Writers & Company with Eleanor Wachtel


With sharp observation and sardonic wit, David Sedaris spins comedy gold out of everyday life

The American humorist and author spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about his latest book, A Carnival of Snackery, and the power of self-examination.

From Norse sagas to family sagas — Roy Jacobsen spins a moving tale of life on a Norwegian island

The Norwegian novelist and short story writer spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about heritage, belonging and isolation.

In his new novel, Crossroads, Jonathan Franzen explores crises of faith and family in 1970s America

The bestselling American novelist and essayist spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about religion, belief and personal history.

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.

The art of writing memoir with Vivian Gornick, Ferdinand Mount and Kathryn Harrison

In this 2016 panel discussion, Eleanor Wachtel spoke with memoir writers Vivian Gornick, Kathryn Harrison and Ferdinand Mount about the fine line between fiction and nonfiction when writing about one's own life.

Myriam J. A. Chancy's powerful new novel explores the tragedy of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti

In conversation with Eleanor Wachtel, the Haitian Canadian American writer talked about why her novel What Storm, What Thunder examines the trauma and tenacity of a nation.

In Bewilderment, Richard Powers explores the climate crisis, life in space, and the love of a father and son  

The American author spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about his passion for writing novels that reflect on our relationship with the natural world. Bewilderment is a finalist for the 2021 Booker Prize.

Mia Hansen-Løve's new movie, Bergman Island, is an intimate homage to the great Swedish director

The French writer and director spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about the legacy of Ingmar Bergman — and why her film is a ode to love and artistic creation.

From Manhattan to Moscow to The Lincoln Highway: Amor Towles takes readers on an all-American road trip

The American author of the transportive novels Rules of Civility and A Gentleman in Moscow spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about why his latest novel is "a story of motion."

Nobel Prize winner Abdulrazak Gurnah explores the pain of dislocation, from Zanzibar to England

In this 2017 interview, the Tanzanian British writer and recipient of the 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about writing fiction that examines immigration and the effects of colonialism.

Brandon Taylor on his southern upbringing, being Black in the Midwest, and talking truthfully about depression

The American writer spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about his latest book, the short story collection Filthy Animals.

M. Leona Godin on the metaphor and reality of blindness, in literature and in life

The American writer and performer spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about representation, accessibility and questioning notions of disability.

Laurent Binet turns the tables on European history in his boldly imagined new book, Civilizations

The French novelist spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about what inspired him to imagine an Incan invasion of Europe in the 16th century.

In his Booker Prize-longlisted novel China Room, Sunjeev Sahota reimagines a family legend 

In the season opener, the British author talks to Eleanor Wachtel about exploring a personal history of immigration and displacement through fiction.

A new season of Writers & Company with Eleanor Wachtel begins Sept. 12

An interview with Booker Prize-longlisted author Sunjeev Sahota kicks off another exciting season.

Zadie Smith, Caryl Phillips and Aleksandar Hemon on their lives as readers and writers

In 2015, these acclaimed international authors convened with Eleanor Wachtel for a special panel to celebrate Writers & Company's 25th anniversary.

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

In this 2019 interview, the author of Guestbook: Ghost Stories speaks with Eleanor Wachtel about how our worldly possessions define and reveal identity and status.

From The Piano to Bright Star, Jane Campion's films are original, sensual and daring

In this 2009 interview, the celebrated New Zealand screenwriter, producer and director spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about the power of reclaiming gender identity through cinema.

A vision of the world through the lens of Taryn Simon: probing the uncertainty of memory and truth

In this 2013 interview, the American photographer and conceptual artist spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about the power of perspective in art and image creation.

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

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

Superstar artist Olafur Eliasson engages with the natural world in his thought-provoking installations

The Icelandic Danish artist, known for his sculptures and large-scale installation art, spoke with Eleanor Wachtel in 2012 about art, creativity and political empowerment.

Jericho Brown's prize-winning poetry speaks with power and urgency about racism and violence

In this 2020 interview, the American poet and Pulitzer Prize winner spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about his poetry collection The Tradition, the legacy of racial violence and hopes of finding justice in an unjust world.

Chan Koonchung's dystopian novel The Fat Years imagines state-engineered amnesia in China

Chan Koonchung's controversial 2012 novel follows a group of friends investigating a mysterious amnesia that takes over China.

Witi Ihimaera and Ali Cobby Eckermann on the power of Indigenous storytelling

In this 2018 conversation, the Maori author of The Whale Rider and the Australian Aboriginal poet behind Ruby Moonlight discuss historical wrongs that stories help us face.

The legendary Christopher Plummer: from Shakespeare to The Sound of Music to Knives Out

Eleanor Wachtel spoke to the Academy Award-winning actor on Wachtel on the Arts in 2011. Plummer died on Feb. 5, 2021 at the age of 91.