Writers & Companywith Eleanor Wachtel


Christopher Ricks on why Bob Dylan is "the greatest living user of the English language"

Literary critic and scholar Christopher Ricks discusses why Nobel Prize laureate Bob Dylan deserves to be included among the greatest writers of all time.

From Soviet Russia to Trump's America, Masha Gessen on the nature of power and morality

The Russian-American journalist, author, translator and activist spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about the abuse of power and rise of modern totalitarianism.

Maaza Mengiste on the untold story of Ethiopia's women warriors during Italian occupation

In conversation with Eleanor Wachtel, the Ethiopian-American writer spoke about writing historical fiction that looks at the real-life pride and power of an African nation.

Star choreographer Alexei Ratmansky makes breathtaking ballet out of classic literature

The Russian-born choreographer spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about training as a young dancer in St. Petersburg and getting his start at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet.

Jeanette Winterson brings humour and understanding to a fraught childhood

In honour of International Women's Day, we revisit Eleanor Wachtel's 2012 conversation with the celebrated British writer.

Chris Ware on how Peanuts, his mother and being bullied in school made him a cartoonist

The American cartoonist spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about how his childhood shaped his distinctive art style and outlook on life.

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

In conversation with Eleanor Wachtel, Matar talks about the ways that place, art, loss and grief can intersect.

Adam Foulds on celebrity, solitude and the madness of desire

The Toronto-based British author talks about his love of film and society's fascination with actors and celebrity with Eleanor Wachtel.

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

Eleanor Wachtel revisits her 1995 conversation with the American literary critic and writer about the power of human speech. He died on Feb. 3, 2020.

French filmmaker Céline Sciamma on looking, longing and falling in love in Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Sciamma spoke with Eleanor Wachtel during the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival about exploring forbidden love and the concept of the gaze through cinema.

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

The New Orleans-born author spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about generational love and the power of place.

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

In conversation with Eleanor Wachtel, the American author spoke about the novel's timely depiction of power dynamics, memory and consent.

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

The award-winning British author spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about amplifying the voices of marginalized people through literature.

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

The Edinburgh-born art critic and biographer spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about investigating the real story behind her mother’s disappearance as a child in 1929.

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

The Serbian-American writer spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about how death, afterlife and American West mythology inspired her novel, Inland.

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

Eleanor Wachtel revisits her 2000 conversation with comedian, satirist, doctor and stage director Jonathan Miller. He died on Nov. 27, 2019.

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

Francine Prose, Rebecca Mead and Nancy Henry reflect on the continued relevance of the Eliot's novel on the bicentenary of her birth.

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.

Brazilian novelist Julián Fuks on exile, identity and dictatorship

The acclaimed author spoke to Eleanor Wachtel about his award-winning novel Resistance and the illusory nature of national identity.

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

The British writer's latest book, The Man Who Saw Everything, is an enigmatic story about a striking young man who makes startling connections through time and space.

Bohemian Rhapsody screenwriter Anthony McCarten on turning true stories into award-winning movies 

The New Zealand-born novelist, playwright and filmmaker spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about finding his way into the iconic characters at the centre of his dramatic biopics.

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

The British-born novelist and essayist spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about her latest book, the short story collection Grand Union.

Ingo Schulze reflects on life in Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall

To mark the 30th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall, we revisit this 2009 conversation with German writer Ingo Schulze.

Tash Aw on the dark side of the modern Asian dream

The Chinese-Malaysian novelist spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about why his latest, We, the Survivors, is a portrait of crime, morality and social inequality.

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

The Guatemalan novelist spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about what the late American expatriate composer and author taught him about writing.