Writers & Company

 
 

Writers & Company

Host Eleanor Wachtel explores the lives, thoughts and works of remarkable writers from around the world. Writers and Company

Updated: Sundays
Download episodes from this podcast for: 6 months
Visit Show Site: http://cbc.ca.mevn.net/writersandcompany

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Featured Podcast

Trump! Trudeau! Trade!

Who is doing a better job on trade - Trump or Trudeau?

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[mp3 file: runs 01:53:23]

Featured Podcast

Take the survey

Want to help improve CBC Podcasts? Take the survey.

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[mp3 file: runs00:00:00]

Featured Podcast

Kim Thúy on Montreal

The award-winning novelist has called the city home since leaving communist Vietnam by boat.

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[mp3 file: runs00:32:36]

Featured Podcast

Young and Indigenous in the city

Millennials discuss how they are combining urban and Indigenous cultures.

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[mp3 file: runs00:27:30]

All podcast episodes

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Aravind Adiga paints a relentlessly bleak, yet surprisingly comic picture of modern India

The Indian novelist stunned the literary world in 2008 when he won the Man Booker Prize for his very first novel, The White Tiger - a fiercely irreverent take on class and social injustice in modern India.

Download Aravind Adiga paints a relentlessly bleak, yet surprisingly comic picture of modern India
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:22]


Peter Carey reimagines the life and death of Australian outlaw Ned Kelly

Australian novelist Peter Carey spoke with Eleanor Wachtel in 2001 about his second Man Booker Prize-winning novel, True History of the Kelly Gang.

Download Peter Carey reimagines the life and death of Australian outlaw Ned Kelly
[mp3 file: runs 00:53:07]


Hilary Mantel vies for Golden Man Booker Award with Tudor novel, Wolf Hall

The two-time Booker winner talked to Eleanor in 2012 about her novels exploring the reign of Henry VIII. Wolf Hall is shortlisted for the special 50th anniversary Golden Man Booker Award, to be announced July 8, 2018.

Download Hilary Mantel vies for Golden Man Booker Award with Tudor novel, Wolf Hall
[mp3 file: runs 00:53:44]


In Warlight, Michael Ondaatje explores family secrets and betrayal

The Canadian literary icon joined Eleanor Wachtel onstage at the Rialto Theatre in Montreal. His new novel, Warlight, is being hailed as a masterpiece.

Download In Warlight, Michael Ondaatje explores family secrets and betrayal
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:08]


Danzy Senna's darkly comic take on racial identity

The American novelist draws on her experience growing up in an interracial family in her edgy, prize-winning fiction. In her latest novel, New People, she writes with insight and subversive humour about what it means to be half-black and half-white.

Download Danzy Senna's darkly comic take on racial identity
[mp3 file: runs 00:55:30]


Jonas Hassen Khemiri crosses borders through words and imagination

The Swedish novelist and playwright has received international acclaim for his innovative, politically charged work. Khemiri spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about his latest novel, "Everything I Don't Remember," onstage at the Blue Metropolis Literary Festival in Montreal.

Download Jonas Hassen Khemiri crosses borders through words and imagination
[mp3 file: runs 00:53:38]


The incomparable Philip Roth: looking back on his life in fiction

The acclaimed American author of novels such as Portnoy's Complaint and The Plot Against America died on May 22, 2018. He spoke with Eleanor Wachtel in 2009 at his apartment in New York City.

Download The incomparable Philip Roth: looking back on his life in fiction
[mp3 file: runs 00:55:15]


Rachel Kushner examines California's prison system in her new novel, The Mars Room

One of the most dynamic American novelists writing today, Rachel Kushner has a new novel, The Mars Room, which centres on a former stripper and single mother serving two life sentences in a California prison.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:55:45]


Looking back at Tom Wolfe, groundbreaking author and journalist

Regarded as a pioneer of New Journalism, the American author, journalist and essayist died on May 14 at the age of 88. He spoke with Eleanor Wachtel in 2005 about his novel, I Am Charlotte Simmons.

Download Looking back at Tom Wolfe, groundbreaking author and journalist
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:30]


From the Norse sagas to Björk — Hallgrímur Helgason on Iceland's explosion of culture

Eleanor Wachtel talks to the prize-winning painter and novelist about Iceland's transformation from a forgotten nation to a booming cultural hub. Helgason's latest book, Woman at 1,000 Degrees, is an international bestseller.

Download From the Norse sagas to Björk — Hallgrímur Helgason on Iceland's explosion of culture
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:43]


From Hans Christian Andersen to hygge — Dorthe Nors on the Danish psyche

Eleanor Wachtel travels to Copenhagen to talk to prominent Danish writer Dorthe Nors. The author's latest novel, Mirror, Shoulder, Signal, is about a woman dealing with family, loneliness and learning how to drive.

Download From Hans Christian Andersen to hygge — Dorthe Nors on the Danish psyche
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:46]


Karl Ove Knausgaard: after My Struggle, a new outlook on the world

The Norwegian author of the epic memoir My Struggle talks to Eleanor Wachtel about a new series, The Seasons Quartet, which takes the form of a letter to his daughter.

Download Karl Ove Knausgaard: after My Struggle, a new outlook on the world
[mp3 file: runs 00:55:57]


The haunting world of Nordic noir, with Hans Rosenfeldt

Eleanor talks to the Swedish screenwriter, novelist and creator of the hit show The Bridge, in part one of a new series, Darkness and Light: The Nordic Imagination.

