Writers & Companywith Eleanor Wachtel

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From the Archives

Listen to Philip Roth's 2009 conversation with Eleanor Wachtel on Writers & Company

The acclaimed American author of novels such as Portnoy's Complaint and The Plot Against America died on My 22, 2018.
From the archives

The nuances of sex, class and religion in American society, according to the late Tom Wolfe

Looking back at the writing from the Man in the White Suit in this 2005 interview with Eleanor Wachtel.

Listen to Writers & Company's special series on the Nordic imagination

Over four episodes, Eleanor Wachtel explores the popularity of Nordic fiction through interviews with Hans Rosenfeldt, Karl Ove Knausgaard, Dorthe Nors and Hallgrimur Helgason.
Nordic Imagination

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

The author of Woman at 1,000 Degrees takes a look at the country's deep literary history.
Nordic Imagination

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

Dorthe Nors talks to Eleanor Wachtel about the virtues of solitude in Danish fiction.
Nordic Imagination

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

The Norwegian author talks to Eleanor Wachtel about a new series of books inspired by the seasons — and his daughter.
Nordic Imagination

The haunting world of Nordic noir, with Hans Rosenfeldt

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

Eleanor Wachtel's notes from Stockholm

For a special series on the Nordic imagination, Eleanor Wachtel travelled to Stockholm, Sweden to learn more about the city that inspires such ominous fiction.

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

The international lawyer and award-winning writer delves into the implications of being other.

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

The filmmaker discusses the opportunities for social commentary that exist in historical fiction.

James Ivory on his storied career and Oscar-winning screenplay

The American director and screenwriter spoke with Eleanor Wachtel in Toronto about his work on the 2017 film Call Me by Your Name.

Liv Ullmann on acting, directing and her special bond with Ingmar Bergman

The Norwegian actress and director talked to Eleanor Wachtel about her latest film, Miss Julie, in 2014.

Mary Gaitskill: from bad behavior to surprising tenderness

The American novelist, essayist, and short story writer speaks with Eleanor Wachtel about her new collection of essays called Somebody with a Little Hammer.

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

Eleanor Wachtel speaks with the poet and essayist about his latest book, which explores the history of hoaxes in the United States.

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

Eleanor Wachtel speaks with the Scottish author about her latest novels, Autumn and Winter.

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

Eleanor Wachtel speaks with the American writer and classical scholar about his latest memoir.
Special Podcast

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

The bestselling author examines the racial tensions in national and personal narratives.

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

The legendary writer is the 2018 winner of the prestigious PEN/Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature. Listen to her conversation from 2009 with Eleanor Wachtel.

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

The award-winning writer explores the unspoken stories of the people and places at the edges of Europe.

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

The celebrated Chilean film director takes an intimate look at the stories and ideas behind his work.

Eleanor Wachtel reflects on the life and legacy of Muriel Spark, on the centenary of her birth

Eleanor interviewed the late British author, best known for her novel The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, on Writers & Company in 1999.

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

Known for award-winning fantasy and science fiction, the late author crafted imaginative worlds that explore real-life ideas of compassion, reason, gender and morality.

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

The author of the memoir Nine Continents takes an unsentimental look at her family and country's history and how it has shaped her art.

'My grandparents were Nazis.' Rachel Seiffert mines her family's dark past

The Man Booker Prize shortlisted author of The Dark Room and A Boy in Winter confronts the troubling history looming over her life and writing.

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

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