Writers and Company from CBC Radio

Writers and Company from CBC Radio

www.cbc.ca/radio/podcasts/arts-culture/writers-company
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.


Stefan Hertmans pursues a tale of star-crossed love in the Middle Ages
May 24 • 52 min
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.
Sharon Olds on the joy and peril of writing deeply personal poetry
May 17 • 55 min
The Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet spoke with Eleanor Wachtel in 2016 about her collection Odes — a celebration of the ordinary.
Petina Gappah casts new light on David Livingstone’s search for the source of the Nile
May 10 • 54 min
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.
Hilary Mantel wraps up her blockbuster Tudor trilogy with The Mirror & the Light
May 3 • 58 min
The two-time Booker Prize winner talks to Eleanor Wachtel about concluding her chronicle of Thomas Cromwell in the court of King Henry VIII.
From Virginia Woolf to Dorothy L. Sayers — one London square and five remarkable women who lived there
Apr 26 • 57 min
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.
Food writer Ruth Reichl on her secret life as a critic in disguise
Apr 19 • 53 min
The former restaurant critic of The New York Times spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about the many aliases she assumed in order to dine anonymously.
Translator and writer Jennifer Croft on her extraordinary childhood and the places it’s led her
Apr 12 • 56 min
The award-winning translator tells her own remarkable story in her memoir, Homesick — a poignant exploration of language, sisterhood and her struggle with depression.
Christopher Ricks on why Bob Dylan is “the greatest living user of the English language”
Apr 5 • 52 min
The literary critic discusses why Nobel Prize laureate Bob Dylan deserves to be included among the greatest writers of all time.
Masha Gessen on the nature of power and morality — from Soviet Russia to Trump’s America
Mar 29 • 58 min
The Russian-American author and journalist talks to Eleanor Wachtel about politics, sexual identity and receiving an apology from Vladimir Putin.
Maaza Mengiste on the untold story of Ethiopia’s women warriors during Italian occupation
Mar 22 • 62 min
In her new novel, The Shadow King, the Ethiopian-American author draws on surprising discoveries about the role of women during Italy’s 1935 invasion of Ethiopia.
Star choreographer Alexei Ratmansky makes breathtaking ballet out of classic literature
Mar 15 • 53 min
Ratmansky talked to Eleanor Wachtel about his new work, Of Love and Rage, and creating Romeo and Juliet for the National Ballet of Canada.
Jeanette Winterson brings humour and understanding to a fraught childhood.
Mar 8 • 53 min
The author of the hit novel Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit spoke to Eleanor Wachtel in 2012 about her memoir, Why Be Happy When You Can Be Normal?
Comic book artist Chris Ware brings complex stories to life in pictures
Mar 1 • 52 min
The award-winning cartoonist speaks to Eleanor Wachtel about his latest book, Rusty Brown, and the childhood experiences that helped shape his career.
From Tripoli to Tuscany—Libyan writer Hisham Matar finds new connections between art and life
Feb 23 • 55 min
Matar’s Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir, The Return, is about his return to his native Libya to search for the truth behind the disappearance of his father, a prominent political dissident of the Gaddafi regime. Now Matar has written a new book - A Month in…
Adam Foulds on celebrity, solitude and the madness of desire
Feb 16 • 52 min
The award-winning British author, now living in Toronto, speaks to Eleanor about his his wide-ranging fiction and poetry
George Steiner on morality, his love of books and the marvels of language
Feb 9 • 53 min
The brilliant literary critic, writer and thinker talked to Eleanor Wachtel in 1995 about the power of human speech. Steiner died on Feb. 3, 2020, at the age of 90.
Sarah Broom on family bonds and the meaning of home in her award-winning memoir, The Yellow House
Feb 2 • 57 min
The youngest of twelve children, and raised by her widowed mother, Sarah Broom grew up in the challenging neighbourhood of New Orleans East. She writes about her upbringing, her home and the devastating impact of Hurricane Katrina on her community.
Susan Choi’s Trust Exercise is an intense coming-of-age story — with a surprising twist
Jan 26 • 59 min
Winner of the 2019 National Book Award, Trust Exercise is a timely exploration of sexual politics, fiction and truth. Choi talks to Eleanor Wachtel about the novel, and about exploring the experiences of Asian-American characters in her work.
Bernardine Evaristo on black British identity and her Booker-winning novel, Girl, Woman, Other
Jan 19 • 56 min
The co-winner of the 2019 Man Booker Prize talks to Eleanor Wachtel about her ambitious novel, and about growing up in a large, mixed-race family in London in the 1960s and ’70s.
How Laura Cumming unearthed the truth about her mother’s kidnapping, 90 years later
Jan 12 • 52 min
Art critic Laura Cumming spoke to Eleanor Wachtel about her latest book, Five Days Gone, an investigation into her mother’s disappearance as a child in 1929.
The haunted landscapes of Téa Obreht — from the Balkans to the American West
Jan 5 • 52 min
The Serbian-American author spoke to Eleanor Wachtel about mythology and ghosts in her acclaimed novels The Tiger’s Wife and Inland.
The multi-talented Jonathan Miller: a life of creativity, curiosity and comedy
Dec 29, 2019 • 52 min
Eleanor Wachtel’s conversation from 2000 with Jonathan Miller, the extraordinary British writer, performer, satirist, medical doctor, stage and opera director and artist. He died on Nov. 27, 2019.
The enduring appeal of Middlemarch, 200 years after George Eliot’s birth
Dec 22, 2019 • 52 min
Eleanor Wachtel’s 2014 conversation with Middlemarch enthusiasts Rebecca Mead, Nancy Henry and Francine Prose, to mark George Eliot’s bicentenary.
Martin Amis and Ian Thomson on the legacy of Primo Levi
Dec 15, 2019 • 62 min
To mark the centenary of the birth of Primo Levi, the British writers join Eleanor Wachtel to reflect on the late Italian author’s exceptional writing about the Holocaust, science and humanity.
Brazilian novelist Julián Fuks on exile, identity and dictatorship
Dec 8, 2019 • 53 min
The acclaimed author spoke to Eleanor Wachtel about his award-winning novel Resistance, which explores the experience of his family who were forced to flee Argentina’s dictatorship.
Deborah Levy fuses the personal and political in her mind-bending new novel, The Man Who Saw Everything
Dec 1, 2019 • 60 min
The British writer talked to Eleanor Wachtel onstage in Toronto about her new novel, an enigmatic story about a striking young man that makes startling connections through time and space.