Writers & Companywith Eleanor Wachtel

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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.

Esther Kinsky on the ebb and flow of memory in River

The German author speaks to Eleanor Wachtel about the emotional bond between person and place.

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

The Angolan author speaks to Eleanor Wachtel on how heritage, history and hardship informed his novel Transparent City.

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

In Capernaum, Lebanese filmmaker Nadine Labaki's third feature, a 12-year-old boy sues his parents for giving him life.

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

The American author and academic on exploring identity, addiction and childhood trauma growing up in the Deep South.

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

The American punk music icon talks about her photo exhibit Camera Solo in this 2013 interview with Eleanor Wachtel.

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.

The enduring magic of The Little Prince: with Stacy Schiff, Mark Osborne and Éric Dupont

The three longtime fans of the classic book joined Eleanor Wachtel for a discussion about its enduring and universal appeal.

Pat Barker on giving voice to the enslaved women of Homer's Iliad

The Silence of the Girls is a powerful retelling of The Iliad, reimagined from the point of view of Briseis, the 15-year-old queen who becomes Achilles’s captured slave.