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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


Featured Podcast


Who was Sheryl Sheppard? David speaks to her family, friends and coworkers to try to find out clues to explain her sudden disappearance.

To download a file, right click and save.Download Podcast: Blondie
[mp3 file: runs 01:16:52]

Featured Podcast

How drug use fuelled Nazi Germany

German writer Norman Ohler argues methamphetamines and opioids played a significant role in fuelling the Nazi war machine.

To download a file, right click and save.Download Podcast: How drug use fuelled Nazi Germany
[mp3 file: runs00:54:00]

Featured Podcast

Inspiring wanderlust

6 podcasts on trotting the globe: Outside/In, Vox Tablet, The Expats, The Moth, Still Buffering, The Memory Palace.

To download a file, right click and save.Download Podcast: Inspiring wanderlust
[mp3 file: runs00:41:05]

Featured Podcast

Cities need to plan for sex in public parks

Jen Roberton argues all those users have a right to be in the park, and that cities should plan for public sex in their parks.

To download a file, right click and save.Download Podcast: Cities need to plan for sex in public parks
[mp3 file: runs00:55:43]

All podcast episodes

Use the links below to download a file.

'You must change your life.' Biographer Rachel Corbett on Rilke and Rodin

Eleanor speaks with biographer Rachel Corbett about the unlikely - and influential - friendship between German poet Rainer Maria Rilke, and French sculptor Auguste Rodin.

Download 'You must change your life.' Biographer Rachel Corbett on Rilke and Rodin
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:20]

Christopher Kloeble & Francesca Melandri on facing Europe's history - through fiction

Eleanor speaks with Germany's Christopher Kloeble and Italy's Francesca Melandri onstage at the International Festival of Authors in Toronto. The novelists discuss the effects of history and current political climates on their work... and lives.

Download Christopher Kloeble & Francesca Melandri on facing Europe's history - through fiction
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:18]

Alain Mabanckou on his profound connection to The Republic of Congo — and his mom.

From the Vancouver Writers Festival, Eleanor speaks with Congolese-French writer, Alain Mabanckou. Imaginative and original, his books are charming explorations of childhood, family and country.

Download Alain Mabanckou on his profound connection to The Republic of Congo — and his mom.
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:47]

Zadie Smith on dance, Black British identity, and her new novel, 'Swing Time'

Eleanor speaks with one of fiction's most exciting voices, British novelist Zadie Smith. The beloved author of 'White Teeth' and 'NW' has a new novel, 'Swing Time' - about fame, female friendship, and tap dancing.

Download Zadie Smith on dance, Black British identity, and her new novel, 'Swing Time'
[mp3 file: runs 01:02:18]

Ha Jin on writing in English, and why he can't go back to China

Eleanor speaks with Chinese-American writer, Ha Jin. Winner of the National Book Award and the Pen-Faulkner Prize, Jin talks about his new novel, "The Boat Rocker"; writing in English; and why he's not able to return to China.

Download Ha Jin on writing in English, and why he can't go back to China
[mp3 file: runs 00:51:29]

Sharon Olds at Vancouver Writers Fest

Eleanor speaks with Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Sharon Olds, on stage at the 2016 Vancouver Writers Festival. Olds is known for her intensely personal, emotionally scathing verse. Her new book, "Odes", is a celebration of the ordinary.

Download Sharon Olds at Vancouver Writers Fest
[mp3 file: runs 00:55:15]

Fredrik Sjöberg Interview

Eleanor speaks with Swedish naturalist and cultural critic, Fredrik Sjöberg. His delightful, three-volume memoir about collecting hoverflies received a 2016 "Ig Nobel" Prize - awarded to unusual achievements that make people laugh... then think.

Download Fredrik Sjöberg Interview
[mp3 file: runs 00:51:19]

Christopher Ricks on Bob Dylan

A look at the winner of the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature, Bob Dylan. Eleanor speaks with one of England's foremost critics, Christopher Ricks, on the man he regards as "the greatest living user of the English language."

Download Christopher Ricks on Bob Dylan
[mp3 file: runs 00:53:17]

Lee Smith Interview

From the Appalachian South and the mountains of Virginia, American author Lee Smith. Her latest novel was inspired by Zelda Fitzgerald. And she has a new memoir, “Dimestore" - about the people and places that inspired her fiction.

Download Lee Smith Interview
[mp3 file: runs 00:51:47]

Viet Thanh Nguyen Podcast

Eleanor speaks with Vietnamese-American author Viet Thanh Nguyen, winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for his debut novel, "The Sympathizer." Viet talks about his family's harrowing escape from Saigon, and how his dual identity influences his life and work.

