Writers & Companywith Eleanor Wachtel


Eva Hoffman on getting lost — and found — in time, language and memory

In this 2010 interview, the Polish-American author of Time and Lost in Translation spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about our ever-changing perception of time and place.

From The Book of Salt to The Sweetest Fruits, Monique Truong's fiction explores the hunger of the soul

The Vietnamese American novelist and essayist spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about her personal connection to the literary themes of food, hunger and displacement.

A life in movies: John Boorman on Point Blank, Deliverance and his new memoir, Conclusions

In conversation with Eleanor Wachtel, the British filmmaker reflects on the primal power of storytelling — and how modern cinema has evolved.

The enduring appeal of Charles Dickens: still entertaining us, 150 years later

British biographer and author Claire Tomalin spoke with Eleanor Wachtel in 2011 about why Dickens's fiction is still as popular as ever.

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

The American poet and 2020 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.

The poet of solitude: How Emily Dickinson was fuelled by the light of her brilliant interior world 

American journalist and Dickinson scholar Martha Ackmann spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about the remarkable life and legacy of the influential 19th-century poet.

Flemish writer Stefan Hertmans pursues a tale of star-crossed love in the Middle Ages

Hertmans spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about The Convert, a tragic story of forbidden lovers set at the time of the Crusades.

Sharon Olds on the joy and peril of writing deeply personal poetry

The Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet spoke with Eleanor Wachtel at the Vancouver Writers Festival in 2016. Olds is among the nominees for the 2020 Griffin Poetry Prize.

Zimbabwe's Petina Gappah casts new light on David Livingstone's search for the source of the Nile

The Zimbabwean lawyer and writer spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about her fascination with the 19th-century explorer and his obsession with one of the world’s longest waterways.

Two-time Booker Prize winner Hilary Mantel wraps up her blockbuster Tudor trilogy with The Mirror & the Light

The English writer spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about saying goodbye to Thomas Cromwell.

From Virginia Woolf to Dorothy L. Sayers — one London square and five remarkable women who lived there 

British biographer Francesca Wade spoke to Eleanor Wachtel about social change, personal freedoms and literary ambition between the First and Second World Wars.

Ruth Reichl's bittersweet adventures in food — from her mother's kitchen to The New York Times

In this 2006 conversation with Eleanor Wachtel, the American author and culinary editor spoke about the life of a food critic — and how a love for cuisine has defined her life and career.

Translator and writer Jennifer Croft on her extraordinary childhood and the places it's led her 

The American author and translator's memoir is a poignant exploration of language, sisterhood and overcoming personal tragedy.

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.