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The Penguin Podcast

Author: Penguin Books UK

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The Penguin Podcast is a fortnightly interview series where we speak to authors about what drives them: from where, how and why they write, to their inspirations, aspirations, and even the struggles they've faced along the way. Listen for lively conversations and plenty of book recommendations.

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222 Episodes
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This week on the Penguin Podcast we're recapping the year with a selection of the brilliant guests we've welcomed onto the show. We hear from Jane Fallon, Chris van Tulleken, Julian Barnes, David Mitchell and more. We thank you for tuning in, and we'll see you in 2024. Happy holidays.Don't forget to subscribe so you never miss an episode, and don't forget to leave us a review – it really helps! To find out more about the #PenguinPodcast, visit www.penguin.co.uk/podcasts Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
This week on the Penguin Podcast, Nihal Arthanayake is joined by national treasure and bestselling author, Sebastian Faulks.Together they they discuss the tweet that helped inspire his latest book, The Seventh Son, his thoughts on imposter Syndrome and humility, the influence of George Orwell on his political outlook, and a magical riverbank he discovered in France. Don't forget to subscribe so you never miss an episode, and don't forget to leave us a review – it really helps! To find out more about the #PenguinPodcast, visit www.penguin.co.uk/podcasts Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
This week on the Penguin Podcast, Nihal Arthanayake is joined by Booker Longlisted author, C Pam Zhang.Together they discuss Zhang's latest novel, The Land of Milk and Honey, as well as the effects of extreme wealth on the human psyche, the place of pleasure and joy in human existence, the many expectations still placed upon women, and the literary benefits of being a marginalised writer.Don't forget to subscribe so you never miss an episode, and don't forget to leave us a review – it really helps! To find out more about the #PenguinPodcast, visit www.penguin.co.uk/podcasts Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
This week on the Penguin Podcast, Nihal Arthanayake is joined by one of our time's most important moral philosophers and animal rights activists, Peter Singer.In this episode, they discuss Singer's experience of animal rights in the 70s compared to now, what inspired him to begin campaigning for the rights of animals, the importance of suffering in determining rights, and his views on the rise of veganism.Don't forget to subscribe so you never miss an episode, and don't forget to leave us a review – it really helps! To find out more about the #PenguinPodcast, visit www.penguin.co.uk/podcasts Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
This week on the Penguin Podcast, Nihal Arthanayake is joined by the former Finance Minister of Greece and co-founder of the international grassroots movement DM25 as well as a Professor of economics at the University of Athens, Yanis Varoufakis. His latest book, Technofeudalism: What Killed Capitalism, explores how the owners of big tech have become the world's feudal overlords.In this episode, Nihal and Yanis discuss the impact living through the digital age has on our lives, how commodities have more freedom of movement than people, and the objects that inspired the theories explored in his book. Don't forget to subscribe so you never miss an episode, and don't forget to leave us a review – it really helps! To find out more about the #PenguinPodcast, visit www.penguin.co.uk/podcasts Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
This week on the Penguin Podcast, Isy Suttie is joined by bestselling author, public speaker, and founder of The School of Life, Alain de Botton. His latest book, A Therapeutic Journey, deals with mental ill-health and recuperation and has been described as both a source of companionship in our loneliest moments and a practical guide to finding reasons for hope. In this episode, Isy and Alain discuss the theory behind why, as adults, we cry at happy things, the importance of listening to children, and the value of pursuing a 'good enough' life that prioritises emotional wellbeing. Don't forget to subscribe so you never miss an episode, and don't forget to leave us a review – it really helps! To find out more about the #PenguinPodcast, visit www.penguin.co.uk/podcasts Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
This week on the Penguin Podcast, Isy Suttie is joined by comedian, writer and actor David Mitchell for a chat about Unruly, a thoughtful, funny exploration of the founding fathers and mothers of England and, subsequently, Britain. They discuss the historical artefacts that inspired the book, why people in the Middle Ages had more confidence, and how a bout of food poisoning changed the course of English history forever. Don't forget to subscribe so you never miss an episode, and don't forget to leave us a review – it really helps! To find out more about the #PenguinPodcast, visit www.penguin.co.uk/podcasts  Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
This week on the Penguin Podcast, Isy Suttie is joined by journalist and award-winning writer, Megan Nolan.Megan joins Isy for a chat about her latest novel, Ordinary Human Failings. They also discuss the amorality of tabloid journalism, familiar narratives of where trauma can lead you, personal pain and the limitations of empathy, and the significance of owning an armchair you’ll rarely use. Don't forget to subscribe so you never miss an episode, and please do leave us a review – it really does help us. And finally, to find out more about the #PenguinPodcast, visit www.penguin.co.uk/podcasts Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
This week on the Penguin Podcast, Isy Suttie is joined by Barister, TV host and Novelist, Rob Rinder. Rob joins Isy for a joyful conversation about his number one Sunday Times best-selling novel, The Trial.Also on the podcast, we hear Rob's perspective on imposter syndrome and its benefits, how fear and justice intersect in court, that he believes your writing style is influenced by where you sit, and why a worn-out hair brush is so precious to him. Don't forget to subscribe so you never miss an episode, and please do leave us a review – it really does help us. And finally, to find out more about the #PenguinPodcast, visit www.penguin.co.uk/podcasts Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