Download Viet Thanh Nguyen Podcast
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:08]

Alice Oswald Podcast

Eleanor speaks with one of England’s greatest living poets, Alice Oswald, about combining her love of classics with her love of the natural world, and about her new book, "Falling Awake" - a finalist for the 2016 Forward Prize for Poetry.

Download Alice Oswald Podcast
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:10]

Colson Whitehead Podcast

What if the Underground Railroad really was a network of secret trains that brought runaway slaves to freedom? That's the premise of Colson Whitehead's acclaimed novel, "The Underground Railroad." He speaks with Eleanor about blending fact and fiction.

Download Colson Whitehead Podcast
[mp3 file: runs 00:51:35]

Karan Mahajan Podcast

On the fifteenth anniversary of 9/11, Eleanor speaks with novelist Karan Mahajan about his powerful book, "The Association of Small Bombs." Centered around a bomb attack in a New Delhi market, the novel explores grief, politics and terrorism.

Download Karan Mahajan Podcast
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:07]

Nuala O'Faolain Podcast

A look back at Eleanor's onstage interview with Irish writer Nuala O'Faolain in Victoria in 2003. Best known for her stunningly honest memoir "Are You Somebody", O'Faolain is as candid and as comical as ever in this hilarious conversation.

Download Nuala O'Faolain Podcast
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:09]

Gordon Lish & Eric Newby

From 1991, Eleanor speaks with two unique voices: one of the most influential men in American fiction - editor, writer and teacher, Gordon Lish. Also, the witty, entertaining English travel writer, Eric Newby.

Download Gordon Lish & Eric Newby
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:37]

Ryszard Kapuscinski Interview

From the archives, a look back at the extraordinary, international Polish journalist, Ryszard Kapuscinski. He chronicled 20th century war and revolution - and survived four death sentences. Eleanor spoke with the master of literary reportage in 1994.

Download Ryszard Kapuscinski Interview
[mp3 file: runs 00:51:27]

Tim O'Brien Interview

From 1995, an intimate interview with novelist Tim O'Brien. Described as "the best American writer of his generation," O'Brien writes powerful books about the Vietnam War - drawing from his own experience as a young soldier in 1969.

Download Tim O'Brien Interview
[mp3 file: runs 00:48:54]

Moacyr Scliar Interview

From Brazil, the magical world of Moacyr Scliar - author of more than 60 books, including "Max and the Cats" and "The Centaur in the Garden". In 2004, Eleanor spoke with the writer and physician about fantasy, identity, and Brazil's Jewish diaspora.

Download Moacyr Scliar Interview
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:08]

Grace Paley & Adrienne Rich

From the archives, two unique American voices. From 1993, Eleanor speaks with a master of the short story -- writer and activist, Grace Paley. And from 1994, the influential poet and essayist, Adrienne Rich.

Download Grace Paley & Adrienne Rich
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:38]

Chinua Achebe Interview

From the Writers & Company archives, Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe. A look back at the inspiring writer, thinker and politician -- and the father of the African novel in English. Eleanor spoke with the author of "Things Fall Apart" in 1994.

Download Chinua Achebe Interview
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:05]

William Trevor Interview

A master of the short story and the novel, Irish writer William Trevor. In this interview from 1994, Eleanor speaks with the celebrated author about his autobiographical collection, "Excursions in the Real World."

Download William Trevor Interview
[mp3 file: runs 00:51:51]

Alice Munro Interview

In celebration of Alice Munro's 85th birthday, a rare conversation with Canada’s first winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature. In this interview from 2004, Eleanor speaks with Munro about her Giller Prize-winning collection of short stories, "Runaway."

Download Alice Munro Interview
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:46]

Jenny Diski Interview

A look back at Eleanor's conversation with English writer Jenny Diski in 2005. The author of "Skating to Antarctica" and "Stranger on a Train" died in April at the age of 68.

Download Jenny Diski Interview
[mp3 file: runs 00:53:48]

Memoir Panel

This week - the art of the memoir. What to tell? Who to implicate? And how to deal with the consequences. Eleanor speaks with American memoir writers Vivian Gornick and Kathryn Harrison, and England's Ferdinand Mount.

Download Memoir Panel
[mp3 file: runs 00:53:42]

Don DeLillo Interview

Eleanor speaks with American novelist Don DeLillo. The award-winning author of 'White Noise,' 'Underworld' and 'Libra' has a new book called 'Zero K.' Set in a secret cryonic freezing facility, the novel explores themes of science, religion and mortality.

Download Don DeLillo Interview
[mp3 file: runs 00:50:57]

Jonathan Lee Interview

Eleanor Wachtel speaks with English novelist Jonathan Lee about his new book, 'High Dive.' The novel reimagines the 1984 assassination attempt of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, known as "the Brighton bombing."

Download Jonathan Lee Interview
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:15]