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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

Rock moms and the stars they raised

Dave Grohl and his mother, Virginia, discuss her new book about rock moms.

To download a file, right click and save.Download Podcast: Rock moms and the stars they raised
[mp3 file: runs 01:01:51]

Featured Podcast

Feminism - 'stop blaming men'

Camille Paglia is never afraid to speak her mind — even when it rankles her fellow feminists.

To download a file, right click and save.Download Podcast: Feminism - 'stop blaming men'
[mp3 file: runs00:25:27]

Featured Podcast

"God wasn't there"

William dedicated 22 years of his life to Mormonism, before he committed a serious sin.

To download a file, right click and save.Download Podcast: "God wasn't there"
[mp3 file: runs00:27:30]

Featured Podcast

Mississauga mom fears for her son's safety at school prayers

A Mississauga mother says she fears for her eldest son's safety after a number of high-profile incidents targeting Muslim school prayers at the Peel District School Board.

To download a file, right click and save.Download Podcast: Mississauga mom fears for her son's safety at school prayers
[mp3 file: runs00:45:32]

All podcast episodes

Use the links below to download a file.

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]


David J. Skal on the enduring appeal of Dracula

Eleanor speaks with author, filmmaker and cultural historian David J. Skal about the undying legacy of Dracula, and the untold story of the man who created him - Bram Stoker.

Download David J. Skal on the enduring appeal of Dracula
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:50]


Lara Vapnyar on life and death in the age of social media

What if the dead could still talk to the living? Eleanor Wachtel speaks with Russian-American author Lara Vapnyar, whose latest novel "Still Here" explores life, death and social media among four immigrants to New York.

Download Lara Vapnyar on life and death in the age of social media
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:48]


Adam Hochschild on learning from dark moments in history

Eleanor speaks with American historian and journalist, Adam Hochschild. The author of the groundbreaking bestseller "King Leopold's Ghost" has a powerful new book, "Spain in Our Hearts" - about American volunteers in the Spanish Civil War.

Download Adam Hochschild on learning from dark moments in history
[mp3 file: runs 01:00:36]


Jo Baker on imagining the story beneath the story

Eleanor speaks with English author Jo Baker. Her bestselling novel "Longbourn" is a retelling of Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" — from the servants' perspective. Her latest novel goes behind the scenes with Samuel Beckett.

Download Jo Baker on imagining the story beneath the story
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:59]


Dutch writer Tommy Wieringa on what it means to be "home"

Dutch novelist Tommy Wieringa is one of the bestselling literary authors in Dutch history. His powerful novel "These Are the Names" explores enduring questions of faith, identity and belonging.

Download Dutch writer Tommy Wieringa on what it means to be "home"
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:48]


Playwright David Hare on why some opinions are better than others

Eleanor speaks with English playwright, screenwriter and director Sir David Hare about writing the screenplay for "Denial" - a new film starring Rachel Weisz - and turning the spotlight on his own life in a revealing memoir.

Download Playwright David Hare on why some opinions are better than others
[mp3 file: runs 00:57:31]


Mohsin Hamid on "How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia"

From 2014, Eleanor speaks with Pakistani writer Mohsin Hamid, author of the hit novel, "The Reluctant Fundamentalist". His recent book - "How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia" - explores ambition, corruption and the disruptive effects of urbanization.

Download Mohsin Hamid on "How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia"
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:35]


Malcolm Gladwell on underdogs, outliers, and the power of limitations

Eleanor's conversation with Malcolm Gladwell, on stage at McGill University in 2013. In his latest book, "David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants", Gladwell challenges the way we think about obstacles and disadvantages.

Download Malcolm Gladwell on underdogs, outliers, and the power of limitations
[mp3 file: runs 01:13:45]


Jamaican novelist Marlon James on writing into a new life

From 2015, Eleanor's conversation with Marlon James, the first Jamaican ever to win the Man Booker Prize. His novel, "A Brief History of Seven Killings", revolves around​ an assassination attempt on reggae superstar, Bob Marley.

Download Jamaican novelist Marlon James on writing into a new life
[mp3 file: runs 00:51:55]


Geoff Dyer on the upside of disappointing travel

Eleanor welcomes back one of Britain's wittiest and most audacious writers, Geoff Dyer. His latest book — a collection of essays called "White Sands" — is a humorous examination of travel, impermanence, and thwarted expectations.

Download Geoff Dyer on the upside of disappointing travel
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:00]


'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]