Monocle 24: Meet the Writers-logo

Monocle 24: Meet the Writers


Want to know more about the authors behind your favourite books? Tune in to discover the methods of – and inspiration behind – some of the world’s most exciting writers. Every Saturday, Georgina Godwin hosts an in-depth discussion with the person behind the prose.

Want to know more about the authors behind your favourite books? Tune in to discover the methods of – and inspiration behind – some of the world’s most exciting writers. Every Saturday, Georgina Godwin hosts an in-depth discussion with the person behind the prose.


London, United Kingdom




Want to know more about the authors behind your favourite books? Tune in to discover the methods of – and inspiration behind – some of the world’s most exciting writers. Every Saturday, Georgina Godwin hosts an in-depth discussion with the person behind the prose.






Tim Sainsbury

Tim Sainsbury was responsible for the development and strategy of Sainsbury’s, one of the UK’s largest supermarkets. Aside from an illustrious initial career in retail, he is perhaps best known for being a Conservative politician. Over a political career that lasted more than 20 years, he had spells as minister of state for trade and minister for industry. An avid art collector in his spare time, his book, ‘Among the Supporting Cast’, details his fascinating and varied life.


Monocle Reads: Cory Doctorow

Cory Doctorow is a journalist, activist and science fiction author. His output has ranged across short stories, novels and graphic novels, including multiple ‘New York Times’ best sellers. He is also a passionate copyright law and intellectual property activist. He speaks to Georgina Godwin about his latest novel ‘Attack Surface’, a stand-alone title set in the world of his previous books, ‘Little Brother’ and ‘Homeland’.


Chris Atkins and Lottie Moggach

Chris Atkins was jailed for tax fraud and has written an eye-opening book about the experience, ‘A Bit of a Stretch’. His former partner Lottie Moggach also uses memories of the time to inform her novel ‘Brixton Hill’. Georgina Godwin speaks to them together to find out more about the experience and the resulting books.


Monocle Reads: Mia Levitin

Mia Levitin is a cultural and literary critic who has written for publications from the ‘Financial Times’ to ‘The Guardian’. She speaks to Georgina Godwin about her book ‘The Future of Seduction’, which details the ever-changing world of sex, dating and relationships in the digital era. The book is one of five essays in the Futures series.


The writers we met in 2020. Part 2: Dustin Lance Black, Isabel Allende, Oyinkan Braithwaite and Robert Reich

On this best of ‘Meet The Writers’, we bring you highlights from conversations with Academy award-winner and LGBT activist Dustin Lance Black, Chilean author Isabel Allende, best-selling Nigerian-UK novelist Oyinkan Braithwaite and US presidential adviser Robert Reich.


The writers we met in 2020. Part 1: The Booker prize

We revisit our interview with this year’s Booker prize-winner Douglas Stuart, and hear from shortlisted authors Maaza Mengiste, Tsitsi Dangarembga and Brandon Taylor.


Andrey Kurkov

Andrey Kurkov, a former prison warden turned journalist, is now one of Ukraine’s most successful literary exports. He has numerous novels and screenplays to his name, including the bestselling ‘Death and the Penguin’. His latest book, ‘Grey Bees’, details the turmoils in Ukraine as viewed by a mild-mannered beekeeper.


Monocle Reads: Nanjala Nyabola

Nanjala Nyabola is a writer, political analyst and activist. With degrees from both Oxford University and Harvard Law School, she has written across a variety of topics including the internet, politics and travel. She speaks with Georgina Godwin about her latest book ‘Travelling While Black: Essays Inspired by a Life on the Move’.


Peter Cardwell

As special adviser to a total of four cabinet ministers, Peter Cardwell worked at the highest levels of government, gaining insight into rarely seen aspects of life in Whitehall. His book, ‘The Secret life of Special Advisers’, reveals all, detailing what the roles of people such as Dominic Cummings and Alastair Campbell really involve.


