Home | Writers & Company with Eleanor Wachtel | CBC Radio


Bestselling Swedish writer Fredrik Backman on the personal story behind his hit novels

The author of the literary phenomenon A Man Called Ove spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about how his personal life has influenced his work, including his latest novel The Winners.

Looking back at Hilary Mantel, beloved author of the bestselling Wolf Hall trilogy

In this 2012 interview, the English writer spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about her Booker Prize-winning novels, Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies. Mantel died at the age of 70 on Sept. 22, 2022.

Remembering Javier Marías: Spain's most celebrated contemporary writer

Javier Marías, Spain's most prestigious novelist of the past half century, died on Sept. 11, 2022. In this 2017 interview, Eleanor Wachtel spoke with Marías about his psychological thriller novel, Thus Bad Begins.

Pakistani novelist Mohsin Hamid on trauma after 9/11, migration and belonging

The acclaimed author spoke to Eleanor Wachtel about his latest novel, The Last White Man, and previous celebrated works such as Exit West and The Reluctant Fundamentalist.

A new season of Writers & Company with Eleanor Wachtel begins Sept. 11

An interview with Pakistani novelist Mohsin Hamid kicks off another exciting season! Tune in on CBC Radio One on Sundays at 3 p.m. AT & ET (3:30 NT), 5 p.m. CT, MT & PT and Tuesdays at 3 p.m. in select regions.

Journalist and novelist Renata Adler — a wide-ranging chronicler of contemporary life

In this 2001 conversation, novelist and journalist Renata Adler spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about writing style and a career chronicling contemporary life.

Clive James on Cultural Amnesia, totalitarianism, and his remarkable career

In this 2009 interview, the late Australian writer and critic spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about writing a witty compendium of 20th century thinkers — with an urgent plea for humanism in the face of tyranny. 

Persepolis creator Marjane Satrapi finds passion and humour in times of unrest

In this 2011 interview the award-winning Iranian comic creator and filmmaker spoke to Eleanor Wachtel about how her unique vision of Iran draws on her own experience and colourful family history.

Dance legend Bill T. Jones on growing up Black and gay, and being inspired by Abraham Lincoln

In this 2010 conversation, American dancer and choreographer Bill T. Jones spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about his lifelong commitment to artistic rebellion.

Mavis Gallant: celebrating the centenary of the masterful Canadian short story writer 

In this 2008 conversation in Paris, the late Canadian short story writer — who would have turned 100 this year — spoke to Eleanor Watchel about her journalism roots, her early struggles as a young writer in Europe, and carving out her own literary path.

Talking with a master storyteller: Eleanor Wachtel on interviewing Mavis Gallant

Writers & Company host Eleanor Wachtel reflects on her 2008 interview with Canadian short story master Mavis Gallant.

Karim Rashid wants nothing less than to change the world — through design

In this 2016 conversation, the Egyptian-born, Canadian-raised industrial designer spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about cultural shaping and the power of design.

Artist David Hockney is a master of reinvention — from the swimming pools of LA, to the forests of England

In this 2011 conversation with Eleanor Wachtel, the celebrated British artist and designer reflects on a life of art and challenging the norm.

Nadine Labaki's Oscar-nominated film, Capernaum, highlights the heroism of children in Beirut

In this 2019 conversation, the Lebanese actor and director spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about creating a film involving a pre-teen boy who sues his parents for giving him life.

Edward P. Jones's novel The Known World is a compelling tale of slavery in the Antebellum South

The Pulitzer Prize-winning American author spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about The Known World, a historical novel that looks at slavery in early 19th century Virginia.

Looking back at the visionary Peter Brook

The influential British theatre director died on July 2, 2022. He was 97. Brook spoke with Eleanor Wachtel on-stage in Toronto in 2000 about the evolution of his career, the enduring power of Shakespeare, and his love of theatre.

Kent Monkman's subversive art creates a counter-narrative of Indigenous experience

In this 2016 conversation, celebrated visual artist Kent Monkman spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about using his art to reflect Indigenous resilience.

Margo Jefferson on her musical icons, the Black elite and the power of self-creation

The American writer, academic and cultural critic spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about her memoir Constructing a Nervous System, an incisive look at race, class, music and feminism.

Turkish American novelist Elif Batuman on finding — and losing — yourself in fiction

The Turkish American novelist spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about her latest book, Either/Or, the sequel to her semi-autobiographical novel, The Idiot.

James Runcie on the beauty, sorrow and genius of Johann Sebastian Bach

The British novelist spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about his latest book, The Great Passion, a fictional imagining of J.S. Bach as an ambitious, passionate musician and father.

Natalie Haynes on the fantastic and fearsome women of Greek myth

The British writer, broadcaster and comedian spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about how her book Pandora's Jar explores the untold stories of the women in Greek myths.

Norwegian filmmaker Joachim Trier on life, love and The Worst Person in the World

In conversation with Eleanor Wachtel, the celebrated director reflects on his grounded yet hopeful approach to filmmaking.

Jamaica Kincaid on family, place and the beauty of language 

In this 2002 conversation, the celebrated Antiguan-American writer spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about exploring the mysteries of love and longing.

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

In this 2019 conversation, the American author and academic spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about exploring identity, addiction and childhood trauma growing up in the Deep South.

The Art of Silence: How Marcel Marceau touched hearts and saved lives without words

The world-famous French mime is the subject of The Art of Silence, a new documentary by Swiss filmmaker Maurizius Staerkle Drux. The film is streaming as part of the 2022 Hot Docs film festival, with a screening on May 8.