Writers & Companywith Eleanor Wachtel


Mary Gaitskill: from bad behavior to surprising tenderness

The American novelist, essayist, and short story writer speaks with Eleanor Wachtel about her new collection of essays called Somebody with a Little Hammer.

With Bunk, Kevin Young reminds us there's nothing new about fake news

Eleanor Wachtel speaks with the poet and essayist about his latest book, which explores the history of hoaxes in the United States.

Ali Smith on the circular movement of time — in nature, life and art

Eleanor Wachtel speaks with the Scottish author about her latest novels, Autumn and Winter.

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

Eleanor Wachtel speaks with the American writer and classical scholar about his latest memoir.
Special Podcast

James McBride on the complicated history of race in the United States

The bestselling author examines the racial tensions in national and personal narratives.

Edna O'Brien: from Ireland's outcast to celebrated icon

The legendary writer is the 2018 winner of the prestigious PEN/Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature. Listen to her conversation from 2009 with Eleanor Wachtel.

Kapka Kassabova on the untold stories of Bulgaria's haunted borderland

The award-winning writer explores the unspoken stories of the people and places at the edges of Europe.

Sebastián Lelio on the fantastic woman at the heart of his Oscar-nominated film

The celebrated Chilean film director takes an intimate look at the stories and ideas behind his work.

Eleanor Wachtel reflects on the life and legacy of Muriel Spark, on the centenary of her birth

Eleanor interviewed the late British author, best known for her novel The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, on Writers & Company in 1999.

Ursula K. Le Guin explored the nature of reality through her imaginative fiction

Known for award-winning fantasy and science fiction, the late author crafted imaginative worlds that explore real-life ideas of compassion, reason, gender and morality.

Xiaolu Guo traces her life's unlikely journey from East to West

The author of the memoir Nine Continents takes an unsentimental look at her family and country's history and how it has shaped her art.

'My grandparents were Nazis.' Rachel Seiffert mines her family's dark past

The Man Booker Prize shortlisted author of The Dark Room and A Boy in Winter confronts the troubling history looming over her life and writing.

Witi Ihimaera and Ali Cobby Eckermann on the power of Indigenous storytelling

The Maori author of The Whale Rider and the Australian Aboriginal poet behind Ruby Moonlight discuss historical wrongs that stories help us face.

Julian Barnes on love, loss and Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich

Eleanor Wachtel spoke with the beloved novelist, essayist and art critic on stage at the Bluma Appel Salon in Toronto.

Shirley Hazzard looks back on her life of great adventure

Shirley Hazzard talks to Eleanor Wachtel about love, loneliness and how her extraordinary life inspired her fiction.

Edwidge Danticat on memory, migration and her attachment to Haiti

Novelist Edwidge Danticat looks beyond Haiti's stigmas and turns the resilience of its people into the story of Claire of the Sea Light.

Abdulrazak Gurnah explores the pain of dislocation, from Zanzibar to England

Abdulrazak Gurnah retraces the story of a fragmented life and country in his novel Gravel Heart.

Richard Holmes reflects on his life as a 'Romantic biographer'

The author of This Long Pursuit views his own life through the lives of others.

Colm Tóibín on redrawing Greek tragedy for modern times

Colm Tóibín talks to Eleanor Wachtel about fatal relationships in his retelling of Greek tragedy, House of Names.

Anuradha Roy's elegant, provocative fiction explores power in modern India

Eleanor Wachtel speaks with the Indian author about her latest novel, Sleeping on Jupiter.

David Bellos on why Les Misérables still resonates today

Eleanor Wachtel speaks with translator and biographer David Bellos about the times and timeliness of Victor Hugo's novel, Les Misérables.

Remembering Leonard Cohen: biographer Sylvie Simmons on Montreal's beloved poet

Eleanor Wachtel spoke to music journalist and biographer Sylvie Simmons about the man behind the music, poetry and fiction.

Min Jin Lee on the untold story of Koreans in Japan

Eleanor Wachtel speaks with the Korean-American writer about her second novel, Pachinko, which was recently named a finalist for the National Book Award.

George Saunders on love, war and the American presidency

George Saunders on his Man Booker Prize-winning novel, Lincoln in the Bardo — a kaleidoscopic view of a single night in a graveyard during the American Civil War.

Javier Marías on secrets and betrayal — in politics and fiction

Eleanor Wachtel travelled to Spain to interview the celebrated author about his book Thus Bad Begins, a psychological, erotic and political thriller.