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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From Tripoli to Tuscany—Libyan writer Hisham Matar finds new connections between art and life

Matar's Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir, The Return, is about his return to his native Libya to search for the truth behind the disappearance of his father, a prominent political dissident of the Gaddafi regime. Now Matar has written a new book - A Month in Siena - about a more recent journey and a meditation on the relationship between history and art, grief and consolation. Matar joins Eleanor to talk about his new book and his life.

Download From Tripoli to Tuscany—Libyan writer Hisham Matar finds new connections between art and life
[mp3 file: runs 00:55:55]


Adam Foulds on celebrity, solitude and the madness of desire

The award-winning British author, now living in Toronto, speaks to Eleanor about his his wide-ranging fiction and poetry

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[mp3 file: runs 00:52:30]


George Steiner on morality, his love of books and the marvels of language

The brilliant literary critic, writer and thinker talked to Eleanor Wachtel in 1995 about the power of human speech. Steiner died on Feb. 3, 2020, at the age of 90.

Download George Steiner on morality, his love of books and the marvels of language
[mp3 file: runs 00:53:32]


Sarah Broom on family bonds and the meaning of home in her award-winning memoir, The Yellow House

The youngest of twelve children, and raised by her widowed mother, Sarah Broom grew up in the challenging neighbourhood of New Orleans East. She writes about her upbringing, her home and the devastating impact of Hurricane Katrina on her community.

Download Sarah Broom on family bonds and the meaning of home in her award-winning memoir, The Yellow House
[mp3 file: runs 00:57:59]


Susan Choi's Trust Exercise is an intense coming-of-age story — with a surprising twist

Winner of the 2019 National Book Award, Trust Exercise is a timely exploration of sexual politics, fiction and truth. Choi talks to Eleanor Wachtel about the novel, and about exploring the experiences of Asian-American characters in her work.

Download Susan Choi's Trust Exercise is an intense coming-of-age story — with a surprising twist
[mp3 file: runs 00:59:32]


Bernardine Evaristo on black British identity and her Booker-winning novel, Girl, Woman, Other

The co-winner of the 2019 Man Booker Prize talks to Eleanor Wachtel about her ambitious novel, and about growing up in a large, mixed-race family in London in the 1960s and '70s.

Download Bernardine Evaristo on black British identity and her Booker-winning novel, Girl, Woman, Other
[mp3 file: runs 00:56:19]


How Laura Cumming unearthed the truth about her mother's kidnapping, 90 years later

Art critic Laura Cumming spoke to Eleanor Wachtel about her latest book, Five Days Gone, an investigation into her mother's disappearance as a child in 1929.

Download How Laura Cumming unearthed the truth about her mother's kidnapping, 90 years later
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:17]


The haunted landscapes of Téa Obreht — from the Balkans to the American West

The Serbian-American author spoke to Eleanor Wachtel about mythology and ghosts in her acclaimed novels The Tiger's Wife and Inland.

Download The haunted landscapes of Téa Obreht — from the Balkans to the American West
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:43]


The multi-talented Jonathan Miller: a life of creativity, curiosity and comedy

Eleanor Wachtel’s conversation from 2000 with Jonathan Miller, the extraordinary British writer, performer, satirist, medical doctor, stage and opera director and artist. He died on Nov. 27, 2019.

Download The multi-talented Jonathan Miller: a life of creativity, curiosity and comedy
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:24]


The enduring appeal of Middlemarch, 200 years after George Eliot's birth

Eleanor Wachtel's 2014 conversation with Middlemarch enthusiasts Rebecca Mead, Nancy Henry and Francine Prose, to mark George Eliot's bicentenary. 

Download The enduring appeal of Middlemarch, 200 years after George Eliot's birth
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:51]


Martin Amis and Ian Thomson on the legacy of Primo Levi

To mark the centenary of the birth of Primo Levi, the British writers join Eleanor Wachtel to reflect on the late Italian author's exceptional writing about the Holocaust, science and humanity.

Download Martin Amis and Ian Thomson on the legacy of Primo Levi
[mp3 file: runs 01:02:26]


Brazilian novelist Julián Fuks on exile, identity and dictatorship

The acclaimed author spoke to Eleanor Wachtel about his award-winning novel Resistance, which explores the experience of his family who were forced to flee Argentina's dictatorship.

Download Brazilian novelist Julián Fuks on exile, identity and dictatorship
[mp3 file: runs 00:53:41]


Deborah Levy fuses the personal and political in her mind-bending new novel, The Man Who Saw Everything

The British writer talked to Eleanor Wachtel onstage in Toronto about her new novel, an enigmatic story about a striking young man that makes startling connections through time and space. 

