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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

Inside the huge consumer backlash against Star Wars Battlefront II

Its release last week was overshadowed by controversy and spawned the most down-voted Reddit post of all time.

To download a file, right click and save.Download Podcast: Inside the huge consumer backlash against Star Wars Battlefront II
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:37]

Featured Podcast

'Basam is a hero'

Afghan police say officer saved many lives by bear-hugging suicide bomber.

To download a file, right click and save.Download Podcast: 'Basam is a hero'
[mp3 file: runs00:52:55]

Featured Podcast

Starring in Coco

Hear the incredible story of how Anthony Gonzalez scored this big role.

To download a file, right click and save.Download Podcast: Starring in Coco
[mp3 file: runs00:15:36]

Featured Podcast

What are smartphones doing to young people?

Too much screen-time has been linked to sleep disruption, loneliness, anxiety, depression and even an increased risk of suicide.

To download a file, right click and save.Download Podcast: What are smartphones doing to young people?
[mp3 file: runs02:21:39]

All podcast episodes

Use the links below to download a file.

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]


Graphic novelist Reinhard Kleist on Germany's refugees, then and now

Eleanor speaks to the award-winning German comic book artist about his wide-ranging subjects — from Johnny Cash; to a man who escaped Auschwitz by boxing; to Samia Yusuf Omar, a Somalian Olympic runner who drowned trying to reach Europe.

Download Graphic novelist Reinhard Kleist on Germany's refugees, then and now
[mp3 file: runs 00:50:47]


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]