Download The haunting world of Nordic noir, with Hans Rosenfeldt
[mp3 file: runs 00:57:42]


Philippe Sands maps the intersection of unspeakable crime and modern justice in East West Street

The English writer and lawyer talks to Eleanor Wachtel about his groundbreaking book, East West Street, which explores the origins of human rights law at the Nuremberg Trials... and follows Sands on a journey to uncover the truth about his own family's story.

Download Philippe Sands maps the intersection of unspeakable crime and modern justice in East West Street
[mp3 file: runs 00:59:29]


How Jane Austen inspired Amma Asante's films about race and class in Britain

The award-winning British filmmaker talks to Eleanor Wachtel about breaking down barriers in the film industry, and why she turns to period romance to explore modern concerns relating to race and politics.

Download How Jane Austen inspired Amma Asante's films about race and class in Britain
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:39]


James Ivory on his storied career and Oscar-winning screenplay

At the age of 89, the writer and director just won his first Academy Award for his screenplay for the hit movie, Call Me by Your Name. While in Toronto for TIFF's Books on Film series, James Ivory spoke to Eleanor Wachtel about some of his most famous films, and why he's drawn to stories about first love... and Italy.

Download James Ivory on his storied career and Oscar-winning screenplay
[mp3 file: runs 00:53:00]


‘He was my best teacher.’ Liv Ullmann on the legendary Ingmar Bergman

From "Persona" to "Scenes from a Marriage," Norwegian actress Liv Ullmann captivated audiences in the films of Ingmar Bergman. But since the early '90s, she's found her true calling as a director. In 2014, Ullmann spoke to Eleanor Wachtel about her latest film, "Miss Julie," and about the special bond she shared with the Swedish master himself.

Download ‘He was my best teacher.’ Liv Ullmann on the legendary Ingmar Bergman
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:33]


Mary Gaitskill: from bad behaviour to surprising tenderness

Eleanor Wachtel speaks to literature's "bad girl," American writer Mary Gaitskill. In a book of essays, Gaitskill explores her unexpected bond with three inner-city children, her complicated relationship with her dying father, and the profound grief she experienced when her beloved kitten went missing.

Download Mary Gaitskill: from bad behaviour to surprising tenderness
[mp3 file: runs 01:00:13]


With 'Bunk,' Kevin Young reminds us there's nothing new about fake news

In his new book, the African American poet and essayist traces the history of the hoax — from P. T. Barnum to made-up memoirs — making the case that hoaxes are embedded in race.

Download With 'Bunk,' Kevin Young reminds us there's nothing new about fake news
[mp3 file: runs 00:58:13]


Ali Smith on the circular movement of time — in nature, life and art

Eleanor talks to the award-winning Scottish writer about her recent books, "Autumn" and "Winter," which marked the launch of a new series inspired by the seasons.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:51:58]


BONUS: James McBride on the complicated history of race in the United States

The surprise winner of the 2013 American National Book Award talked to Eleanor Wachtel about his prize-winning book, "The Good Lord Bird," which centres on the controversial abolitionist John Brown; and about the life lessons he learned from his Polish Jewish mother.

Download BONUS: James McBride on the complicated history of race in the United States
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:44]


Daniel Mendelsohn on his journey with his father through Homer's Odyssey

Eleanor talks to the American writer and classicist about his recent memoir, "An Odyssey: A Father, a Son, and an Epic." The book explores Mendelsohn's relationship with his late father, and the "Odyssey Cruise" they took together, retracing the journey of Homer's Greek hero.

Download Daniel Mendelsohn on his journey with his father through Homer's Odyssey
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:49]


Edna O'Brien: from Ireland's outcast to celebrated icon

Her books were burned and banned, but Edna O'Brien's writing opened up a new chapter in modern Irish literature. Eleanor Wachtel talks to the 2018 winner of the PEN/Nabokov award about her controversial first novel, her mother, and breaking down "social and sexual barriers for women in Ireland and beyond."

Download Edna O'Brien: from Ireland's outcast to celebrated icon
[mp3 file: runs 00:53:14]


Kapka Kassabova on the untold stories of Bulgaria's haunted borderland

Poet, travel writer and memoirist Kapka Kassabova talks to Eleanor Wachtel about returning to the forbidden borders of her communist childhood — between Bulgaria, Turkey and Greece — and engaging with the stories of the land and its people. Her book, Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe, is a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Download Kapka Kassabova on the untold stories of Bulgaria's haunted borderland
[mp3 file: runs 00:58:55]


Sebastián Lelio on the fantastic woman at the heart of his Oscar-nominated film

The Chilean director of the hit film 'Gloria' and the Oscar-nominated 'A Fantastic Woman' talks to Eleanor Wachtel about casting transgender actor Daniela Vega, and why he's attracted to stories about the complex lives of women.

Download Sebastián Lelio on the fantastic woman at the heart of his Oscar-nominated film
[mp3 file: runs 00:52:54]


Ursula K. Le Guin explored the nature of reality through her imaginative fiction

From the Writers & Company archives, Eleanor Wachtel speaks to celebrated fantasy and science fiction writer Ursula K. Le Guin, who died on January 22 at the age of 88. The conversation is followed by a reading from Le Guin's short story collection, Searoad.

Download Ursula K. Le Guin explored the nature of reality through her imaginative fiction
[mp3 file: runs 00:53:40]


Xiaolu Guo traces her life's unlikely journey from East to West

In her new memoir, Nine Continents, Chinese writer and filmmaker Xiaolu Guo takes an unsentimental look at her family and country's history, and how it has shaped her art.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:52:51]


 

 

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