Writers & Companywith Eleanor Wachtel

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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.

Michelle de Kretser probes the human heart with insight and wit in her new novel, The Life to Come

The Sri Lankan-born Australian author speaks with Eleanor Wachtel about how the ambivalence of travel shaped her life and fiction.

100 years after the Treaty of Versailles, Niall Ferguson and Margaret MacMillan on the lasting impact of WW I

In this 2003 conversation with Eleanor Wachtel, the two historians discuss how the First World War destroyed empires and changed the course of history.

From The Shipping News to Brokeback Mountain, Annie Proulx on the importance of place in her fiction

The bestselling American author spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about her Canadian connections and how geography and mood inform her writing.

Doris Lessing on how her childhood in Zimbabwe shaped her visionary fiction

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Lessing's birth, we re-visit her 2003 conversation with Eleanor Watchel about her extraordinary life and writing.

Imani Perry on the remarkable life and legacy of Lorraine Hansberry, author of A Raisin in the Sun

The author and scholar on the late playwright and her seminal drama about black American life in the pre-Civil Rights era.

Whit Stillman on Jane Austen's diabolical, amoral and utterly charming Lady Susan

The American writer and director on making Love & Friendship, a film adaption of a lesser-known Austen novel.

Irish novelist Sally Rooney offers a sharp and witty take on love, sex, class and politics

Rooney spoke to Eleanor Wachtel about writing Normal People, a novel about two young people coming-of-age in contemporary Ireland.

Looking back at the extraordinary Simone de Beauvoir on the 70th anniversary of The Second Sex

Three Beauvoir enthusiasts joined Eleanor Wachtel in 2008 for a discussion about the lasting legacy of the late French intellectual, novelist and memoirist.

How the true story of the 'American Taliban' led to John Wray's new novel, Godsend

The American writer on why his fifth novel explores identity, rebellion and radicalism through the eyes of a teenager.

William Atkins on the beauty, myths and harsh realities of life in the desert

The British author talked to Eleanor Wachtel about the literary allure and mystique of the world's driest, hottest places.