Writers & Companywith Eleanor Wachtel

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Ben Macintyre tells the fascinating true story of the only woman to become a top Soviet spy

The British author spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about the allure of espionage and writing about the remarkable Cold War secret operative known as Agent Sonya.

Catherine Lacey imagines a character without race or gender in her latest novel, Pew

The American author spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about writing a novel that examines faith, forgiveness and identity politics.

30 books to celebrate 30 years of Writers & Company

Writers & Company with Eleanor Wachtel celebrates its 30th anniversary season this year. To celebrate, here's a look back at 30 outstanding books the show has covered since 1990.

Veep creator Armando Iannucci finds the comic in the absurd, from The Death of Stalin to David Copperfield 

The Scottish satirist, writer and director spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about his love of Charles Dickens and why he finds truth in satire.

For Valentine's Day, six writers on love, sex, passion and desire — in life and literature

In 2001, Eleanor Wachtel was joined by Ian McEwan, A.L. Kennedy, Clare Boylan, Rosemary Sullivan, Shyam Selvadurai and Esta Spalding to talk about romance and writing.

Adrian Tomine on The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist and finding solace in storytelling

In conversation with Eleanor Wachtel, the Japanese American illustrator talks about how solitude has shaped his life and art.
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Remembering legendary Canadian actor Christopher Plummer

Eleanor Wachtel spoke to the Oscar-winning actor on Wachtel on the Arts in 2011. Plummer died on Feb. 5, 2021.

Margot Livesey on The Boy in the Field and the presence of ghosts in her fiction — and in her life   

The Scottish-born author spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about how her latest novel explores the nature of truth and self-discovery.

30 years of Writers & Company: 5 inspiring people who changed how we see the world

Writers & Company celebrates its 30th anniversary season this year. This special episode features interviews with Jane Goodall, Oliver Sacks, Amartya Sen, Jane Jacobs and Desmond Tutu.

Travels with Graham Greene — the remarkable life and times of a master storyteller

Canadian poet and editor Richard Greene spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about covering the life of one of the most popular and admired English writers of the 20th century. 

Wayétu Moore tells the story of Liberia through her family's escape from its devastating civil war

The author of The Dragons, The Giant, The Women spoke to Eleanor Wachtel about the impact of Liberia's civil war on the country, her family, and her own life.

Abenaki filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin on her legendary career and the power of storytelling

The artist, activist and documentarist spoke with Eleanor Wachtel in 2008 about empowerment, resistance and doing what is right.

Amitav Ghosh pursues adventure across the Indian Ocean in his 19th-century saga, Sea of Poppies 

The acclaimed Indian author spoke with Eleanor Wachtel in 2008 about migration, identity and the concept of home.

The legacy of John le Carré: master of the political thriller

The British spy-turned-novelist died on Dec. 12, 2020 at the age of 89. In this 2010 interview, le Carré spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about how his childhood and career in the intelligence service shaped his fiction.

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. le Carré died on Dec. 12, 2020.

French novelist David Foenkinos on literary fame, lost artistic genius and John Lennon

In conversation with Eleanor Wachtel, David Foenkinos talks about his acclaimed work, including Charlotte, Lennon: The New York Years and his most recent novel, The Mystery of Henri Pick.

Tsitsi Dangarembga looks at the dreams and disappointments of post-colonial Zimbabwe in This Mournable Body 

The Zimbabwean novelist, filmmaker and 2020 Booker Prize finalist spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about how her life and fiction have been shaped by racism and political turmoil.

On finding and losing yourself in the city: from Charles Dickens to Virginia Woolf 

London-based author and academic Matthew Beaumont spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about tracing the footsteps of literary writers in his new book, The Walker.

30 years of Writers & Company: highlights from the first season

This special episode revisits memorable interviews from the 1990-91 season: conversations with Alice Munro, A.S. Byatt, J.M. Coetzee, Wole Soyinka and Eduardo Galeano.

Brit Bennett on race, identity and the re-invention of self in her bestselling novel, The Vanishing Half 

The American author spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about writing a novel where the issues of racism and colourism in the 1950s carry through to today's world.

Dalia Sofer draws on her family's escape from revolutionary Iran 

In conversation with Eleanor Wachtel, the Iranian-American author talks about how the legacy of a revolution informs her novels The Septembers of Shiraz and Man of My Time.

Martin Amis on the inside story of his literary life, loves and losses

The British author spoke to Eleanor Wachtel about writing a fictional account of his connections with family, friends and mentors.

Ayad Akhtar examines the soul of America through his own family's story in Homeland Elegies

The Pulitzer Prize-winning American playwright and novelist spoke to Eleanor Wachtel about exploring his Pakistani heritage in an era of Western decline and division.

Natasha Trethewey's Memorial Drive is a moving tribute to her mother's life

The Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet and author spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about writing a heartbreaking account of domestic abuse, grief and reckoning.

Dionne Brand, Margaret Drabble, Deborah Eisenberg & Andrew O'Hagan reflect on life and writing

2020 marks the 30th anniversary season of Writers & Company. This 2010 episode takes a look back at the 20th anniversary of the CBC radio program with a discussion moderated by Eleanor Wachtel.

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