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Ryan Murdock talks with the world's most original writers, publishers and travelers to get the story behind great books about place.
Oct 1, 2021
Nigel Barley: The Innocent Anthropologist
Nigel Barley wrote one of the funniest travel books I've ever read, and it nearly got him kicked out of his academic discipline. We spoke about the grim reality of fieldwork, his odd attraction for monkeys, and why fiction tells us more than anthropology about what it means to be human.
1 hr 19 min
Aug 18, 2021
Jeremy Seal: Modern Turkey and the 1960 coup
Jeremy Seal is the author of six books, including A Fez of the Heart. We spoke about the infinite courtesies of Turkish hospitality, cultural divides, and the legacy of the 1960 military coup.
1 hr 25 min
Aug 5, 2021
John Gimlette: Madagascar, and ‘walking the dead’
John Gimlette is the author of five books, including The Gardens of Mars. We spoke about Madagascar, ‘walking the dead’, and writing about places on the margin of the map.
1 hr 6 min
Jul 21, 2021
Sara Wheeler: Russia, Antarctica and how we shape stories
Sara Wheeler is the author of 10 books, including Mud and Stars. We spoke about her travels in Russia, living as writer-in-residence on an Antarctic research base, and the reciprocal relationship between story and memory.
1 hr 3 min
Jul 2, 2021
Jerry Kobalenko: Searching for ghosts on Ellesmere Island
Jerry Kobalenko is one of Canada’s most experienced High Arctic travelers, and the author of The Horizontal Everest and Arctic Eden. We spoke about the lure of Ellesmere, and searching for the traces of historic travelers.
1 hr 25 min
Jun 22, 2021
Lawrence Millman: the Arctic, technology and saving stories
Lawrence Millman is the author of 18 books, and a master of northern writing. We talked about his book Last Places, eating bird shit in Iceland, and his efforts to preserve stories before they fade away.
1 hr 49 min
Jun 15, 2021
Rory Maclean: Berlin, Bowie and the new Cold War
Rory Maclean is the author of 15 books, including Berlin: Portrait of a City Through the Centuries. We talk about Berlin, making a film with David Bowie, the state of Europe, and how a glimpse of the Berlin Wall formed a lasting influence on his books.
1 hr 17 min
Jun 8, 2021
Anthropology-lite with Barnaby Rogerson of Eland books
Eland has been resurrecting lost travel classics and keeping them in print for more than 35 years. I talk with publisher Barnaby Rogerson about anthropology-lite, why the post-war period was a golden age for British travel writing, and why some of the 20th century’s most exciting writers were autodidacts.
1 hr 39 min
Jun 6, 2021
Introducing... Personal Landscapes
The novelist and island writer Lawrence Durrell believed that everyone has a personal landscape, a landscape that resonates with them on some deep tuning fork level, where you feel most at home, and where you think your deepest thoughts. I’ve spent more than 20 years exploring such places as a traveler, and as a writer of magazine features and books. I’m going to talk to the people who write those books and publish those books. Experts on different geographical and cultural regions, and on long-dead writers whose books have entered the canon of travel classics. I hope you enjoy listening to them as much as I enjoy talking to them.