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


From Norse sagas to family sagas — Roy Jacobsen spins a moving tale of life on a Norwegian island

Roy Jacobsen, one of Norway's most celebrated contemporary writers, talks about his novel The Unseen, the first in a series that follows a strong young woman's coming-of-age on a remote island through times of war and loss.


In his new novel, Crossroads, Jonathan Franzen explores crises of faith and family in 1970s America

The bestselling novelist and essayist joined Eleanor Wachtel to talk about the inspiration for his blockbuster new book, which revolves around a pastor and his family of six in 1970s Illinois.


The art of writing memoir with Vivian Gornick, Kathryn Harrison and Ferdinand Mount

In this conversation from 2016, Eleanor talks to three very different writers about the art of the memoir — What to tell? Who to implicate? And how to deal with the consequences.


Myriam Chancy’s powerful new novel explores the tragedy of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti

Novelist Myriam Chancy talks to Eleanor Wachtel about her new book, What Storm, What Thunder. Multilayered and lyrical, it features a variety of inter-connected characters, each with a moving story.


In Bewilderment, Richard Powers explores the climate crisis, life in space, and the love of a father and son

Powers spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about his passion for writing novels that explore our relationship with the natural world. His new novel, Bewilderment, is a finalist for the 2021 Booker Prize. This conversation is presented in partnership with the Vancouver Writers Fest and the Toronto International Festival of Authors.


Mia Hansen-Love’s new movie, Bergman Island, is an intimate homage to the great Swedish director

The French writer and director talks to Eleanor Wachtel about her latest work, which centres on a couple, both filmmakers, who retreat to Faro island in the Baltic Sea to find inspiration in the place where the legendary Swedish director Ingmar Bergman shot his most celebrated films.


Amor Towles takes readers on an all-American road trip in The Lincoln Highway

The bestselling American author of A Gentleman in Moscow joins Eleanor Wachtel to talk about his new novel, The Lincoln Highway, an adventurous road story set in the 1950s.


Nobel Prize winner Abdulrazak Gurnah explores the pain of dislocation, from Zanzibar to England

The Zanzibar-born British novelist is the winner of the 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature. In this conversation from 2017, he talks to Eleanor Wachtel about his ninth book, Gravel Heart, a story inspired by his own immigration experience.


Brandon Taylor on his southern upbringing, being Black in the Midwest, and talking truthfully about depression

The American author of the novel Real Life joins Eleanor in an intimate conversation about his Alabama childhood, going to graduate school in Wisconsin, and his latest book, a story collection called Filthy Animals.


M. Leona Godin on the metaphor and reality of blindness, in literature and in life

M. Leona Godin is a writer and performer who is blind. In her new book There Plant Eyes: A Personal and Cultural History of Blindness, she examines the theme of sight and sightlessness in great works from the Greek tragedy Oedipus Rex, to Shakespeare’s King Lear, to Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. Godin talks to Eleanor about how the actual experience of blindness is too often misunderstood or misrepresented.


Laurent Binet turns the tables on European history in his boldly imagined new book, Civilizations

One of France's most celebrated contemporary writers, Binet's new novel goes back 500 years and imagines the Incas and Aztecs taking over Europe. He talks to Eleanor about reversing history and blurring the boundaries between truth and fiction.


In China Room, Sunjeev Sahota reimagines a family legend

Inspired by a story about his great-grandmother, the British writer's evocative new novel, which is longlisted for the 2021 Booker Prize, explores themes of belonging, oppression and the pursuit of freedom as it alternates between 1929 India and 1999 Britain.


Zadie Smith, Caryl Phillips and Aleksandar Hemon on their lives as readers and writers

To wrap up our 30th anniversary celebrations, Eleanor revisits Writers & Company's 25th anniversary special with Aleksandar Hemon, Caryl Phillips and Zadie Smith at the Toronto International Festival of Authors in 2015.


Leanne Shapton on what objects tell us about the lives of others

From 2019, Eleanor speaks with Canadian artist and author Leanne Shapton: from her prize-winning memoir about competitive swimming, to her evocative book, Guestbook: Ghost Stories, a collection of 33 short stories that revolve around the power of objects and ghosts.


From The Piano to Bright Star, filmmaker Jane Campion explores the power of female sexuality

The Oscar-winning writer and director talked to Eleanor in 2009 about Bright Star, her movie about the 19th-century Romantic poet John Keats and his young neighbour, Fanny Brawne.


A vision of the world through the lens of Taryn Simon: probing the uncertainty of memory and truth

In this conversation from 2013, the American photographer and conceptual artist talked to Eleanor about mixing camerawork, writing and graphic design to raise questions about truth and certainty.


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

In this conversation from January 2020, the award-winning British author spoke with Eleanor about amplifying the voices of marginalized people through literature.


Nordic superstar Olafur Eliasson fuses art and nature to explore pressing contemporary issues

Icelandic Danish artist Olafur Eliasson famously brought the sun to London’s Tate Modern Museum and giant waterfalls to the heart of NYC. In this conversation from 2012, he talks to Eleanor about crafting three-dimensional spaces that awaken a sense of wonder and political empowerment.


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.