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The Booker Prize Podcast

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A weekly podcast featuring lively conversations and fascinating insights from the Booker Prizes. Join us as we revisit winning novels from years past, speak to authors and experts from the literary world and peer behind the curtain of this year's International Booker Prize and Booker Prize.

37 Episodes
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Welcome back to the second of our Booker at the Oscars mini-series where we explore Booker Prize novels whose silver screen adaptations went on to experience Academy Award success. This time we're revisiting The English Patient, the joint Booker Prize 1992 winner by Michael Ondaatje (the other winner was Barry Unsworth's Sacred Hunger) and its silver screen counterpart, directed by Anthony Minghella. In this episode Jo and James: Share a brief biography of Michael Ondaatje Summarise the plot of the book, and discuss their thoughts on it Explore the four main characters we meet in the novel Delve into Anthony Minghella's film adaptation and the differences between book and film Reading list: The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/the-english-patient Sacred Hunger by Barry Unsworth: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/sacred-hunger Black Dogs by Ian McEwan: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/black-dogs Butcher Boy by Patrick McCabe: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/the-butcher-boy Warlight by Michael Ondaatje: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/warlight Anil's Ghost by Michael Ondaatje The Histories by Herodotus In the Skin of a Lion by Michael Ondaatje A full transcript of the episode is available at our website. Follow The Booker Prize Podcast so you never miss an episode. Visit http://thebookerprizes.com/podcast to find out more about us, and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Tiktok @thebookerprizes. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
When does a book transcend from contemporary literature to a classic? Does someone have to confirm its classic status? And can all Booker Prize novels be considered classics just by being part of the Booker canon? This, and more, is what Jo and James are trying to get to the heart of in this week's episode. Listen in as they discuss what makes a classic novel and chat about which Booker books should be known as classics. In this episode Jo and James: Consider what makes a classic Each pick three novels from the Booker Library that are – or should be – considered classics Discuss the plots of their chosen novels and why they are deserving of classic status Reading list: Something to Answer For by P.H. Newby: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/something-to-answer-for A Month in the Country by J.L. Carr: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/a-month-in-the-country How Late It Was, How Late by James Kelman: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/how-late-it-was-how-late St. Urbain's Horseman by Mordecai Richler: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/st-urbains-horseman Atonement by Ian McEwan: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/atonement The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/the-remains-of-the-day The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/the-handmaids-tale Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/shuggie-bain Schindler's Ark by Thomas Keneally: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/schindlers-ark The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/the-english-patient Autobiography by Morrisey The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/midnights-children The Siege of Krishnapur by J.G. Farrell: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/the-siege-of-krishnapur The Conservationist by Nadine Gordimer: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/the-conservationist Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/oscar-and-lucinda The Ghost Road by Pat Barker: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/the-ghost-road Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/disgrace Staying On by Paul Scott: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/staying-on The Famished Road by Ben Okri: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/the-famished-road Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/cloud-atlas The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/the-line-of-beauty Autumn by Ali Smith: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/autumn Crudo by Olivia Laing No One is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/no-one-is-talking-about-this Waterland by Graham Swift: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/waterland G. by John Berger: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/g Read Alex Clark's piece, “Which novels in the Booker Prize archives should be considered classics?”: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/features/which-booker-prize-novels-should-be-considered-classics A full transcript of the episode is available at our website: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/features/the-booker-prize-podcast-episode-33-what-makes-a-classic-novel Follow The Booker Prize Podcast so you never miss an episode. Visit http://thebookerprizes.com/podcast to find out more about us, and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Tiktok @thebookerprizes. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
