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World Book Club

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World Book Club invites the globe's great authors to discuss their best known novel. This monthly programme, presented by Harriett Gilbert, includes questions from World Service listeners.

World Book Club invites the globe's great authors to discuss their best known novel. This monthly programme, presented by Harriett Gilbert, includes questions from World Service listeners.
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Location:

London, United Kingdom

Networks:

BBC

Description:

World Book Club invites the globe's great authors to discuss their best known novel. This monthly programme, presented by Harriett Gilbert, includes questions from World Service listeners.

Language:

English


Episodes

Kate Atkinson: Life After Life

10/6/2018
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This month on World Book Club award-winning British writer Kate Atkinson discusses her celebrated novel Life After Life. In it Atkinson poses the question: What if you had the chance to live your life again and again, until you finally got it right? On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born and then dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least,...

Duration:00:49:53

James Ellroy

9/1/2018
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On this month’s World Book Club, as he turns seventy, another chance to hear acclaimed American writer James Ellroy, who over a span of fifteen years worked on a massive fictional chronicle of 1960s America. American Tabloid, the first of the three books, exposes the underbelly of a country on the threshold of Kennedy's golden age, and follows three men close to the tentacles of power in a conspiracy with the Mafia that leads to the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba and the assassination of JFK...

Duration:00:49:23

Hilary Mantel: Bring Up the Bodies

8/4/2018
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This month’s World Book Club broadcasts from the Man Booker 50 Festival at the Southbank Centre, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the renowned prize. In the World Book Club chair is the double-Booker prize-winning British writer Hilary Mantel discussing the second volume in her acclaimed series of novels about Thomas Cromwell. Bring Up the Bodies delves into the heart of Tudor history and the downfall of Queen Anne Boleyn whom King Henry VIII had battled for seven years to marry.

Duration:00:49:21

Anuradha Roy: An Atlas of Impossible Longing

7/7/2018
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This month World Book Club talks to internationally celebrated Indian writer Anuradha Roy about her much-loved novel, An Atlas of Impossible Longing. Spanning three generations of an Indian family from the turn of the 20th century to India's partition An Atlas of Impossible Longing traces the intertwining lives of the inhabitants of a vast and isolated house on the outskirts of a small town in Bengal. Centred on sensitive foundling orphan boy Mukunda and the wild and motherless daughter of...

Duration:00:49:22

Amy Bloom: Away

6/6/2018
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Epic in scope, Away is the captivating story of young Lillian Leyb, whose family is destroyed in a horrific Russian pogrom and who comes to America alone, determined to make her way in a new land. When she hears that her daughter might still be alive, Lillian embarks on an odyssey that takes her from the world of the Yiddish theater on New York's Lower East Side, to Seattle's Jazz District, and up to Alaska, toward Siberia. A novel encompassing the searing experiences of migration and...

Duration:00:50:32

Sarah Waters: Tipping the Velvet

5/14/2018
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This month World Book Club talks to British writer Sarah Waters about her chart-topping novel, Tipping the Velvet. Celebrating twenty years since its first publication Tipping the Velvet is a bawdy, historical, lesbian romance, following the startling career of Nan King, oyster girl from Whitstable turned music-hall star turned rent boy. Star-struck and infatuated with actress Kitty Butler Nan starts up a double act with her idol both on and off the stage. But when Kitty, hankering after a...

Duration:00:49:37

Celeste Ng

5/14/2018
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Presenter Lawrence Pollard talks to chart-topping Chinese-American writer Celeste Ng and an audience gathered in the local Boston radio Newsfeed Café in the Boston Public Library about her bestselling novel Everything I Never Told You. In 1970s small-town Ohio Lydia is the favorite child of parents, determined that she will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue. But when Lydia’s body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Chinese-American Lee...

Duration:00:50:17

Junot Diaz: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

3/12/2018
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Award-winning Dominican American writer Junot Diaz talks to World Book Club on location in Boston, US, about his wildly popular novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. Moving across generations and continents, from the dark and tragic past in the Dominican Republic to struggles and dreams in suburban America the novel chronicles Oscar and his family’s search for love and belonging. (Photo: Junot Diaz attends the Norman Mailer Center's Fifth Annual Benefit Gala. Credit: Brad...

Duration:00:49:20

Jackie Kay: Trumpet

2/3/2018
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This month World Book Club talks to Scottish poet Laureate Jackie Kay about her award winning novel, Trumpet. When legendary jazz trumpeter Joss Moody dies an extraordinary secret is revealed, one that he shared in life only with his beloved wife, Millie. On learning the truth about his father, their adopted son Colman is devastated and becomes easy prey for a tabloid journalist. Besieged by the press and overwhelmed with grief, Millie withdraws to their remote seaside home where she seeks...

Duration:00:48:48

Agatha Christie

1/8/2018
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This month World Book Club comes from the Belgium capital Brussels for an Agatha Christie special. The programme visits the Bibliotheca Wittockiana to discuss one of the bestselling crime novels of all time: Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie in which that shrewdest of detectives Hercule Poirot hunts for a killer aboard one of the world’s most luxurious passenger trains. To help untangle this fiendish puzzleknot and discuss the enduring popularity of the Queen of Crime are...

