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ruge fading light

German novelist Eugen Ruge on ‘In Times of Fading Light’

In Times of Fading Light is Eugen Ruge‘s debut novel, a bestseller in Germany, and the winner of the 2011 German Book prize, awarded to the best German-language novel of the year. A multi-generational story spanning well over half a century (and drawing to a certain extent on Ruge’s own family history), it charts the […]

Continue Reading · 26 January, 2014 · historical fiction, literature, podcasts
Vesna Goldsworthy: Inventing Ruritania

Inventing Ruritania – Vesna Goldsworthy

I recently interviewed Serbian-born, London-based writer, poet, and academic Vesna Goldsworthy, whose books include a  collection of poetry, The Angel of Salonika, and a memoir entitled Chernobyl Strawberries, which one reviewer described as “suffused with a longing complicated and deepened by the eradication of the Yugoslav state”. I met Vesna to discuss Inventing Ruritania: The […]

Continue Reading · 11 June, 2013 · historical fiction, history and politics, literature, podcasts

Roger Luckhurst on Dracula

Roger Luckhurst of Birkbeck talks to me about the enduring appeal of Dracula and I ask him: “It’s all about sex, isn’t it?”

Continue Reading · 22 September, 2011 · literature, video

Robert Douglas-Fairhurst on Becoming Dickens

Robert Douglas-Fairhurst’s biography of the first three decades of Dickens’ life is published by Harvard University Press next month. It’s a terrifically readable, refreshing look at his life story which rescues Dickens from a sense of inevitability, that the only fate reserved for him was to become the greatest novelist of his day. From the […]

Continue Reading · 10 September, 2011 · literature, podcasts

What is the OED? The editor explains…

What is the OED and who is it for? from George Miller on Vimeo. In this short film, John Simpson, editor of the Oxford English Dictionary, explains what the aim of the dictionary is and who it is for. As you’ll hear, the potential audience for the dictionary has massively increased since it went online.

Continue Reading · 19 April, 2011 · language, literature, podcasts

Discoveries: Sarah Bakewell on Irmgard Keun

I interviewed Sarah Bakewell last month about her biography of Montaigne for the new Interview of the Month slot on the Blackwell Online website (that interview will be available there very soon). Visiting her website recently I saw her post about Irmgard Keun, a writer I had never heard of. It turned out that Sarah […]

Continue Reading · 18 January, 2011 · literature, podcasts

4. Books of the Year – Andrew McConnell Stott

Andrew McConnell Stott is an award-winning writer and academic. For several years he was a stand-up comedian, described by London’s Evening Standard as “an absurdist comic with a satirical eye for popular culture.” The world, however, was unprepared for such hilarity and so he decided to give it up. He is the author of Comedy […]

Continue Reading · 14 December, 2010 · biography and memoir, crime fiction, graphic novels, literature, podcasts

3. Books of the Year – Louise Foxcroft

Our third guest reviewer of this year’s publishing highlights is Cambridge-based historian of medicine, Louise Foxcroft. Louise won the Longman/History Today Prize in 2009 for her book Hot Flushes, Cold Science: A History of the Modern Menopause. You can hear a podcast in which she discusses the book here. And here are Louise’s favourite books […]

Continue Reading · 10 December, 2010 · biography and memoir, literature, medicine, podcasts, science and philosophy

2. Books of the Year – Elizabeth Knowles

Our second guest to select her Books of the Year is Elizabeth Knowles. Elizabeth spent much of her career as a historical lexicographer for the Oxford English Dictionary. She is also the editor of the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations and, most recently, the author of How to Read a Word, a book that aims to […]

Continue Reading · 6 December, 2010 · literature, podcasts, supernatural

Tolstoy’s bedtime story

I was in Oxford on Friday to interview Rosamund Bartlett about her recent Tolstoy biography, which coincides with the great man’s death a century ago on 20 November 1910. The interview will appear shortly on the Blackwell Online website, but in the meantime, here is Rosamund reading a short extract from the book itself, in […]

Continue Reading · 29 November, 2010 · biography and memoir, literature, podcasts