It's Oscars season so we're off to the movies. Welcome to the first in a new mini-series where we explore Booker Prize novels whose silver screen adaptations went on to experience Oscar glory. We're starting with Schindler's Ark, the Booker Prize 1982 winner, which also happens to be the first Booker-winning novel to become a film that won a Best Picture Oscar. Listen in as we dive into the book and its film counterpart. In this episode Jo and James: Share a brief biography of Thomas Keneally Revisit the origin story of Schindler's Ark Consider whether “non-fiction novels” are really novels Summarise the plot of the book, and discuss their thoughts on it Explore the character of Oskar Schindler Delve into Steven Spielberg's adaptation, Schindler's List, and the differences between book and film Reading list: Schindler's Ark by Thomas Keneally The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro Empire of the Sun by J.G. Ballard Hotel du Lac by Anita Brookner Erasure by Percival Everett The Trees by Percival Everett The Place at Whitton by Thomas Keneally The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith by Thomas Keneally Gossip from the Forest by Thomas Keneally Confederates by Thomas Keneally An Ice-Cream War by William Boyd The Daughters of Mars by Thomas Keneally A full transcript of the episode is available at our website. Take a look at all of the TV and film adaptations of Booker Prize novels here. And to watch the full interview with Thomas Keneally, head to our YouTube channel here. Follow The Booker Prize Podcast so you never miss an episode. Visit http://thebookerprizes.com/podcast to find out more about us, and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Tiktok @thebookerprizes. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sally Rooney is one of the best-loved writers of her generation and her second novel, Normal People, has been overwhelmingly popular across the world – first in book form and then its TV adaptation. Nominated for the Booker Prize 2018, Normal People follows Marianne and Connell as they come of age and figure out their place in the world. It's a love story that has touched readers everywhere but it's also a novel that has something to say about class and politics, in particular. So tune in to this episode to hear Jo and James discuss our February Monthly Spotlight pick. In this episode Jo and James: Consider how the book became so popular Whether the haters have a leg to stand on Share a brief biography of Sally Rooney Summarise the plot of Normal People Discuss the themes explored in the novel Reading list: Normal People by Sally Rooney Conversations With Friends by Sally Rooney Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney A full transcript of the episode is available at our website. Follow The Booker Prize Podcast so you never miss an episode. Visit http://thebookerprizes.com/podcast to find out more about us, and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Tiktok @thebookerprizes. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
A happy Burns Night to one and all. In honour of this day of celebration for ol' Rabbie Burns, and by extension all Scottish literature, we're taking a dive into one of the most popular Booker Prize winners: Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart. The novel, Stuart's debut, presents a blistering and heartbreaking exploration of the unsinkable love that only children can have for their damaged parents. In this episode Jo and James: Share a brief biography of Douglas Stuart Summarise the plot of Shuggie Bain Discuss their thoughts on the novel Delve into the characters, particularly Shuggie and his mother, Agnes Consider the idea of the divided self in Scottish literature Reading list: Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart Young Mungo by Douglas Stuart Loitering With Intent by Muriel Spark His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet A full transcript of the episode is available at our website. Follow The Booker Prize Podcast so you never miss an episode. Visit http://thebookerprizes.com/podcast to find out more about us, and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Tiktok @thebookerprizes. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
It's winter in the northern hemisphere right now and we are simply filled with the urge to hibernate. If you're feeling the same vibe and want to stay in with a good book, allow us to recommend three short books that could keep you company through a weekend. Listen in this week to hear Jo and James discuss some of the most bijou of novels from the Booker Prize and International Booker Prize archive. Reading list: Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan Offshore by Penelope Fitzgerald Boulder by Eva Baltasar, translated by Julia Sanches A full transcript of the episode is available at our website. Follow The Booker Prize Podcast so you never miss an episode. Visit http://thebookerprizes.com/podcast to find out more about us, and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Tiktok @thebookerprizes. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
