Writers & Companywith Eleanor Wachtel

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Fredrik Sjöberg on the art and joy of collecting hoverflies

The noted hoverfly collector and bestselling author of The Fly Trap and The Art of Flight speaks to Eleanor Wachtel about how he found his unusual calling.

From The Lion King to Shakespeare, Julie Taymor brings magic and drama to classic stories

Julie Taymor is best-known as the director of The Lion King, the highest-grossing Broadway musical of all time.

Viet Thanh Nguyen on redefining what it means to be a refugee

In this 2016 interview, the Vietnamese-American novelist speaks to Eleanor Wachtel about writing his ambitious, disturbing and darkly comic novel, The Sympathizer, winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize.

John le Carré on his legacy as a spy-turned-novelist

Eleanor Wachtel travelled to London in 2017 to chat with the bestselling British author about his storied career and the book A Legacy of Spies.

Aleksandar Hemon on how his parents fled the Siege of Sarajevo and started a new life in Canada

The Bosnian-American author on his childhood and how his refugee parents shaped his worldview.

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

The British-Jamaican author of poetry collection The Perseverance met with Eleanor Wachtel to discuss race, identity and his experience growing up deaf.

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

The Sri Lankan-born Australian author speaks with Eleanor Wachtel about how the ambivalence of travel shaped her life and fiction.

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

In this 2003 conversation with Eleanor Wachtel, the two historians discuss how the First World War destroyed empires and changed the course of history.

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

The bestselling American author spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about her Canadian connections and how geography and mood inform her writing.

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

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Lessing's birth, we re-visit her 2003 conversation with Eleanor Watchel about her extraordinary life and writing.

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

The author and scholar on the late playwright and her seminal drama about black American life in the pre-Civil Rights era.

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

The American writer and director on making Love & Friendship, a film adaption of a lesser-known Austen novel.

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

Rooney spoke to Eleanor Wachtel about writing Normal People, a novel about two young people coming-of-age in contemporary Ireland.

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

Three Beauvoir enthusiasts joined Eleanor Wachtel in 2008 for a discussion about the lasting legacy of the late French intellectual, novelist and memoirist.

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

The American writer on why his fifth novel explores identity, rebellion and radicalism through the eyes of a teenager.

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

The British author talked to Eleanor Wachtel about the literary allure and mystique of the world's driest, hottest places.

Aatish Taseer on religion, caste and power in modern India

The author and journalist spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about his Indian-Pakistani heritage, spiritual identity and the ancient Indian city of Benares.

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

The bestselling author on how his previous life as an attorney in the American South shaped his storytelling and activism.

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

The late Irish poet and playwright talked to Eleanor Wachtel in 2010 about his illustrious body of work.

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

The German-American author and illustrator spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about a personal search for identity in the shadow of Germany's dark history.

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

The British author and academic spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about why, throughout history, society seems to find a scapegoat to abuse and blame.

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

The gifted soprano talked to Eleanor Wachtel about her life and work.

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

Writers & Company looks back at the amazing life and career of editor and memoirist Diana Athill. She died on Jan. 23, 2019, at the age of 101.

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

Inspired by literary classics, Vesna Goldsworthy’s novels engage with life in London through the lens of Eastern European and Russian characters.

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

The acclaimed novelist talks to Eleanor Wachtel about understanding his country's past by re-imagining its troubled history.