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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Award-winning poet Raymond Antrobus on hearing, seeing and grieving through verse

The British-Jamaican poet spoke to Eleanor Wachtel about his prize-winning new collection, The Perseverance, which explores his complicated relationship with his late father and his experience growing up deaf.

Download Award-winning poet Raymond Antrobus on hearing, seeing and grieving through verse
[mp3 file: runs 00:58:13]


Michelle de Kretser probes the human heart with insight and wit in The Life to Come

In her new novel, the prize-winning Australian author uses satire to explore race, class and migration, and the art of writing itself. De Kretser talks to Eleanor Wachtel about hope and betrayal in her fiction, and about growing up in Sri Lanka in the 1960s.

Download Michelle de Kretser probes the human heart with insight and wit in The Life to Come
[mp3 file: runs 00:56:13]


100 years after the Treaty of Versailles, Niall Ferguson and Margaret MacMillan on the lasting impact of WWI

Speaking to Eleanor Wachtel in 2003, the two historians look back on the First World War and its far-reaching aftermath.

Download 100 years after the Treaty of Versailles, Niall Ferguson and Margaret MacMillan on the lasting impact of WWI
[mp3 file: runs 00:53:36]


From The Shipping News to Brokeback Mountain, Annie Proulx on the importance of place in her fiction

The award-winning American author talks to Eleanor Wachtel onstage in Montreal about her Canadian connections, and how the natural world informs her writing - and her life.

Download From The Shipping News to Brokeback Mountain, Annie Proulx on the importance of place in her fiction
[mp3 file: runs 00:53:25]


Doris Lessing on how her childhood in Zimbabwe shaped her visionary fiction

To mark the centenary of her birth, Writers & Company revisits Eleanor's 2003 conversation with the late Nobel Prize in Literature winner, one of the most influential writers of the 20th century.

Download Doris Lessing on how her childhood in Zimbabwe shaped her visionary fiction
[mp3 file: runs 00:53:13]


Imani Perry on the remarkable life and legacy of Lorraine Hansberry, author of A Raisin in the Sun

In Looking for Lorraine, Imani Perry explores Hansberry's significant impact as both a writer and civil rights activist. Perry spoke to Eleanor while in Toronto for TIFF's Books on Film series.

Download Imani Perry on the remarkable life and legacy of Lorraine Hansberry, author of A Raisin in the Sun
[mp3 file: runs 01:02:53]


Whit Stillman on Jane Austen's diabolical, amoral and utterly charming Lady Susan

The writer and director talked to Eleanor Wachtel about making Love & Friendship, the first film adaptation of Austen's lesser-known novella, Lady Susan. Stillman joined Eleanor in Toronto while in town for TIFF's Books on Film series.

Download Whit Stillman on Jane Austen's diabolical, amoral and utterly charming Lady Susan
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:30]


Widely-acclaimed Irish novelist Sally Rooney offers a sharp and witty take on love, sex, class and politics

The 28-year-old writer talks to Eleanor Wachtel about her two novels, how she engages with the social conventions of her time and how her characters navigate coming-of-age in an Ireland itself reeling from the decline of the Celtic Tiger.

Download Widely-acclaimed Irish novelist Sally Rooney offers a sharp and witty take on love, sex, class and politics
[mp3 file: runs 00:53:18]


Looking back at the extraordinary Simone de Beauvoir on the 70th anniversary of The Second Sex

Four of Beauvoir's friends and admirers joined Eleanor Wachtel in 2008 to discuss the lasting legacy of the visionary French writer and feminist.

Download Looking back at the extraordinary Simone de Beauvoir on the 70th anniversary of The Second Sex
[mp3 file: runs 00:53:09]


How the true story of the 'American Taliban' led to John Wray's new novel, Godsend

In his fifth novel, the award-winning writer explores identity, rebellion and radicalism through the eyes of a teenage woman. Wray talks to Eleanor Wachtel about the 'pure and dangerous' age of adolescence.

Download How the true story of the 'American Taliban' led to John Wray's new novel, Godsend
[mp3 file: runs 00:57:52]


William Atkins on the beauty, myths and harsh realities of desert life

The British author spoke to Eleanor Wachtel about the literary allure and mystique of the world's driest, hottest places - as well as the troubling impact of migration, nuclear testing and environmental disaster.

Download William Atkins on the beauty, myths and harsh realities of desert life
[mp3 file: runs 00:55:44]


Aatish Taseer on religion, caste and power in modern India

The author and journalist talks to Eleanor onstage in Toronto about his Indian-Pakistani heritage, the impact of modernity on India today, and his new book, The Twice-Born, which explores the city of Benares, the spiritual capital of Hinduism.

Download Aatish Taseer on religion, caste and power in modern India
[mp3 file: runs 01:00:35]


How John Grisham turned his passion for justice into bestselling legal thrillers

The phenomenally successful American novelist joins Eleanor Wachtel in Toronto to discuss his new novel, The Reckoning, and his dedication to fighting for the wrongly convicted.

