Writers & Companywith Eleanor Wachtel


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.

Bernardo Bertolucci on the art and poetry of cinema

Writers & Company revisits Eleanor Wachtel's 2001 conversation with Bernardo Bertolucci, regarded by many as the preeminent Italian filmmaker of his generation.

Susan Orlean on loving libraries — and burning books

The American author of The Library Book on the past, present and future of the cherished institution for book lovers.

'My mother was a Communist informant.' András Forgách explores his family's secret past

The Hungarian novelist and playwright speaks with Eleanor Wachtel about writing fiction based on a real-life family betrayal.

War veteran Elliot Ackerman on the scars that remain once the battle is over

The American author explores the deeply personal impact of war in his new novel Waiting for Eden.

Jeet Thayil on Baudelaire, drug addiction and his provocative novel, Narcopolis

The prize-winning author spoke with Eleanor Wachtel in 2013 about substance abuse, recovery and the beauty of poetry.

Lee Child on Jack Reacher and his larger-than-life crime thriller series

The bestselling author spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about Past Tense, the latest book in the ongoing series.

Laurie Anderson on language, story and losing her archives to Hurricane Sandy

The American musician and storyteller spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about her book All the Things I Lost in the Flood.

Terrance Hayes examines race and politics in the age of Donald Trump in his new poetry collection

The American poet spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about his latest collection, American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin.

Amitava Kumar on India, the U.S. and the indelible imprint of the immigrant experience

The academic and author spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about his provocative new novel, Immigrant, Montana.

Kathryn Harrison on how her grandparents saved her from a broken childhood

The American author spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about her new memoir, On Sunset.

Michael Winterbottom on the epic journey of his career in film

The English filmmaker spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about his new movie, The Wedding Guest, and using cinema as a means to explore the world.

Lawrence Osborne on re-imagining Philip Marlowe, Raymond Chandler's iconic sleuth

The British novelist spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about writing the quintessential hard-boiled detective's final case.

Teju Cole, Madeleine Thien and Dionne Brand on the places and spaces that inspire their writing

The three celebrated writers joined Eleanor Wachtel on stage in Toronto for a discussion about the significance of location in literature.

Zadie Smith on the ups and downs of female friendship in Swing Time

The author of White Teeth and On Beauty talks to Eleanor Wachtel about her most recent novel, and discusses essays from her new collection, Feel Free.

Listen to Writers & Company's special summer series with Man Booker Prize winners

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Britain's most important literary award, Writers & Company is airing past interviews with previous winners throughout the summer.

Ruth Ozeki, Chris Abani and Tash Aw on faces and identity

Eleanor Wachtel speaks with three authors of the 2016 memoir series, The Face. Chris Abani, Tash Aw and Ruth Ozeki explore the relationship of our faces to identity and belonging.

Man Booker Prize winner Roddy Doyle on domestic violence, writing from memory and the lure of Irish culture

The Irish writer won the 1993 Man Booker Prize for his novel Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha, about a boy's life growing up poor in Dublin.

Man Booker Prize winner Marlon James on writing himself into a new life

Marlon James won the 2015 Man Booker Prize for his novel A Brief History of Seven Killings, which revolves around​ an assassination attempt on reggae superstar Bob Marley.​