the American presidency

Eleanor sits down with American writer George Saunders onstage at the Toronto Reference Library. The master of the short story talks about writing his first novel, "Lincoln in the Bardo", which unfolds in a graveyard over a single night in 1862.

Download George Saunders on love, war, and the American presidency
[mp3 file: runs 00:53:29]


Nobel laureate Derek Walcott on voice, place, and finding home

Eleanor Wachtel's 2006 conversation with the Nobel Prize-winning poet Derek Walcott, who died in March at the age of 87. Walcott was known for poetry that bridged cultures and traditions, making links between his Caribbean and European heritage.

Download Nobel laureate Derek Walcott on voice, place, and finding home
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:12]


Robert Lepage revisits his childhood during Quebec's cultural revolution

Eleanor speaks with Canadian theatre visionary, Robert Lepage. World-renowned for his highly innovative, multimedia productions, his latest work, "887", explores childhood memories in a divided Quebec.

Download Robert Lepage revisits his childhood during Quebec's cultural revolution
[mp3 file: runs 00:53:41]


French-Syrian cartoonist Riad Sattouf captures his childhood in full colour

Eleanor speaks with the award-winning comic artist about growing up in Syria, Libya and France, and his bestselling graphic memoir, "The Arab of the Future."

Download French-Syrian cartoonist Riad Sattouf captures his childhood in full colour
[mp3 file: runs 00:51:49]


Elif Batuman on her love affair with Russian literature

Eleanor talks to Turkish-American writer Elif Batuman about her infatuation with Russian literature, and her debut novel, "The Idiot", a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age story about language and romance in the year 1995.

Download Elif Batuman on her love affair with Russian literature
[mp3 file: runs 00:56:51]


Joan Didion on the evolving nature of grief

In this conversation from 2005, legendary American novelist and journalist Joan Didion talks to Eleanor about the deaths of both her husband and daughter, and about writing her heartbreaking memoir, "The Year of Magical Thinking."

Download Joan Didion on the evolving nature of grief
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:30]


Hari Kunzru on racism, politics, and the blues

Eleanor speaks with British-Indian novelist and journalist, Hari Kunzru. His latest book, "White Tears", addresses the dark history of exploitation and greed in American blues music.

Download Hari Kunzru on racism, politics, and the blues
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:14]


Filmmaker Olivier Assayas on ghosts, real and imagined

Eleanor Wachtel speaks with the French filmmaker about his roots, his obsessions, and his new film "Personal Shopper", starring Kristen Stewart.

Download Filmmaker Olivier Assayas on ghosts, real and imagined
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:31]


Yiyun Li on the Tiananmen Square massacre and her novel Kinder Than Solitude

Eleanor talks with Chinese-American author Yiyun Li about her 2014 novel Kinder Than Solitude, set in the shadow of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre and inspired by real life events.

Download Yiyun Li on the Tiananmen Square massacre and her novel Kinder Than Solitude
[mp3 file: runs 00:53:39]


Sebastian Barry on his latest book Days Without End and how his family's history inspires his fiction

Eleanor speaks with Irish novelist Sebastian Barry about his family's influence on his fiction and his latest, award-winning book, Days Without End. It follows the story of a young Irish-American immigrant who becomes a soldier in 19th century America.

Download Sebastian Barry on his latest book Days Without End and how his family's history inspires his fiction
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:28]