Download How John Grisham turned his passion for justice into bestselling legal thrillers
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:46]


To mark St. Patrick's Day, a conversation with Nobel Prize winner Seamus Heaney

Eleanor Wachtel's 2010 interview with one of Ireland's great poets, Seamus Heaney. He discusses and reads poems from Human Chain, the last collection published before his death in 2013.

Download To mark St. Patrick's Day, a conversation with Nobel Prize winner Seamus Heaney
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:50]


Nora Krug asks tough questions about her German family's wartime past

The German-American graphic artist talks to Eleanor Wachtel about her visual memoir, Belonging, an unflinching investigation into her family's involvement in the Second World War.

Download Nora Krug asks tough questions about her German family's wartime past
[mp3 file: runs 01:01:14]


Sarah Moss on Brexit, borders and the ghosts of England's Iron Age

In her new novel, Ghost Wall, Sarah Moss connects ancient Britons of the Iron Age to the foundation myths of the Brexit crisis. She talks to Eleanor Wachtel about the influence of northern, isolated places on her life and work.

Download Sarah Moss on Brexit, borders and the ghosts of England's Iron Age
[mp3 file: runs 00:53:03]


Opera superstar Jessye Norman reflects on political activism and her 50-year career in music

Winner of the $100, 000 Glenn Gould Prize, the legendary soprano reflects on her life, her music and how she used her voice - on and off the stage

Download Opera superstar Jessye Norman reflects on political activism and her 50-year career in music
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:32]


Diana Athill: looking back at a remarkable literary life and career

The celebrated editor and memoirist died on Jan. 23, 2019, at the age of 101. Speaking to Eleanor Wachtel in 2001, Athill discusses her memoir Stet, and some of the writers she worked with over her 50-year career, including Norman Mailer, Jean Rhys and Mordecai Richler.

Download Diana Athill: looking back at a remarkable literary life and career
[mp3 file: runs 00:53:59]


Vesna Goldsworthy on re-imagining The Great Gatsby and Anna Karenina

Inspired by literary classics, the Serbian-British writer engages with life in London through the lens of Eastern European and Russian characters. She talks to Eleanor Wachtel about her latest novel, Monsieur Ka.

Download Vesna Goldsworthy on re-imagining The Great Gatsby and Anna Karenina
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:03]


Juan Gabriel Vásquez on how Colombia's violent past has shaped his fiction and his life

The prize-winning author talks to Eleanor Wachtel about growing up in Bogotá during the height of Colombia's drug wars, and his new book, The Shape of the Ruins, which probes real-life political assassinations from his country's turbulent history.

Download Juan Gabriel Vásquez on how Colombia's violent past has shaped his fiction and his life
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:56]


Esther Kinsky on the ebb and flow of memory in River

The German novelist, poet and translator won multiple prizes for her novel River when it was first published in Germany. Now available in English, it's earning wide acclaim for its haunting evocation of landscape and loss.

Download Esther Kinsky on the ebb and flow of memory in River
[mp3 file: runs 00:56:09]


Ondjaki captures the humour and heartache of life in his hometown, Luanda

The Angolan writer, and one of Africa's most important contemporary writers, talks to Eleanor Wachtel about his latest award-winning book - Transparent City - a portrait of his native Luanda in apocalyptic times.

Download Ondjaki captures the humour and heartache of life in his hometown, Luanda
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:44]


Nadine Labaki highlights the heroism of children in Beirut in her new film, Capernaum

The Lebanese filmmaker made history last year when she became the first female Arab director to win a major prize in competition at Cannes. Nadine Labaki talks to Eleanor Wachtel about her powerful new film, working with a cast of young nonprofessional actors, and the importance of telling Lebanese stories from a woman's perspective

Download Nadine Labaki highlights the heroism of children in Beirut in her new film, Capernaum
[mp3 file: runs 00:53:23]


Kiese Laymon bears the weight of a difficult past in his powerful memoir, Heavy

The Mississippi writer talks to Eleanor Wachtel about growing up black in the Deep South, his gambling addiction, and his lifelong struggle with weight and body image.

Download Kiese Laymon bears the weight of a difficult past in his powerful memoir, Heavy
[mp3 file: runs 00:59:03]


Patti Smith on the immediacy of photography - and why she prefers Polaroids

The iconic American musician, writer and photographer talked to Eleanor Wachtel onstage in 2013 to celebrate the launch of her photo exhibit, Camera Solo.

Download Patti Smith on the immediacy of photography - and why she prefers Polaroids
[mp3 file: runs 00:53:51]


Alain Mabanckou on his profound connection to the Republic of the Congo

The celebrated Congolese-French writer joined Eleanor Wachtel onstage at the Vancouver Writers Festival in 2016.

Download Alain Mabanckou on his profound connection to the Republic of the Congo
[mp3 file: runs 00:53:00]