Writers and Company from CBC Radio-logo

Writers and Company from CBC Radio


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.


Toronto, 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


Stefan Hertmans pursues a tale of star-crossed love in the Middle Ages

The acclaimed Flemish author talks to Eleanor about The Convert, a love story between a young Christian woman and a Jewish student amid the chaos and terror of the First Crusade.


Sharon Olds on the joy and peril of writing deeply personal poetry

The Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet spoke with Eleanor Wachtel in 2016 about her collection Odes — a celebration of the ordinary.


Petina Gappah casts new light on David Livingstone's search for the source of the Nile

The Zimbabwean author spoke to Eleanor Wachtel about her novel, Out of Darkness, Shining Light, which re-imagines the 19th-century explorer and missionary David Livingstone through the eyes of his many African companions.


Hilary Mantel wraps up her blockbuster Tudor trilogy with The Mirror & the Light

The two-time Booker Prize winner talks to Eleanor Wachtel about concluding her chronicle of Thomas Cromwell in the court of King Henry VIII.


From Virginia Woolf to Dorothy L. Sayers — one London square and five remarkable women who lived there

Francesca Wade speaks with Eleanor Wachtel about her acclaimed book, Square Haunting, which looks into the lives of groundbreaking women writers who all lived in London's Mecklenburgh Square during and between the world wars.


Food writer Ruth Reichl on her secret life as a critic in disguise

The former restaurant critic of The New York Times spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about the many aliases she assumed in order to dine anonymously.


Translator and writer Jennifer Croft on her extraordinary childhood and the places it's led her

The award-winning translator tells her own remarkable story in her memoir, Homesick — a poignant exploration of language, sisterhood and her struggle with depression.


Christopher Ricks on why Bob Dylan is "the greatest living user of the English language"

The literary critic discusses why Nobel Prize laureate Bob Dylan deserves to be included among the greatest writers of all time.


Masha Gessen on the nature of power and morality — from Soviet Russia to Trump's America

The Russian-American author and journalist talks to Eleanor Wachtel about politics, sexual identity and receiving an apology from Vladimir Putin.


Maaza Mengiste on the untold story of Ethiopia’s women warriors during Italian occupation

In her new novel, The Shadow King, the Ethiopian-American author draws on surprising discoveries about the role of women during Italy's 1935 invasion of Ethiopia.


Star choreographer Alexei Ratmansky makes breathtaking ballet out of classic literature

Ratmansky talked to Eleanor Wachtel about his new work, Of Love and Rage, and creating Romeo and Juliet for the National Ballet of Canada.


Jeanette Winterson brings humour and understanding to a fraught childhood.

The author of the hit novel Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit spoke to Eleanor Wachtel in 2012 about her memoir, Why Be Happy When You Can Be Normal?


Comic book artist Chris Ware brings complex stories to life in pictures

The award-winning cartoonist speaks to Eleanor Wachtel about his latest book, Rusty Brown, and the childhood experiences that helped shape his career.


From Tripoli to Tuscany—Libyan writer Hisham Matar finds new connections between art and life

Matar's Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir, The Return, is about his return to his native Libya to search for the truth behind the disappearance of his father, a prominent political dissident of the Gaddafi regime. Now Matar has written a new book - A Month in Siena - about a more recent journey and a meditation on the relationship between history and art, grief and consolation. Matar joins Eleanor to talk about his new book and his life.


Adam Foulds on celebrity, solitude and the madness of desire

The award-winning British author, now living in Toronto, speaks to Eleanor about his his wide-ranging fiction and poetry


George Steiner on morality, his love of books and the marvels of language

The brilliant literary critic, writer and thinker talked to Eleanor Wachtel in 1995 about the power of human speech. Steiner died on Feb. 3, 2020, at the age of 90.


Sarah Broom on family bonds and the meaning of home in her award-winning memoir, The Yellow House

The youngest of twelve children, and raised by her widowed mother, Sarah Broom grew up in the challenging neighbourhood of New Orleans East. She writes about her upbringing, her home and the devastating impact of Hurricane Katrina on her community.


Susan Choi's Trust Exercise is an intense coming-of-age story — with a surprising twist

Winner of the 2019 National Book Award, Trust Exercise is a timely exploration of sexual politics, fiction and truth. Choi talks to Eleanor Wachtel about the novel, and about exploring the experiences of Asian-American characters in her work.


Bernardine Evaristo on black British identity and her Booker-winning novel, Girl, Woman, Other

The co-winner of the 2019 Man Booker Prize talks to Eleanor Wachtel about her ambitious novel, and about growing up in a large, mixed-race family in London in the 1960s and '70s.


How Laura Cumming unearthed the truth about her mother's kidnapping, 90 years later

Art critic Laura Cumming spoke to Eleanor Wachtel about her latest book, Five Days Gone, an investigation into her mother's disappearance as a child in 1929.