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Writers and Company


Now in its nineteenth season, this show offers an opportunity to explore in depth the lives, thoughts and works of remarkable writers from around the world.

Now in its nineteenth season, this show offers an opportunity to explore in depth the lives, thoughts and works of remarkable writers from around the world.
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Toronto, ON




Now in its nineteenth season, this show offers an opportunity to explore in depth the lives, thoughts and works of remarkable writers from around the world.






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


Novelist Anuradha Roy explores beauty, violence and power in modern India

Anuradha Roy's elegant, provocative fiction looks at life in India from unusual angles. Eleanor spoke to Roy about her latest book, "Sleeping on Jupiter," which won the DSC South Asia Prize for Fiction.

Duration: 00:53:18

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

Eleanor speaks to Sylvie Simmons, author of the bestselling biography "I'm Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen," about the man behind the music, poetry and fiction — his early influences, struggles with depression, spiritual explorations, and more.

Duration: 00:59:41

David Bellos on why 'Les Misérables' still resonates today

Eleanor talks to biographer and translator David Bellos about 19th-century French writer, Victor Hugo, and the dramatic history behind Hugo's masterpiece, Les Misérables — the most frequently adapted novel of all time.

Duration: 00:53:18

Min Jin Lee on the untold story of Koreans in Japan

Korean American novelist Min Jin Lee talks to Eleanor Wachtel about her second book, "Pachinko," which was recently named a finalist for the National Book Award.

Duration: 01:02:44

George Saunders on his Man Booker Prize-winning novel, Lincoln in the Bardo

George Saunders has won the 2017 Man Booker Prize for his debut novel, "Lincoln in the Bardo." In April, Saunders discussed the book with Eleanor Wachtel at a sold-out event in Toronto.

Duration: 00:52:36

Spanish novelist Javier Marías on secrets and betrayal — in politics and fiction

Spain's most celebrated contemporary writer talks to Eleanor Wachtel about his country's dark past, his own family history, and his new novel that draws on both, "Thus Bad Begins."

Duration: 00:52:50

Nobel Prize for Literature winner Kazuo Ishiguro on his novels of 'great emotional force'

Eleanor Wachtel speaks with the Japanese-British author and recipient of the 2017 Nobel Prize for Literature about his novels "The Buried Giant" and "Never Let Me Go."

Duration: 00:53:23

Daniel Mendelsohn on his journey with his father through Homer’s Odyssey

In his memoir "An Odyssey," American writer and critic Daniel Mendelsohn gives an account of what happened when his elderly father sat in on his university seminar on Homer’s epic poem.

Duration: 00:52:48

Haifaa Al Mansour on Mary Shelley, the woman behind Frankenstein

In her new film "Mary Shelley," Saudi Arabian filmmaker Haifaa Al Mansour explores the passion and pain that led the teenage author to write her groundbreaking novel, "Frankenstein." Eleanor spoke to Al Mansour at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Duration: 00:52:58

Kei Miller maps the intersections of race, class and privilege in Jamaica

The Jamaican poet, novelist and essayist spoke to Eleanor Wachtel about his award-winning collection "The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way to Zion," and his imaginative new novel, "Augustown."

Duration: 00:57:44

John le Carré on his legacy as a spy-turned-novelist

The master of the political thriller talks to Eleanor Wachtel about his storied career as both a spy and a writer, and discusses his new book, "A Legacy of Spies," which sees the return of his most iconic character, George Smiley.

Duration: 01:07:45

Philip Roth on his life in fiction

From "Goodbye, Columbus" to "The Plot Against America," the celebrated novelist reflects on his literary identities, fame, family, controversy and growing old in this conversation with Eleanor Wachtel from 2009.

Duration: 00:53:20

Cartoonist Lynda Barry on reclaiming the art of child's play

In this conversation from 2009, Eleanor talks to American cartoonist Lynda Barry about her Filipino heritage, her friendship with Matt Groening, and her darkly funny and moving work, which revolves around the lives of children.

Duration: 00:52:58

Graphic novelist Reinhard Kleist on Germany's refugees, then and now

Eleanor speaks to the award-winning German comic book artist about his wide-ranging subjects — from Johnny Cash; to a man who escaped Auschwitz by boxing; to Samia Yusuf Omar, a Somalian Olympic runner who drowned trying to reach Europe.

Duration: 00:51:26

Margarethe von Trotta on telling the story of Germany through the eyes of women

Eleanor spoke with revered German filmmaker Margarethe von Trotta as part of our 2016 special series, "At the Centre of Europe: A Changing Germany".

Duration: 01:03:21

Edna O'Brien on fear, dreams and LSD

Eleanor Wachtel speaks to the author of "The Country Girls" Trilogy and "The Little Red Chairs" about the power of dreams; her homeland, Ireland; and hallucinogens.

Duration: 00:52:57

Tracy K. Smith on life, death, poetry and outer space

In this conversation from 2016, Eleanor talks to the new Poet Laureate of the United States, Tracy K. Smith. Her last collection, "Life on Mars", won a Pulitzer Prize. Her memoir, "Ordinary Light", explores race, faith and her relationship with her mom.

Duration: 00:55:59

Patricia Grace on telling the stories of New Zealand's Indigenous people

In this conversation from 2003, Eleanor talks to Patricia Grace — one of New Zealand's most celebrated Maori writers.

Duration: 00:52:56

Edward Said's ideas about power and identity still resonate today

Eleanor spoke with Edward Said, the eminent literary and cultural critic, in 1993. The author of "Orientalism" and "Culture and Imperialism" discusses Western attitudes toward the East, and explores the connection between politics and literature.

Duration: 00:51:38

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on why she can't stay silent

Nigerian-American author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie spoke to Eleanor in 2009 about her Orange Prize-winning novel "Half of a Yellow Sun", her story collection "The Thing Around Your Neck", and how Nigeria's civil war continues to haunt her life and fiction.

Duration: 00:52:56

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