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Preview: Writers & Company from CBC Radio

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.

Copyright: Copyright © CBC 2017

'My grandparents were Nazis.' Novelist Rachel Seiffert mines her family's dark past

Sun, 14 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

The Man Booker Prize-shortlisted author of "The Dark Room" and "A Boy in Winter" talks to Eleanor Wachtel about how her German family's history informs her powerful fiction.

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

Sun, 07 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

Maori novelist Witi Ihimaera (The Whale Rider) and Australian Aboriginal poet Ali Cobby Eckermann (Ruby Moonlight) discuss how stories can bring us closer to reconciliation, and what it's like to navigate between two cultures.

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Julian Barnes on love, loss and Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich

Sun, 31 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

In this intimate, onstage conversation from 2016, British writer Julian Barnes talks to Eleanor Wachtel about his recent novel, The Noise of Time, and how writing has helped him cope with the death of his wife.

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Shirley Hazzard: looking back on her life of great adventure

Sun, 24 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

The celebrated writer, who died last year, led an extraordinary life that took her around the world working for British Intelligence and the U.N. She spoke to Eleanor in 2001, shortly before winning the National Book Award for her novel, The Great Fire.

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Edwidge Danticat on the powerful influence of her Haitian childhood

Sun, 17 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

The Haitian-American writer has won the 2018 Neustadt International Prize for Literature, also known as the 'American Nobel.' In this conversation from 2013, Danticat talks to Eleanor Wachtel about her novel, Claire of the Sea Light.

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From Zanzibar to England, Abdulrazak Gurnah explores the pain of dislocation

Sun, 10 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

Abdulrazak Gurnah writes about immigrant life, dislocation, power and shame. He talks to Eleanor about his new book, Gravel Heart — a powerful story of a young man's experience as an immigrant to England, which reflects elements of Gurnah's own life.

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Richard Holmes reflects on his life as a 'Romantic biographer'

Sun, 03 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

One of Britain's leading literary biographers, Holmes writes passionately about Romantic era greats — such as Shelley, Coleridge, Keats and Blake. He talks to Eleanor Wachtel about his new book, This Long Pursuit: Reflections of a Romantic Biographer.

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Colm Tóibín on redrawing Greek tragedy for modern times

Sun, 26 Nov 2017 00:00:00 EST

Colm Tóibín talks to Eleanor Wachtel about his new novel, House of Names — a troubling tale of family, murder and vengeance that draws from Greek myth. They spoke onstage at the International Festival of Authors in Toronto.

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

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 00:00:00 EST

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.

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

Sun, 12 Nov 2017 00:00:00 EST

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.

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David Bellos on why 'Les Misérables' still resonates today

Sun, 05 Nov 2017 00:00:00 EDT

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.

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Min Jin Lee on the untold story of Koreans in Japan

Sun, 29 Oct 2017 00:00:00 EDT

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.

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

Sun, 22 Oct 2017 00:00:00 EDT

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.

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

Sun, 15 Oct 2017 00:00:00 EDT

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."

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

Sun, 08 Oct 2017 00:00:00 EDT

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."

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

Sun, 01 Oct 2017 00:00:00 EDT

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.

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Haifaa Al Mansour on Mary Shelley, the woman behind Frankenstein

Sun, 24 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

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.

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

Sun, 17 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

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."

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

Sun, 10 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

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.

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Philip Roth on his life in fiction

Sun, 03 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

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.

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

Sun, 27 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

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.

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

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

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.

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

Sun, 13 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

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

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Edna O'Brien on fear, dreams and LSD

Sun, 06 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

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.

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

Sun, 30 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

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.

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

Sun, 23 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

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

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