Writers and Company from CBC Radio

Writers and Company from CBC Radio

Canada

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.

Episodes

'You must change your life.' Biographer Rachel Corbett on Rilke and Rodin  

Eleanor speaks with biographer Rachel Corbett about the unlikely - and influential - friendship between German poet Rainer Maria Rilke, and French sculptor Auguste Rodin.

Christopher Kloeble & Francesca Melandri on facing Europe's history - through fiction  

Eleanor speaks with Germany's Christopher Kloeble and Italy's Francesca Melandri onstage at the International Festival of Authors in Toronto. The novelists discuss the effects of history and current political climates on their work... and lives.

Alain Mabanckou on his profound connection to The Republic of Congo — and his mom.  

From the Vancouver Writers Festival, Eleanor speaks with Congolese-French writer, Alain Mabanckou. Imaginative and original, his books are charming explorations of childhood, family and country.

Zadie Smith on dance, Black British identity, and her new novel, 'Swing Time'  

Eleanor speaks with one of fiction's most exciting voices, British novelist Zadie Smith. The beloved author of 'White Teeth' and 'NW' has a new novel, 'Swing Time' - about fame, female friendship, and tap dancing.

Ha Jin on writing in English, and why he can't go back to China  

Eleanor speaks with Chinese-American writer, Ha Jin. Winner of the National Book Award and the Pen-Faulkner Prize, Jin talks about his new novel, "The Boat Rocker"; writing in English; and why he's not able to return to China.

Sharon Olds at Vancouver Writers Fest  

Eleanor speaks with Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Sharon Olds, on stage at the 2016 Vancouver Writers Festival. Olds is known for her intensely personal, emotionally scathing verse. Her new book, "Odes", is a celebration of the ordinary.

Fredrik Sjöberg Interview  

Eleanor speaks with Swedish naturalist and cultural critic, Fredrik Sjöberg. His delightful, three-volume memoir about collecting hoverflies received a 2016 "Ig Nobel" Prize - awarded to unusual achievements that make people laugh... then think.

Christopher Ricks on Bob Dylan  

A look at the winner of the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature, Bob Dylan. Eleanor speaks with one of England's foremost critics, Christopher Ricks, on the man he regards as "the greatest living user of the English language."

Lee Smith Interview  

From the Appalachian South and the mountains of Virginia, American author Lee Smith. Her latest novel was inspired by Zelda Fitzgerald. And she has a new memoir, “Dimestore" - about the people and places that inspired her fiction.

Viet Thanh Nguyen Podcast  

Eleanor speaks with Vietnamese-American author Viet Thanh Nguyen, winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for his debut novel, "The Sympathizer." Viet talks about his family's harrowing escape from Saigon, and how his dual identity influences his life and work.

Alice Oswald Podcast  

Eleanor speaks with one of England’s greatest living poets, Alice Oswald, about combining her love of classics with her love of the natural world, and about her new book, "Falling Awake" - a finalist for the 2016 Forward Prize for Poetry.

Colson Whitehead Podcast  

What if the Underground Railroad really was a network of secret trains that brought runaway slaves to freedom? That's the premise of Colson Whitehead's acclaimed novel, "The Underground Railroad." He speaks with Eleanor about blending fact and fiction.

Karan Mahajan Podcast  

On the fifteenth anniversary of 9/11, Eleanor speaks with novelist Karan Mahajan about his powerful book, "The Association of Small Bombs." Centered around a bomb attack in a New Delhi market, the novel explores grief, politics and terrorism.

Nuala O'Faolain Podcast  

A look back at Eleanor's onstage interview with Irish writer Nuala O'Faolain in Victoria in 2003. Best known for her stunningly honest memoir "Are You Somebody", O'Faolain is as candid and as comical as ever in this hilarious conversation.

Gordon Lish & Eric Newby  

From 1991, Eleanor speaks with two unique voices: one of the most influential men in American fiction - editor, writer and teacher, Gordon Lish. Also, the witty, entertaining English travel writer, Eric Newby.

Ryszard Kapuscinski Interview  

From the archives, a look back at the extraordinary, international Polish journalist, Ryszard Kapuscinski. He chronicled 20th century war and revolution - and survived four death sentences. Eleanor spoke with the master of literary reportage in 1994.

Tim O'Brien Interview  

From 1995, an intimate interview with novelist Tim O'Brien. Described as "the best American writer of his generation," O'Brien writes powerful books about the Vietnam War - drawing from his own experience as a young soldier in 1969.

Moacyr Scliar Interview  

From Brazil, the magical world of Moacyr Scliar - author of more than 60 books, including "Max and the Cats" and "The Centaur in the Garden". In 2004, Eleanor spoke with the writer and physician about fantasy, identity, and Brazil's Jewish diaspora.

Grace Paley & Adrienne Rich  

From the archives, two unique American voices. From 1993, Eleanor speaks with a master of the short story -- writer and activist, Grace Paley. And from 1994, the influential poet and essayist, Adrienne Rich.

Chinua Achebe Interview  

From the Writers & Company archives, Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe. A look back at the inspiring writer, thinker and politician -- and the father of the African novel in English. Eleanor spoke with the author of "Things Fall Apart" in 1994.

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