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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

Death Letter

David Ridgen meets the police officers involved in the Greavette case to learn about their investigation.

To download a file, right click and save.Download Podcast: Death Letter
[mp3 file: runs 00:46:09]

Featured Podcast

Psychedelics and spirituality

Explore the connection between psychedelic drugs like LSD and the transcendent feelings that users report.

To download a file, right click and save.Download Podcast: Psychedelics and spirituality
[mp3 file: runs00:53:24]

Featured Podcast

One time snooze

Hosts Rob Norman and Andrew Norton help Robin who is a chronic snoozer.

To download a file, right click and save.Download Podcast: One time snooze
[mp3 file: runs00:36:01]

Featured Podcast

The Juno Snub

Hear the the story of Rascalz, and how they started a conversation about the role of urban music at the JUNOS.

To download a file, right click and save.Download Podcast: The Juno Snub
[mp3 file: runs00:14:12]

All podcast episodes

Use the links below to download a file.

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]


Spanish novelist Javier Marías on secrets and betrayal — in politics and fiction

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."

Download Spanish novelist Javier Marías on secrets and betrayal — in politics and fiction
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:51]


Nobel Prize for Literature winner Kazuo Ishiguro on his novels of 'great emotional force'

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."

Download Nobel Prize for Literature winner Kazuo Ishiguro on his novels of 'great emotional force'
[mp3 file: runs 00:53:24]


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

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.

Download Daniel Mendelsohn on his journey with his father through Homer’s Odyssey
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:48]


Haifaa Al Mansour on Mary Shelley, the woman behind Frankenstein

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.

Download Haifaa Al Mansour on Mary Shelley, the woman behind Frankenstein
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:59]


Kei Miller maps the intersections of race, class and privilege in Jamaica

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."

Download Kei Miller maps the intersections of race, class and privilege in Jamaica
[mp3 file: runs 00:57:44]


John le Carré on his legacy as a spy-turned-novelist

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.

Download John le Carré on his legacy as a spy-turned-novelist
[mp3 file: runs 01:07:46]


Philip Roth on his life in fiction

From "Goodbye, Columbus" to "The Plot Against America," the celebrated novelist reflects on his literary identities, fame, family, controversy and growing old in this conversation with Eleanor Wachtel from 2009.

Download Philip Roth on his life in fiction
[mp3 file: runs 00:53:21]


Cartoonist Lynda Barry on reclaiming the art of child's play

In this conversation from 2009, Eleanor talks to American cartoonist Lynda Barry about her Filipino heritage, her friendship with Matt Groening, and her darkly funny and moving work, which revolves around the lives of children.

Download Cartoonist Lynda Barry on reclaiming the art of child's play
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:19]