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


Jericho Brown's prize-winning poetry speaks with power and urgency about racism and violence

In this 2020 interview, the American poet and Pulitzer Prize winner spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about his poetry collection The Tradition, the legacy of racial violence and hopes of finding justice in an unjust world.


Chan Koonchung's dystopian novel The Fat Years imagines state-engineered amnesia in China

Eleanor speaks to the author of the controversial 2012 novel, which follows a group of friends investigating a mysterious amnesia that takes over China.


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

Eleanor speaks with the first Maori novelist, whose magical story The Whale Rider was a hit movie. And, the award-winning Aboriginal Australian writer, whose powerful poetry and memoir explore her history as part of Australia’s Stolen Generation.


The legendary Christopher Plummer: from Shakespeare to The Sound of Music to Knives Out

The late, great Canadian actor talks to Eleanor Wachtel about the beginnings--and highlights--of his remarkable career, which spanned nearly seven decades


From Gertrude Stein to true crime, acclaimed journalist Janet Malcolm followed her curiosity

Eleanor Wachtel's 2008 conversation with the late and long-time New Yorker writer - one of the most provocative voices in journalism.


Rivka Galchen’s reimagining of a 17th century witch trial is a story that speaks to our time

The Canadian-born American novelist talks about magic and science and her new book about the real-life witch trial of the mother of 17th century astronomer Johannes Kepler.


Bosnian writer Semezdin Mehmedinovic on the trauma of war and the power of love

Semezdin Mehmedinovic talks to Eleanor Wachtel about how a near fatal heart attack inspired his newest novel, My Heart, and how surviving the Bosnian War inspired his celebrated book, Sarajevo Blues.


Remembering Leonard Cohen: biographer Sylvie Simmons on Montreal's beloved poet

As part of Montreal's celebrations to honour the life of Leonard Cohen in 2017, Eleanor spoke to Sylvie Simmons about her biography I'm Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen. Cohen's posthumous album, Thanks for the Dance, is nominated for a 2021 Juno Award.


In her prizewinning fiction, Sigrid Nunez deals with life — and death — with empathy and wit

The American novelist talks to Eleanor Wachtel about her latest book, What Are You Going Through, which explores love, friendship, death, grief and art in surprising and moving ways.


Dante's Inferno: Why The Divine Comedy still captivates readers, 700 years later

To mark the 700th anniversary of the death of Italy's most influential poet, Eleanor's conversation with Dante scholar John Freccero about why The Divine Comedy is up there with Shakespeare and the Bible.


Charles Yu's Interior Chinatown looks at anti-Asian racism through the eyes of a Hollywood actor

The American television and fiction writer discusses his latest novel, winner of the 2020 U.S. National Book Award, an entertaining story about representation, identity and the pursuit of a leading role.


Nuala O'Faolain on going from nobody to somebody, maybe

The wonderfully funny Irish journalist was best known for her candid memoir Are You Somebody? — about a woman who enjoyed career success but found herself lonely and insecure in her 50s. O'Faolain spoke to Eleanor on stage in Victoria in 2003. She died in 2008.


Alison Bechdel tackles the world of fitness in her new graphic memoir, The Secret to Superhuman Strength

The award-winning American cartoonist talks to Eleanor about her new book — a smart, quirky and deeply personal exploration of her lifelong love of exercise and how it intersects with her creativity.


Polish poet Adam Zagajewski: an urgent, eloquent voice wrestling with history and conscience

A leading writer of his generation, part of the Polish New Wave of poets, Zagajewski died on March 21, 2021, aged 75. He spoke with Eleanor Wachtel in 2005.


Nobel laureate Kazuo Ishiguro on the emotional power of storytelling in a high-tech world

The acclaimed author joins Eleanor Wachtel to discuss his bestselling new novel, Klara and the Sun, an imaginative exploration of love, artificial intelligence and what it means to be human.


In Dostoevsky in Love, Alex Christofi captures the tortured brilliance of the great Russian writer

To mark the bicentenary of the birth of Fyodor Dostoevsky, Eleanor speaks to British writer and editor Alex Christofi. His compelling new book takes a creative approach to the eventful and often tragic life of the Russian writer.


'In the Field' with Khushwant Singh, Mandla Langa, Tayeb Salih and Alexis Wright

Writers & Company presents highlights from some of the many timely and topical special series recorded on location, with writers from India, South Africa, Sudan and Australia.


Florian Zeller explores family, memory, love and loss in his Oscar-nominated drama, The Father

The celebrated French novelist and playwright talks to Eleanor Wachtel about adapting his stage play for the screen. Starring Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman, The Father is nominated for six Academy Awards.


Behind the scenes of a life in literature: Michael Ondaatje interviews Eleanor Wachtel

Eleanor Wachtel is the guest on her own program in this special onstage event with Michael Ondaatje, who interviews Wachtel about her life and career. Recorded in Toronto in 2010.


Lydia Millet's novel A Children's Bible is an imaginative reckoning with climate change

A prophetic story imbued with wit and urgency, the latest book from the American novelist was inspired by the passion of young climate activists. Millet speaks with Eleanor Wachtel about why she welcomes their anger.