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James Naughtie and a group of readers talk to leading authors about their best known novels.

James Naughtie and a group of readers talk to leading authors about their best known novels.
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London, United Kingdom




James Naughtie and a group of readers talk to leading authors about their best known novels.




Colin Thubron - In Siberia

James Naughtie and a group of readers talk to the renowned travel writer and novelist Colin Thubron about his account of travelling through Russia in the late 1990s, In Siberia. It's the story of how Thubron made a 15,000-mile journey through an astonishing region - one twelfth of the land surface of the whole earth. He journeyed by train, river and truck among the people most damaged by the breakup of the Soviet Union, travelling among Buddhists and animists, radical Christian sects,...

Duration: 00:27:33

Clive James

Clive James is a poet, essayist, novelist, documentarist, critic, talk show host, travel writer, cultural commentator - and red-hot tango dancer. James Naughtie and audience talk to Clive about Unreliable Memoirs, which covers his boyhood years in Kogarah, a suburb of Sydney. Clive was born in 1939; the other event that year (he says) was the outbreak of war, from which his father never returned. Clive tells Bookclub how that event has dominated his whole life. The programme was first...

Duration: 00:27:08

Jennifer Egan discusses her Pulitzer Prize winning novel, A Visit from The Goon Squad.

In an extended version, Jennifer Egan talks about A Visit from The Goon Squad.

Duration: 00:36:27

Edward St Aubyn - Mother's Milk

James Naughtie and a group of readers talk to author Edward St Aubyn, who is best known for his five autobiographical Patrick Melrose novels, which dissect the agonies of family life with honesty, wit and precision. His debut novel Never Mind won a Betty Trask award, while our chosen book is the fourth in the Melrose series, Mother's Milk, and was shortlisted for the 2006 Man Booker prize. In Mother's Milk, the middle aged Patrick Melrose is married with two young children. He finds his...

Duration: 00:27:47

Peter Hoeg - Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow

Peter Høeg's internationally bestselling Miss Smilla's Feeling For Snow was the original Scandi-crime thriller. First published in 1992 the novel's runaway success was due to its extraordinary central character, 37 year old Smilla Qaavigaaq Jasperson, as well as the unfamiliar backdrop of snowy Copenhagen and the icy wastes of Greenland. Smilla is half-Dane and half-Inuit; she is unmarried, childless, independent and irascible and yet she forms an unlikely friendship with her neighbour six...

Duration: 00:28:17

Patrick McCabe discusses his novel The Butcher Boy

Patrick McCabe speaks to James Naughtie about his novel, The Butcher Boy

Duration: 00:27:46

Anne Patchett talks to James Naughtie about her novel, Bel Canto.

Anne Patchett on her award winning novel, Bel Canto.

Duration: 00:27:37

James Naughtie talks to Deborah Levy

Deborah Levy talks about her novel, Swimming Home.

Duration: 00:27:25

Michael Chabon - The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

Michael Chabon talks about The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay with James Naughtie and a group of readers. The novel follows the story of the teenage Josef Kavalier, who makes a daring escape from the Germans in Prague in 1939, leaving his family behind. He travels across Europe and eventually arrives at his cousin Samuel Clayman's house in Brooklyn. There the pair discover a shared love of the burgeoning comic book world of Superheroes - Joe Kavalier is the artist, and Sam Clay, as...

Duration: 00:27:44

Sunjeev Sahota - The Year of the Runaways

Sunjeev Sahota discusses his novel The Year of the Runaways which was shortlisted for the 2015 Man Booker Prize. The Year of the Runaways follows the stories of three undocumented Indian men who share a house in Sheffield. Tochi has fled India after his family were killed in a Caste-related massacre; Avtar arrives on a student visa, but intending to work. Randeep, Avtar's friend and neighbour, is the beneficiary of a sham marriage. In a flat on the other side of town lives Randeep's...

Duration: 00:27:34

Jonathan Safran Foer - Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Jonathan Safran Foer talks about his acclaimed novel Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Set in the aftermath of 9/11, it is the story of a young boy coming to terms with the tragedy of his father's death in the World Trade Centre. hen he find s an envelope with the word 'Black' written on it in his father's hand he sets out to find everyone in the city called Black, to see if he can pick up a clue. After finding a mysterious key in a left behind in his father's closet, in an envelope...

Duration: 00:27:46

Kamila Shamsie on Burnt Shadows

James Naughtie and audience talk to Kamila Shamsie about her novel Burnt Shadows

Duration: 00:27:28

Barbara Trapido - The Travelling Hornplayer

Novelist Barbara Trapido has been delighting readers over a forty year career. In The Travelling Hornplayer (1998) she spins a tale of betrayal, misunderstanding, coincidence and the passions of youth, all with her subversive and entertaining sense of humour. From its haunting start : "Early on in the morning of my interview, I woke up and saw my dead sister" to its grand finale at an Oxford College, The Travelling Hornplayer zips along with plot twists and character turns, shocking...

Duration: 00:27:53

John Lanchester - Capital

John Lanchester talks to James Naughtie and a group of readers about his novel Capital, which was a major BBC TV drama in 2015. The residents of an affluent street in London are busy getting on with their lives when one day something strange happens. Every house in the street has an identical, mysterious postcard pushed through their letterboxes that simply states "'We Want What You Have.' At first, the residents of Pepys Road, who are from mixed racial and social backgrounds, dismiss the...

Duration: 00:27:36

Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson

November's edition is a Classic Bookclub as presenter James Naughtie chooses Robert Louis Stevenson's adventure story Kidnapped as his favourite from his own reading life, as part of the BBC's #LovetoRead Season. In the absence of Stevenson, our guide to the book is author Louise Welsh, who has written an opera inspired by him. Kidnapped is one Stevenson's best loved titles. It's an historical adventure novel set in Scotland after the Jacobite rising of 1745 and tells the adventures of the...

Duration: 00:27:37

Jay McInerney - Bright Lights, Big City

American writer Jay McInerney discusses his debut novel Bright Lights, Big City with James Naughtie and a group of readers. Bright Lights, Big City not only cemented Jay McInerney as a superstar among debut novelists, but came to define the culture of 80s New York in all its gritty yet glamorous glory. We follow the young unnamed narrator - he's 'You' throughout the book - during a whirlwind week in New York. He is bored with his job on a Manhattan magazine, wants to be a writer, and has...

Duration: 00:27:42

Bookclub - Helen Macdonald on H is for Hawk

James Naughtie discusses H is for Hawk with Helen Macdonald

Duration: 00:27:39

Bookclub - Don DeLillo on Underworld

James Naughtie talks to Don DeLillo about his novel Underworld

Duration: 00:27:47

Bookclub - Evie Wyld on After the Fire a Still, Small Voice

James Naughtie talks to Evie Wyld about After the Fire a Still, Small Voice

Duration: 00:27:44

Bookclub - Maggie O'Farrell on The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox

James Naughtie talks to Maggie O'Farrell about The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox

Duration: 00:27:35

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