Writers & Companywith Eleanor Wachtel

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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.

Yiyun Li navigates the loss of a child in her heartbreaking new novel

The Chinese-American author spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about the process of writing about love, pain and grief.

David J. Skal on the enduring appeal of Dracula

Eleanor Wachtel talks to the author of Something in the Blood: The Untold Story of Bram Stoker, the Man Who Wrote Dracula.

In Late in the Day, Tessa Hadley tests the fault lines of long married love and friendship

The British author's seventh novel explores the nature of love, romance and aging in relationships.

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

The gifted soprano spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about her life and work in February. Norman died on Sept. 30, 2019.

Uruguayan filmmaker Federico Veiroj mixes deadpan comedy with existential drama in his prize-winning movies

The South American director spoke with Eleanor Wachtel during the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival.

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 cinematically exploring forbidden love and the concept of the gaze.

Hungarian writer Gyorgy Konrad dead at 86

The writer and sociologist was an iconic figure of Hungary’s dissident movement while the country was under communist rule. He spoke to Eleanor Wachtel in 2005.

Artist and author Leanne Shapton on what objects tell us about the lives of others

The author of Guestbook: Ghost Stories speaks with Eleanor Wachtel about how our worldly possessions define and reveal identity and status.

Why George Orwell's 1984 still matters, 70 years since publication

To kick off its 30th season, Writers & Company's Eleanor Wachtel speaks with British author Dorian Lynskey about the dystopian classic's lasting impact on society.

Kei Miller maps the intersections of race, class and privilege in Jamaica

In 2017, Eleanor Wachtel spoke with the award-winning poet and fiction writer about his third novel, Augustown.

Anuradha Roy's elegant, provocative fiction explores power in modern India

In 2017, Eleanor Wachtel spoke with the Indian author about her novel Sleeping on Jupiter.

Remembering Toni Morrison: the iconic author reflects on family, race and coping with personal tragedy

The Nobel Prize-winning author of Beloved, Jazz and Home died on August 5, 2019. Eleanor Wachtel spoke to Toni Morrison three times: in 1992, 2003 and 2012.

The striking works of Anish Kapoor challenge our ideas about art and reality

In this 2015 interview, the Indian-born British sculptor talks to Eleanor Wachtel about why his work manipulates our perception of space, colour and form.

Min Jin Lee on the untold story of Koreans in Japan

Eleanor Wachtel spoke with the Korean-American writer about her second novel, Pachinko, which was a finalist for the 2017 National Book Award.

Adam Hochschild on learning from dark moments in history

The author of the bestselling King Leopold's Ghost has written a powerful book, Spain in Our Hearts, about American volunteers in the Spanish Civil War.

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.