Writers and Company from CBC Radio-logo

Writers and Company from CBC Radio

CBC Podcasts & Radio On-Demand

CBC Radio's Writers and Company offers an opportunity to explore in depth the lives, thoughts and works of remarkable writers from around the world. Hosted by Eleanor Wachtel.

CBC Radio's Writers and Company offers an opportunity to explore in depth the lives, thoughts and works of remarkable writers from around the world. Hosted by Eleanor Wachtel.


Canada, ON


CBC Radio's Writers and Company offers an opportunity to explore in depth the lives, thoughts and works of remarkable writers from around the world. Hosted by Eleanor Wachtel.






Writers & Company CBC Radio Arts and Entertainment P.O. Box 500, Station A Toronto, ON M5W 1E6 (416) 205-6631


Original Minds: Jane Goodall, Oliver Sacks, Amartya Sen, Jane Jacobs and Desmond Tutu

In celebration of Writers & Company’s 30th anniversary, we present some of the best interviews from the special series Original Minds — five inspiring people whose work has made a difference to how we see the world.


Travels with Graham Greene — the remarkable life and times of a master storyteller

Biographer, poet and editor Richard Greene talks to Eleanor Wachtel about his new book, The Unquiet Englishman: A Life of Graham Greene.


Wayétu Moore tells the story of Liberia through her family’s escape from its devastating civil war

In her memoir, The Dragons, The Giant, The Women, Liberian American writer Wayétu Moore explores the impact of civil war on her birth country, her family, and in her own life.


Indigenous filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin on her legendary career and the power of storytelling

The Abenaki artist, activist and documentary filmmaker was awarded the 2020 Glenn Gould Prize for her lifetime contribution to the arts. She spoke with Eleanor Wachtel at her home in Montreal in 2008.


Amitav Ghosh pursues adventure across the Indian Ocean in Sea of Poppies

High-seas adventure, South Asian migrations and the 19th-century opium trade are the inspiration for Amitav Ghosh’s epic Ibis trilogy. He joined Eleanor Wachtel onstage in Toronto in 2008 to discuss the first novel in the series.


The legacy of John le Carré: master of the political thriller

The British spy-turned-novelist died on Dec. 12, 2020, at 89. In this 2010 interview, le Carré spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about how his childhood and career in Britain's intelligence service shaped his fiction.


David Foenkinos on literary fame, lost artistic genius and John Lennon

The bestselling French novelist talks about his acclaimed books The Mystery of Henri Pick, Charlotte and Lennon: The New York Years.


Tsitsi Dangarembga looks at the dreams and disappointments of post-colonial Zimbabwe

The celebrated writer and filmmaker spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about her latest novel, This Mournable Body, the final book in a trilogy that began with her widely acclaimed debut, Nervous Conditions.


On finding and losing yourself in the city: from Charles Dickens to Virginia Woolf

Writer and critic Matthew Beaumont spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about tracing the footsteps of literary authors in his new book, The Walker: On Finding and Losing Yourself in the Modern City.


30 years of Writers & Company: highlights from our very first season

To celebrate Writers & Company's 30th anniversary, Eleanor revisits some of the best interviews from season one: Alice Munro, A.S. Byatt, J.M. Coetzee, Wole Soyinka and Eduardo Galeano.


Brit Bennett on race, identity and the re-invention of self in The Vanishing Half

The bestselling American author joins Eleanor Wachtel to discuss her new novel, The Vanishing Half, which revolves around identical twin sisters who live out different racial identities.


Dalia Sofer draws on her family’s escape from revolutionary Iran in her compelling novels

The Iranian American author speaks with Eleanor Wachtel about her new novel, Man of My Time, which spans 40 years of turbulence — both in Iran and in the heart of its protagonist.


Martin Amis on the inside story of his literary life, loves and losses

The provocative British writer talks to Eleanor Wachtel about his new book, Inside Story, which reflects on the significant men in his life, including his father Kingsley, his mentor Saul Bellow, and his closest friend, writer and critic Christopher Hitchens.


Ayad Akhtar examines the soul of America through his own family's story in Homeland Elegies

The Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and novelist spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about his deeply personal new book, which explores the American dream through the story of his Pakistani immigrant parents.


Natasha Trethewey's Memorial Drive is a moving tribute to her mother's life

The Pulitzer Prize-winner talked to Eleanor Wachtel about Memorial Drive, her memoir that engages with the trauma of her mother's murder by an abusive ex-husband. Warning: this interview includes details of violence.


Dionne Brand, Margaret Drabble, Deborah Eisenberg & Andrew O'Hagan reflect on life and writing

2020 marks the 30th anniversary of Writers & Company. Since we can't celebrate in person, Eleanor revisits the 20th anniversary special with four writers in conversation in Toronto in 2010.


Fatima Bhutto on her powerful and tragic political family and the lure of extremism for the young

The Pakistani writer spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about growing up as part of the Bhutto dynasty, her family's painful legacy, and her new novel, The Runaways.


Mira Nair's adaptation of A Suitable Boy looks at family and political tensions in post-partition India

The Indian filmmaker spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about her screen adaptation of Vikram Seth's bestselling novel. The series was the closing night presentation at TIFF 2020.


In Intimations, Zadie Smith reflects deeply on isolation and injustice

The latest book from the bestselling author is an insightful and moving essay collection exploring ideas and questions prompted by this time of social isolation.


How the tragic story of Shakespeare’s son Hamnet inspired Maggie O’Farrell’s prize-winning novel

Eleanor Wachtel speaks with Maggie O’Farrell, winner of the 2020 Women’s Prize for Fiction for her novel, Hamnet & Judith.