Monocle Reads: Antony Johnston

Antony Johnston is a ‘New York Times’ bestselling writer and podcaster whose work spans multiple genres and formats, from books to video games. One of his most notable works, the graphic novel ‘Coldest City’, went on to be adapted into the Hollywood blockbuster ‘Atomic Blonde’ starring Charlize Theron. He speaks to Georgina Godwin about his latest book ‘The Organised Writer’, a no-nonsense guide to better productivity for writers.


Jason Diakite

Jason Diakite is best known for his illustrious career as a hip hop artist in Sweden. Performing in the group Excel and then solo as Timbuktu, he has performed all over the world, including at the Nobel Peace prize ceremony. His critically acclaimed memoir ‘A Drop of Midnight’ has sold more than 100,000 copies in Sweden and is an honest and intimate account of his and his family’s history, from slavery in the southern states of the US to modern-day Sweden.


Monocle Reads: Elizabeth Green

‘Not in the Script’ is Elizabeth Green’s unconventional and moving memoir about growing up with the feeling that she had been written out of a family story dominated by her entrepreneurial brother, Philip Green of Arcadia. She tells Georgina Godwin about the upbringing that shaped them both in very different ways.


Peter Hain

Despite growing up in apartheid South Africa, Peter Hain is best known for his career spanning three decades as a UK Labour Party MP. He served in the cabinets of both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, and chaired the UN Security Council. His latest book, ‘The Rhino Conspiracy’, is a gripping thriller set in South Africa.


Monocle Reads: Craig Brown

Craig Brown’s Beatles biography, ‘One Two Three Four: The Beatles in Time’, won the 2020 Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction. The journalist and author of 18 books been writing his parodic diary in ‘Private Eye’ since 1989 and is the only person to have won three different Press Awards – best humourist, columnist and critic – in the same year. He speaks to Georgina Godwin.


Booker prize winner Douglas Stuart

The 2020 Booker prize went to ‘Shuggie Bain’ by Douglas Stuart. Only the second Scot to win the prize, he tells Georgina Godwin about growing up with an alcoholic mother in Glasgow, his career in fashion, his move to New York – and now his coronation at the very pinnacle of literature with his debut novel.


Monocle Reads: Helen Jacey

Helen Jacey is a professional screenwriter, lecturer, author and founder of Shedunnit Productions, which provides opportunities across media for intersectional feminist work. An expert in female characterisation, her first book ‘The Woman in the Story’ was published in 2010 and has since become the international handbook for screenwriters writing female characters. Jacey is now working on ‘Elvira Slate Investigations’, a 1940s crime noir feminist detective series.


Erika Fatland

One of Norway’s most exciting new travel writers, Erika Fatland has gained a reputation for telling unique, often overlooked stories. A social anthropologist by training, she has documented terrorism in Beslan and the 2011 terror attacks in her native Norway. In her latest book, ‘The Border: A Journey Around Russia,’ she turns her attention to frontiers, recounting a fascinating trip through each of the 14 countries bordering the world’s largest country.


Monocle Reads: Stuart Clark

Georgina Godwin speaks to Stuart Clark, author and one of the leading astronomy journalists in the UK. Clark holds a PhD in astrophysics and his work has been published widely. He tells Georgina about his new book ‘Beneath the Night: How the Stars Have Shaped the History of Humankind’.


Robert Harris

Robert Harris is probably the UK’s best-known thriller writer. A former political editor on broadsheets, his work has explored themes as wide-ranging as contemporary politics, ancient Rome and the Second World War. Many have become bestsellers and been adapted for television and film.


Monocle Reads: Jennifer Dasal

Jennifer Dasal, curator of modern and contemporary art at the North Carolina Museum of Art, is also host of the successful podcast ‘ArtCurious’. She speaks to Georgina Godwin about her latest book, ‘ArtCurious: Stories of the Unexpected, Slightly Odd and Strangely Wonderful in Art History’.