Download Deborah Levy fuses the personal and political in her mind-bending new novel, The Man Who Saw Everything
[mp3 file: runs 01:00:07]


Anthony McCarten on turning true stories into award-winning movies

The award-winning screenwriter of Bohemian Rhapsody, Darkest Hour and The Theory of Everything talks to Eleanor Wachtel about his new movie, The Two Popes.

Download Anthony McCarten on turning true stories into award-winning movies
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:13]


Zadie Smith on what keeps her urgently engaged with the world around her

The critically acclaimed British author joined Eleanor Wachtel onstage in Toronto for an exhilarating conversation about Grand Union, her first collection of short stories.

Download Zadie Smith on what keeps her urgently engaged with the world around her
[mp3 file: runs 01:00:26]


To mark the 30th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall, Ingo Schulze captures a world in transition

Raised in the former East Germany, Schulze draws on his own experience of mayhem and transformation at an unexpected historical moment in his novel, New Lives. He shares his thoughts with Eleanor Wachtel in this revisited conversation from 2009.

Download To mark the 30th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall, Ingo Schulze captures a world in transition
[mp3 file: runs 00:53:16]


Tash Aw on the dark side of the modern Asian dream

The Malaysian author spoke to Eleanor Wachtel at the Vancouver Writers Festival about his new book, We, the Survivors, a haunting tale of migration and murder.  

Download Tash Aw on the dark side of the modern Asian dream
[mp3 file: runs 00:57:47]


Master storyteller Rodrigo Rey Rosa on Guatemala, Morocco and his mentor, Paul Bowles

The celebrated writer talks to Eleanor Wachtel about growing up during Guatemala's civil war, the inspiration he found in Tangier and his new book, Chaos: A Fable.

Download Master storyteller Rodrigo Rey Rosa on Guatemala, Morocco and his mentor, Paul Bowles
[mp3 file: runs 00:51:43]


Yiyun Li navigates the loss of a child in her heartbreaking new novel

The prize-winning author talked to Eleanor Wachtel on stage in Toronto about her new novel, Where Reasons End, written in the months following the suicide of her 16-year-old son. 

Download Yiyun Li navigates the loss of a child in her heartbreaking new novel
[mp3 file: runs 00:53:49]


David J. Skal on the enduring appeal of Dracula

The author of Something in the Blood: The Untold Story of Bram Stoker, the Man who wrote Dracula spoke to Eleanor Wachtel in 2017 about the origins of Stoker's vampire, and why he still captures our imagination.

Download David J. Skal on the enduring appeal of Dracula
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:45]


Tessa Hadley tests the fault lines of long married love in Late in the Day

The British writer talks to Eleanor Wachtel about the subtleties of adult love and friendship in her new novel.

Download Tessa Hadley tests the fault lines of long married love in Late in the Day
[mp3 file: runs 00:53:19]


Federico Veiroj mixes deadpan comedy with existential drama in his prize-winning movies

The Uruguayan filmmaker spoke to Eleanor Wachtel during TIFF 2019, shortly after the world premiere of his new movie, The Moneychanger.

Download Federico Veiroj mixes deadpan comedy with existential drama in his prize-winning movies
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:04]


Filmmaker Celine Sciamma on looking, longing and falling in love in Portrait of a Lady on Fire

A powerful love story between women, the French director's new film was a hit at TIFF 2019. Sciamma spoke to Eleanor Wachtel at the festival.

Download Filmmaker Celine Sciamma on looking, longing and falling in love in Portrait of a Lady on Fire
[mp3 file: runs 00:53:20]


Leanne Shapton on what objects tell us about the lives of others

The artist and author talks to Eleanor Wachtel about her evocative new work, Guestbook: Ghost Stories, and how the stuff of everyday life inspires her uniquely creative vision.

Download Leanne Shapton on what objects tell us about the lives of others
[mp3 file: runs 00:57:23]


Why George Orwell's 1984 still matters, 70 years since publication

Eleanor Wachtel speaks to Dorian Lynskey about the dystopian classic and its lasting impact on society. Lynskey is the author of The Ministry of Truth: A Biography of George Orwell's 1984.

Download Why George Orwell's 1984 still matters, 70 years since publication
[mp3 file: runs 01:01:38]


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

The award-winning poet and novelist spoke to Eleanor Wachtel in 2017 about his novel Augustown, and his collection The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way to Zion.

Download Kei Miller maps the intersections of race, class and privilege in Jamaica
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:35]