A.S. Byatt's Possession is a blockbuster of a novel, loved by both critics and readers. If you haven't already read it, you've probably heard of it. (And if you haven't heard of it, well, we're here to fill you in.) Possession won the 1990 Booker Prize and it's a romp of a novel that's part detective thriller and part romance. It also happens to be the subject of our first Monthly Spotlight of 2024 – formerly known as Book of the Month – so tune in as we delve into the book and the life of its author. In this episode Jo and James: Share a brief biography of A.S. Byatt Explore Byatt's literary rivalry with her writer sister, Margaret Drabble Summarise the plot of Possession Hear a clip of Byatt reading from the book at the 1990 Booker Prize ceremony Discuss their thoughts on the novel Reading list: Possession by A.S. Byatt: https://thebookerprizes.com/archive/books/possession An Awfully Big Adventure by Beryl Bainbridge: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/an-awfully-big-adventure The Gate of Angels by Penelope Fitzgerald: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/the-gate-of-angels Lies of Silence by Brian Moore: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/lies-of-silence Amongst Women by John McGahern: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/amongst-women Solomon Gursky Was Here by Mordecai Richler: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/solomon-gursky-was-here The Virgin in the Garden by A.S. Byatt The Djinn in the Nightingale's Eye by A.S. Byatt The Biographer's Tale The Children's Book by A.S. Byatt: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/the-childrens-book A full transcript of the episode is available at our website: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/features/the-booker-prize-podcast-episode-28-possession-by-as-byatt Follow The Booker Prize Podcast so you never miss an episode. Visit http://thebookerprizes.com/podcast to find out more about us, and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Tiktok @thebookerprizes. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
WARNING: this episode contains some adult language. We’re back after our festive hiatus – and how better to start the year than with a rundown of some of the most-anticipated reads of 2024. This week, Jo and James are joined by journalist and TLS podcast host Alex Clark, so listen in as they discuss the books, by Booker Prize authors and beyond, that we should all keep an eye out for this year. 2024 reading list: Long Island by Colm Tóibín The Women Behind the Door by Roddy Doyle James by Percival Everett Choice by Neel Mukherjee What Will Survive of Us by Howard Jacobson Parade by Rachel Cusk The Spoiled Heart by Sunjeev Sahota The Heart in Winter by Kevin Barry The Underground Sea by John Berger The Summer We Crossed Europe in the Rain by Kazuo Ishiguro Knife by Salman Rushdie My Heavenly Favourite by Lucas Rijneveld, translated by Michele Hutchison The Road to the Country by Chigozie Obioma Parasol Against the Axe by Helen Oyeyemi Creation Lake by Rachel Kushner Mr Geography by Tim Parks Fourteen Days: A Collaborative Novel Day by Michael Cunningham Enlightenment by Sarah Perry Godwin by Joseph O'Neill Caledonian Road by Andrew O'Hagan   Other books mentioned: Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín The Woman Who Walked into Doors by Roddy Doyle Paula Spencer by Roddy Doyle The Committments by Roddy Doyle The Snapper by Roddy Doyle The Van by Roddy Doyle Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle Two Pints by Roddy Doyle The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain The Sellout by Paul Beatty The Trees by Percival Everett Erasure by Percival Everett Suder by Percival Everett The Lives of Others by Neel Mukherjee Who's Sorry Now? by Howard Jacobson Kalooki Nights by Howard Jacobson J by Howard Jacobson The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson Live a Little by Howard Jacobson Mother's Boy by Howard Jacobson The Dog's Last Walk: (and Other Pieces) by Howard Jacobson The Outline trilogy by Rachel Cusk Into the Fold by Rachel Cusk Second Place by Rachel Cusk Self-Portrait by Celia Paul The Year of the Runaways by Sunjeev Sahota China Room by Sunjeev Sahota City of Bohane by Kevin Barry Beatlebone by Kevin Barry Night Boat to Tangier by Kevin Barry The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie The Discomfort of Evening by Lucas Rijneveld, translated by Michele Hutchison The Hours by Michael Cunningham The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry Virginia Woolf's Nose by Hermione Lee Mayflies by Andrew O'Hagan A full transcript of the episode is available at our website. You can listen to Alex's podcast here: https://podcasts.apple.com/ie/podcast/the-tls-podcast/id868068396   Follow The Booker Prize Podcast so you never miss an episode. Visit http://thebookerprizes.com/podcast to find out more about us, and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Tiktok @thebookerprizes. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