Duration:00:49:29

Richard Flanagan: Narrow Road to the Deep North

12/2/2017
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Best-selling Australian writer Richard Flanagan talks about his Booker prize-winning novel The Narrow Road to the Deep North. This unforgettable novel about the cruelty of war and the tenuousness of love and life tells the story of captive Australian soldiers forced into hard labour, working on the Burmese railway during and after World War Two. At its heart is one day in a Japanese slave labour camp in August 1943 which builds to a horrific climax as surgeon Dorrigo Evans battles and too...

Duration:00:49:24

Alan Hollinghurst: The Line of Beauty

11/5/2017
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Best-selling British writer Alan Hollinghurst talks about his Booker prize-winning novel, The Line of Beauty. In the summer of 1983 20-year-old graduate Nick Guest moves into an attic room in the glamorous Notting Hill home of ambitious Tory MP Gerald Fedden. Nick’s glittering party and politics filled life is contrasted with the realities of his sexuality and gay life in London of the mid 1980s. Against a backdrop of Thatcherite politics and the emerging Aids crisis of that decade The Line...

Duration:00:49:45

Jane Gardam - Old Filth

10/9/2017
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On this month’s World Book Club British writer Jane Gardam discusses her award-winning novel Old Filth with the studio audience at Broadcasting House and listeners from around the world. Edward Feathers is a child of the Raj. His earliest memories are of his beloved Amah, a teenage Malay girl whom he is soon torn away from when he is sent back to be educated in pre-war England, so-called Home, where he is boarded out with strangers. A career as a successful lawyer in Southeast Asia later...

Duration:00:49:41

Sebastian Barry - The Secret Scripture

9/3/2017
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This month World Book Club is celebrating its 15th birthday and has come to where it all began – in September 2002 - The Edinburgh Book Festival, to talk to Irish literary superstar Sebastian Barry about his poignant and much garlanded novel The Secret Scripture. Now in her hundredth year Roseanne McNulty, once the most beautiful girl in County Sligo, has long been locked up in an mental asylum for reasons which gradually become clear as she decides to put down a secret record of her...

Duration:00:49:59

Delphine de Vigan - No and Me

8/5/2017
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With an IQ that’s off-the-scale and a hyper-active mind 13-year-old Lou feels out of place amongst the beautiful, confident teenagers in her class. She finds no comfort at home as her mother is in the throes of a profound depression. Her life changes when she meets No, an older homeless girl, whom she immediately feels an affinity with. Along with a classmate, Lucas, Lou tries to help No to build a life away from the streets. However, No's emotional scars run deep and she pushes Lou's...

Duration:00:49:37

Tim Winton - Cloudstreet

7/5/2017
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This month World Book Club is talking to chart-topping Australian writer Tim Winton about his unforgettable novel Cloudstreet. Winner of the Miles Franklin Award and recognised as one of the greatest works of Australian literature, Cloudstreet is Tim Winton's sprawling, comic epic about luck and love, fortitude and forgiveness, and the magic of the everyday. Precipitated by separate personal tragedies, two poor families flee their rural homes to share a "great continent of a house",...

Duration:00:49:21

Jeffrey Archer - Kane and Abel

6/5/2017
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This month World Book Club is in the BBC Radio Theatre and is talking to one of the most popular and widely read British novelists, Jeffrey Archer, about his stunningly successful novel Kane and Abel. William Lowell Kane and Abel Rosnovski, one the son of a Boston millionaire, the other a penniless Polish immigrant are two ambitious men born on the same day on opposite sides of the world. Their paths are destined to cross in the ruthless struggle to build a fortune and an empire. Fuelled by...

Duration:00:49:11

Derek Walcott - Omeros

5/6/2017
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This month we mark the recent death of the St Lucian poet, playwright and Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott with another chance to hear him talk-on-the-programme about his poetic masterpiece, the book-length Omeros. Following the wanderings of an extraordinary cast of characters from the island of St Lucia, Omeros echoes Homer’s ancient-Greek epic of war and love and deadly rivalry, the Iliad, in order to dramatise the lives, sufferings, displacements and conflicts of the inhabitants of today’s...

Duration:00:49:59

Robert Harris - Imperium

4/24/2017
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This month World Book Club visits the Oxford Literary Festival in the elegant surroundings of Worcester College, part of the university and is talking to the hugely popular British author Robert Harris with an audience about the first of his bestselling Roman trilogy, Imperium. The setting is Ancient Rome, a city teeming with ambitious and ruthless men, but none more brilliant than a rising young lawyer Marcus Cicero who decides to gamble all on one of the most dramatic courtroom battles of...

Duration:00:49:22

Joël Dicker - The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair

4/24/2017
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This month World Book Club are once again part of The Hay Literary Festival in Cartagena, Colombia. Harriett Gilbert and a Festival audience talk to the acclaimed Swiss writer Joël Dicker about his gripping and chart-topping novel The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair. A famous American writer suddenly finds himself the main suspect in a 30 year-old cold case in his sleepy home town in New England. His former student, a novelist desperate for material, appears as his only saviour. The...

Duration:00:48:50