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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.
1 day ago
In Intimations, Zadie Smith reflects deeply on isolation and injustice
The latest book from the bestselling author is an insightful and moving essay collection exploring ideas and questions prompted by this time of social isolation.
1 hr 8 min
Sep 13, 2020
How the tragic story of Shakespeare’s son Hamnet inspired Maggie O’Farrell’s prize-winning novel
Eleanor Wachtel speaks with Maggie O’Farrell, winner of the 2020 Women’s Prize for Fiction for her novel, Hamnet & Judith.
Sep 6, 2020
Ann Patchett on the true meaning of beauty and her prize-winning novel, Bel Canto
The American author talked to Eleanor in 2004 about her novel Bel Canto and her memoir Truth and Beauty, a moving reflection on her friendship with poet Lucy Grealy.
Aug 30, 2020
'Each novel is a journey.' Rose Tremain explores the exile experience in her vivid, engaging fiction
The award-winning British author spoke with Eleanor in 2010 about her novels Trespass and The Road Home.
Aug 23, 2020
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on why she can't stay silent
The influential Nigerian author talked to Eleanor in 2009 about her short story collection, The Thing Around Your Neck, and her award-winning novel, Half of a Yellow Sun.
Aug 16, 2020
Ali Smith on art, adolescence and gender ambiguity in her time-bending novel, How To Be Both
The Scottish author spoke with Eleanor in 2014 about her award-winning novel, which explores the lives of two young people: a 15th-century Renaissance painter and a 21st-century Cambridge teenager.
Aug 9, 2020
Carol Shields finds a way home through the mazes of Larry’s Party
To kick off a series celebrating the 25th anniversary of the U.K. Women's Prize for Fiction, Eleanor revisits her 1997 conversation with Carol Shields, on her prize-winning novel Larry's Party.
Aug 2, 2020
P.D. James at 100: the thrills and mysteries of her life as a crime writer
To mark the anniversary of the birth of P.D. James, Eleanor revisits her 2000 conversation with the late British author of the Adam Dalgleish crime series. James died on Nov. 27, 2014, at age 94.
Jul 26, 2020
The imaginative leaps of German filmmaker Wim Wenders
The iconic German director spoke to Eleanor Wachtel in 2011 about choreographer Pina Bausch — and how his encounter with her and her work changed his life.
Jul 19, 2020
Opera superstar Jessye Norman reflects on political activism and her 50-year career in music
The gifted soprano spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about her life and work on stage in Toronto in early 2019. Norman died on Sept. 30, 2019.
Jul 12, 2020
The legacy of Milton Glaser: designer of the iconic I Love New York logo
Speaking to Eleanor in 2010, the influential graphic designer shared stories behind his famous creations, from I Love NY to his Bob Dylan poster. Glaser died on June 26, 2020, his 91st birthday.
Jul 5, 2020
Eva Hoffman on getting lost — and found — in time, language and memory
The author of Lost in Translation and After Such Knowledge talked to Eleanor in 2010 about her experience of emigrating from post-war Poland to suburban Vancouver, and retracing her family's Holocaust history.
Jun 28, 2020
From The Book of Salt to The Sweetest Fruits, Monique Truong's fiction explores the hunger of the soul
The Vietnamese American writer spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about the meaning of food in her life and work, and why she writes about characters in the margins of history.
Jun 21, 2020
Filmmaker John Boorman on Point Blank, Deliverance and his new memoir, Conclusions
The English director, producer and screenwriter shares stories and insights from his award-winning career that spans 50 years.
1 hr 2 min
Jun 14, 2020
The enduring appeal of Charles Dickens: still entertaining us, 150 years later
On the 150th anniversary of Dickens's death, Eleanor revisits her 2011 conversation with British biographer Claire Tomalin.
Jun 7, 2020
American poet Jericho Brown speaks with power and urgency about racism and violence
The winner of the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry talks to Eleanor Wachtel about the legacy of racial injustice and his award-winning collection, The Tradition.
May 31, 2020
How Emily Dickinson was fuelled by the light of her brilliant interior world
The author of These Fevered Days, Martha Ackmann explores how Dickinson wrote impassioned poetry from a life of solitude and seclusion.
May 24, 2020
Stefan Hertmans pursues a tale of star-crossed love in the Middle Ages
The acclaimed Flemish author talks to Eleanor about The Convert, a love story between a young Christian woman and a Jewish student amid the chaos and terror of the First Crusade.
May 17, 2020
Sharon Olds on the joy and peril of writing deeply personal poetry
The Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet spoke with Eleanor Wachtel in 2016 about her collection Odes — a celebration of the ordinary.
May 10, 2020
Petina Gappah casts new light on David Livingstone's search for the source of the Nile
The Zimbabwean author spoke to Eleanor Wachtel about her novel, Out of Darkness, Shining Light, which re-imagines the 19th-century explorer and missionary David Livingstone through the eyes of his many African companions.
May 3, 2020
Hilary Mantel wraps up her blockbuster Tudor trilogy with The Mirror & the Light
The two-time Booker Prize winner talks to Eleanor Wachtel about concluding her chronicle of Thomas Cromwell in the court of King Henry VIII.
Apr 26, 2020
From Virginia Woolf to Dorothy L. Sayers — one London square and five remarkable women who lived there
Francesca Wade speaks with Eleanor Wachtel about her acclaimed book, Square Haunting, which looks into the lives of groundbreaking women writers who all lived in London's Mecklenburgh Square during and between the world wars.
Apr 19, 2020
Food writer Ruth Reichl on her secret life as a critic in disguise
The former restaurant critic of The New York Times spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about the many aliases she assumed in order to dine anonymously.
Apr 12, 2020
Translator and writer Jennifer Croft on her extraordinary childhood and the places it's led her
The award-winning translator tells her own remarkable story in her memoir, Homesick — a poignant exploration of language, sisterhood and her struggle with depression.
Apr 5, 2020
Christopher Ricks on why Bob Dylan is "the greatest living user of the English language"
The literary critic discusses why Nobel Prize laureate Bob Dylan deserves to be included among the greatest writers of all time.
Mar 29, 2020
Masha Gessen on the nature of power and morality — from Soviet Russia to Trump's America
The Russian-American author and journalist talks to Eleanor Wachtel about politics, sexual identity and receiving an apology from Vladimir Putin.