In our last episode of the year (time flies!), we catch up with International Booker Prize 2023 winners Georgi Gospodinov and Angela Rodel. The winning novel, Time Shelter, follows an enigmatic therapist who runs a ‘clinic for the past’ that offers a promising treatment for Alzheimer’s sufferers. It was the first book from Bulgaria to win the International Booker – and, in fact, to be shortlisted – and its win has been received with much excitement in Gospodinov's home country and beyond. This week, we catch up with author and translator to find out how the award has changed their lives and what they've been up to since their win. In this episode Jo and James speak to Georgi and Angela about: The book, its plot and its themes What the night of their International Booker Prize win was like How their lives have changed since winning the prize What it means for translators to receive recognition alongside the writers they work with The importance of music in their work The unique working relationship between writers and translators Why Bulgarian literature deserves more recognition and which books to look out for A full transcript of the episode is available at our website. Follow The Booker Prize Podcast so you never miss an episode. Visit http://thebookerprizes.com/podcast to find out more about us, and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Tiktok @thebookerprizes. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sara Cox, host of BBC Two's TV book club, Between the Covers, joins Jo and James to discuss our December Book of the Month: Any Human Heart by William Boyd. Told through the journals of Logan Mountstuart, it's an engrossing – and often funny – novel that takes in many of the defining events of the 20th century and the people who shaped them. The Booker Prize 2002-longlisted book was recently discussed on Between the Covers, so tune in to our podcast as Sara, James and Jo talk about William Boyd's beloved novel, as well as Sara's own reading habits and inspirations. In this episode Jo, James and Sara talk about: The idea behind television book club Between the Covers The variety of books guests have been bringing to this series of Between the Covers The novels that got Sara into reading at a young age Sara's favourite Booker Prize books How Sara balances reading and her own writing – and whether what she's reading influences her work What the book clubbers on Between the Covers thought of Any Human Heart A brief summary of Any Human Heart and a discussion about its plot Who they'd recommend the book to Reading List: Any Human Heart by William Boyd: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/any-human-heart Life of Pi by Yann Martel: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/life-of-pi The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy Pessimism is for Lightweights by Salena Godden Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. by Judy Blume Catherine Cookson novels Jilly Cooper novels Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/paddy-clarke-ha-ha-ha John Boyne novels Margaret O'Farrell novels Redhead by the Side of the Road by Anne Tyler: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/redhead-by-the-side-of-the-road A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/a-spool-of-blue-thread A full transcript of the episode is available at our website. Follow The Booker Prize Podcast so you never miss an episode. Visit http://thebookerprizes.com/podcast to find out more about us, and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Tiktok @thebookerprizes. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Step behind the velvet rope and let Jo and James take you on a VIP tour of the Booker Prize 2023 award ceremony. Listen in as they speak to some of this year's shortlisted authors and judges, as well as other guests at the ceremony and hear, first-hand, how the shortlisted authors felt in the run up to the announcement, how the judges enjoyed being part of the jury and what it feels like to be a guest at one of the most exciting events in the booklover's calendar. In this episode Jo and James speak to: Paul Lynch, 2023 Booker Prize winner Paul Murray, 2023 Booker Prize shortlistee Robert Webb, 2023 Booker Prize judge Adjoa Andoh, 2023 Booker Prize judge Graeme Macrae Burnet, 2016 Booker Prize longlistee Frederick Studemann, literary editor of the Financial Times A full transcript of the episode is available at our website. Follow The Booker Prize Podcast so you never miss an episode. Visit http://thebookerprizes.com/podcast to find out more about us, and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Tiktok @thebookerprizes. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Hot off the press, we're bringing you The Booker Prize Podcast's reaction to the Booker Prize 2023 winner. Recorded at the Booker Prize award ceremony on 26 November, Jo and James share their thoughts on the winning book and hear directly from winner Paul Lynch and Esi Edugyan, chair of judges and previous Booker Prize nominee. That's not all for this week though, as we'll be back with a special episode in our usual Thursday slot. A full transcript of the episode is available at our website. Follow The Booker Prize Podcast so you never miss an episode. Visit http://thebookerprizes.com/podcast to find out more about us, and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Tiktok @thebookerprizes.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
