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Rebecca Mead at Toppings Bath

Rebecca Mead on The Road to Middlemarch

Rebecca Mead is an English-born, Brooklyn-based, New Yorker staff writer. I met her recently when she visited Toppings bookshop in Bath to talk about her new book The Road to Middlemarch. Rebecca’s book explores her fascination with George Eliot’s great novel, which started when she first encountered it at the age of seventeen, and has […]

Continue Reading · 4 April 2014 · biography and memoir, literature, podcasts
maria mccann

Historical novelist Maria McCann on Ace, King, Knave

[An] exuberant revivification of grave robbers and gamblers, hucksters and whores in 18th-century London: like Hogarth sprung to life. – Hilary Mantel, Books of the Year 2013, Observer This is my second interview with Maria McCann – I first interviewed her back in 2010 about her previous novel, The Wilding, which was longlisted for the […]

Continue Reading · 16 February 2014 · historical fiction, literature, podcasts
Louise Doughty and Sarah Savitt

Inside Writing: The Faber Academy podcast (1)

We recorded the first Faber Academy podcast last autumn. The aim is very simple: to bring together two writers (or a writer and editor) and get them to discuss a theme or a skill likely to be of interest to other writers. The guests on each programme select a text to focus the discussion and […]

Continue Reading · 11 February 2014 · literature, podcasts
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