We're only three days away from finding out who will take home the Booker Prize 2023 so who better to speak to than last year's winner? Sri Lankan writer Shehan Karunatilaka won the prize for his searing satire The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida in 2022, and the 13 months since his win has been a whirlwind of activity. This week, Shehan joins us on the podcast to tell us all about the past year and what the 2023 winner can expect on the night of the award ceremony and beyond. In this episode Jo and James speak to Shehan about: What it's like to be at the Booker Prize award ceremony – and how it felt to be announced as the 2022 winner The strangeness of winning the Booker Prize amidst economic crisis and civil unrest in Sri Lanka The impossibility of making an acceptance speech in one minute Why he paints his fingernails black How he spent his prize money The whirlwind that has been the 13 months since he won the Booker Prize His daily writing and reading routine Books and authors mentioned: The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida by Shehan Karunatilaka Agatha Christie Salman Rushdie Raymond Chandler John le Carré Armistead Maupin A full transcript of the episode is available at our website. Follow The Booker Prize Podcast so you never miss an episode. Visit http://thebookerprizes.com/podcast to find out more about us, and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Tiktok @thebookerprizes.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Iris Murdoch was a prolific writer, completing 26 novels and several philosophy books in her lifetime. She still holds the record for most Booker Prize shortlistings (a joint record with Margaret Atwood) and the Booker Prize trophy has recently been renamed the 'Iris' in her honour. This month, we've picked The Black Prince, which was shortlisted for the Booker in 1973, as our Book of the Month. It's a part-thriller, part-love story that follows Bradley Pearson – an elderly writer with a ‘block’. Adding and contributing to his torment are a host of predatory friends and relations: his melancholic sister, his ex-wife and her delinquent brother, and a younger, deplorably successful writer, Arnold Baffin. In this episode Jo and James share: Their thoughts on Iris Murdoch's novels Why Murdoch was an exceptionally funny writer, as well as a gifted one A brief biography of Murdoch A summary of The Black Prince What they thought about The Black Prince Who should read The Black Prince Reading list: The Black Prince by Iris Murdoch: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/the-black-prince The Sea, The Sea by Iris Murdoch: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/the-sea-the-sea Under the Net by Iris Murdoch A Severed Head by Iris Murdoch The Bloater by Rosemary Tonks A full transcript of the episode is available at our website. Follow The Booker Prize Podcast so you never miss an episode. Visit http://thebookerprizes.com/podcast to find out more about us, and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Tiktok @thebookerprizes. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
This week we're bringing you a special episode recorded live at Cheltenham Literature Festival in October. Tune in as James is joined by all six Booker Prize 2023 shortlisted authors and we get to hear all about their books, the varied inspirations behind them and why and how they write. Reading list: If I Survive You by Jonathan Escoffery This Other Eden by Paul Harding Study for Obedience by Sarah Bernstein Chetna Maroo's Western Lane Paul Lynch's Prophet Song Paul Murray's The Bee Sting A full transcript of the episode is available at our website. Follow The Booker Prize Podcast so you never miss an episode. Visit http://thebookerprizes.com/podcast to find out more about us, and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Tiktok @thebookerprizes. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
As we hurtle towards the Booker Prize 2023 announcement later this month, we're continuing our deep dive into this year's shortlist. This week, in the second of two parts, Jo and James take a closer look at the remaining three books. Listen in to hear what they make of them and which book they think will take home the prize this year.   In this episode Jo and James discuss: Chetna Maroo's Western Lane Paul Lynch's Prophet Song Paul Murray's The Bee Sting Their winner predictions for this year's Booker Prize Reading list: Western Lane by Chetna Maroo Prophet Song by Paul Lynch The Bee Sting by Paul Murray A full transcript of the episode is available at our website. Follow The Booker Prize Podcast so you never miss an episode. Visit http://thebookerprizes.com/podcast to find out more about us, and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Tiktok @thebookerprizes. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
We're a month away from finding out which title will take home the 2023 Booker Prize so what better time to take a deep dive into this year's final six? This week, in the first of two parts, we're exploring half of the books. Listen in to hear what Jo and James make of them, whether virtuousness is a desirable quality in these novels and what the shortlist says about the state of fiction today.   In this episode Jo and James discuss: Their overview of the 2023 shortlist, and what it says about the state of fiction today How these books would behave if they were guests in your house The common themes that run through these novels Jonathan Escoffery's If I Survive You Paul Harding's This Other Eden Sarah Bernstein's Study for Obedience Reading list: If I Survive You by Jonathan Escoffery This Other Eden by Paul Harding Study for Obedience by Sarah Bernstein A full transcript of the episode is available at our website. Follow The Booker Prize Podcast so you never miss an episode. Visit http://thebookerprizes.com/podcast to find out more about us, and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Tiktok @thebookerprizes. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Spooky season is upon us. While the Booker Prizes' archive might not be filled to the rafters with tales of horror, Bora Chung's Cursed Bunny is certainly ghostly and horrifying – a perfect read for this time of year. Shortlisted for the International Booker Prize in 2022, Cursed Bunny, translated from Korean to English by Anton Hur, presents a collection of fantastically surreal stories that address the very real horrors of capitalism and the patriarchy. In this episode Jo and James talk about: Their own Halloween traditions Bora Chung and her background in writing The unexpected way the book found its way to western readers The stories in this collection, and which are their favourites Their theories on themes throughout the book and what the author is trying to say Whether these tales of terror are going to keep them up at night Reading list: Cursed Bunny by Bora Chung, translated by Anton Hur Tomb of Sand by Geetanjali Shree, translated by Daisy Rockwell The Vegetarian by Han Kang, translated by Deborah Smith Hags by Victoria Smith Further viewing: Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, directed by Park Chan-wook Old Boy, directed by Park Chan-wook Lady Vengeance, directed by Park Chan-wook Parasite, directed by Bong Joon-ho Memories of Murder, directed by Bong Joon-ho A full transcript of the episode is available at our website. Follow The Booker Prize Podcast so you never miss an episode. Visit http://thebookerprizes.com/podcast to find out more about us, and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Tiktok @thebookerprizes. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
George Saunders is best known as a writer of short stories. In fact, he's often considered to one of the greatest living short story writers in the world. In 2017, however, he took home the Booker Prize for his first (and so far only) novel – the startlingly original Lincoln in the Bardo. The book follows Willie Lincoln, son of Abraham Lincoln, as he succumbs to illness and ends up in the bardo, a limbo-like state between the living and the dead. This week, George Saunders joins James and Jo to tell us all about how winning the Booker Prize changed his life, his writing, and what makes a great writer. In this episode Jo and James speak to George about: What it was like to win the Booker Prize, and how winning affected his work Why George decided to turn his hand to penning a novel – and whether he'll ever write another The differences between novel writing and short story writing How to write about historical figures without being trite His popular Substack, Story Club with George Saunders, which explores the art of writing (and analysing writing) Liberation Day, his latest collection of short stories Why channelling one's charm is an important aspect of great writing Reading list: Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders 4321 by Paul Auster Autumn by Ali Smith Exit West by Mohsin Hamid Elmet by Fiona Mozley History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund Further reading: George Saunders, The Art of Fiction by Benjamin Nugent for The Paris Review My Writing Education: A Timeline by George Saunders for The New Yorker A full transcript of the episode is available at our website. Follow The Booker Prize Podcast so you never miss an episode. Visit http://thebookerprizes.com/podcast to find out more about us, and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Tiktok @thebookerprizes. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Yoko Ogawa's The Memory Police, translated by Stephen Snyder, is a haunting and provocative fable about the power of memory and the trauma of loss, which was shortlisted for the International Booker Prize in 2020. On an unnamed island, things are disappearing and most of the island's residents are forgetting all about them. It starts small with hats and ribbons but it soon escalates. When a novelist discovers that her editor – who, for some reason, doesn't forget – is in danger from the draconian Memory Police, she concocts a plan to save him. Join us as we explore our latest Book of the Month. In this episode Jo and James: Share a brief author biography Summarise the novel's plot Consider whether the book is about totalitarian regimes or fascist politics, as many of the book's reviewers suggested, or whether it's about something altogether more mysterious Discuss how translations may affect our reading of the book, in quite significant ways Wonder whether forgetting is really that bad Suggest who should read the book Reading list: The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa, translated by Stephen Snyder Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro Diary of a Void by Emi Yagi Further reading: A profile of Yoko Ogawa in The New York Times A full transcript of the episode is available at our website. Follow The Booker Prize Podcast so you never miss an episode. Visit http://thebookerprizes.com/podcast to find out more about us, and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Tiktok @thebookerprizes.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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