This week on the Penguin Podcast, Nihal Arthanayake is joined by debut novelist Michael Magee.Michael joins us to discuss his critically acclaimed novel, Close to Home, which has already been shortlisted for the Waterstones Debut Fiction Prize.The two also discuss how Michael's novel started off as a letter-writing exercise, approaching masculinity on his own terms, working alter egos into fiction, and how bleakness in working-class fiction works best when there is added levity.Don't forget to subscribe so you never miss an episode, and please do leave us a review – it really does help us. And finally, to find out more about the #PenguinPodcast, visit www.penguin.co.uk/podcasts. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
This week on the Penguin Podcast, we bring you a special episode: Shaparak Khorsandi in conversation with Isy Suttie live from Lattitude Festival. Shaparak joined us to discuss her latest book, Scatter Brain: How I finally got off the ADHD rollercoaster and became the owner of a very tidy sock drawer.The two also discuss the subtle distinctions between shame and embarrassment, memories of climbing a pear tree, the life-changing power of an ADHD diagnosis, and how being on I’m A Celebrity gave her a spiritual experience.  Don't forget to subscribe so you never miss an episode, and please do leave us a review – it really does help us. And finally, to find out more about the #PenguinPodcast, visit https://www.penguin.co.uk/podcasts. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
This week on the Penguin Podcast, Isy Suttie is joined by Booker shortlisted writer, Brandon Taylor. Brandon joins us to discuss his new novel, The Late Americans.The two also discuss the importance of material signifiers when writing characters, how reading contemporary fiction can influence the writing process, how learning expression through photography helped feed creativity, and what is the value of not writing during the act of writing. Don't forget to subscribe so you never miss an episode, and please do leave us a review – it really does help us. And finally, to find out more about the #PenguinPodcast, visit https://www.penguin.co.uk/podcasts. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
This week on the Penguin Podcast, Isy Suttie is joined by another of Granta's Best of Young British novelists, award-winning novelist, Isabella Hammad. Isabella Joins us to discuss her new novel, Enter Ghost.Also in the episode the two discuss how observing the real world helps form fictional characters, how stories can evolve and eventually become part of a communal identity, the significance of a roof in Isabella’s childhood and the importance of the sea in her new novel. Don't forget to subscribe so you never miss an episode, and please do leave us a review – it really does help us. And finally, to find out more about the #PenguinPodcast, visit https://www.penguin.co.uk/podcasts. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
This week on the Penguin Podcast, Nihal is joined by one of Granta's Best of Young British novelists and recent recipient of the Orwell Prize for political fiction, novelists Tom Crewe.Tom Joins us to discuss his incredible new novel, The New Life.The two also discuss why the novel took over 10 years to write, what Tom admired most about a particular Victorian age, the candour and insights gained from the collected testimonies in the ground-breaking and inspirational book, Sexual Inversion, and also how his novel unconsciously reflects the times he has lived through. Don't forget to subscribe so you never miss an episode, and please do leave us a review – it really does help us. And finally, to find out more about the #PenguinPodcast, visit https://www.penguin.co.uk/podcasts. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
This week on the Penguin Podcast, Isy Suttie talks to author and psychoanalytic psychotherapist, Maxine Mei-Fung Chung. Maxine joins us to discuss her latest book, What Women Want, an intimate examination of female desire. The two also discuss the importance of making time for yourself, the impulse to keep busy for fear we may break down, why many of our coping mechanisms are developed in childhood, and why eye contact is essential when sharing intimate information.Don't forget to subscribe so you never miss an episode, and please do leave us a review – it really does help us. And finally, to find out more about the #PenguinPodcast, visit https://www.penguin.co.uk/podcasts. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
This week on the Penguin Podcast, Isy Suttie is joined by Booker and Woman's Prize longlisted author and one of Granta's Best Young British Novelists, Sophie Mackintosh.Sophie joins us to discuss her latest novel, Cursed Bread. Also discussed is how Welsh and its poetry have influenced Sophie's writing, where she found the inspiration for her third novel, the importance of the sea in her life and work, and why she never deletes what she cuts from her works in progress. Don't forget to subscribe so you never miss an episode, and please do leave us a review – it really does help us. And finally, to find out more about the #PenguinPodcast, visit https://www.penguin.co.uk/podcasts. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
This week on the Penguin Podcast, Isy Suttie is joined by medical doctor, academic and science populariser and presenter, Chris van Tulleken.Chris joins us to discuss his latest book, Ultra Processed People: Why Do We All Eat Stuff That Isn't Food… and Why Can't We Stop?This thoughtful conversation also includes insightful details about the addictive nature of ultra-processed foods, the human desire to consume what we know is bad for us, what the food companies are really up to, and why we believe exercise helps burn extra calories.Don't forget to subscribe so you never miss an episode, and please do leave us a review – it really does help us. And finally, to find out more about the #PenguinPodcast, visit https://www.penguin.co.uk/podcasts. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
This week on the Penguin Podcast, Nihal Arthanayake is joined by the second winner of Stormzy's Merky Books Prize, and she was also one of the Observer's best new novelists, it's Jyoti Patel.Jyoti joins us to discuss her debut novel, The Things That We Lost, a story of family, loss and how far we go to protect those we love.Also discussed on the podcast is the experience of mixing British and Gujarati cultures, the privilege of studying the arts, the importance of being your authentic self, the idea of the perfect sentence, and where it is that Jyoti feels the writer's life most intensely. Don't forget to subscribe so you never miss an episode, and please do leave us a review – it really does help us. And finally, to find out more about the #PenguinPodcast, visit https://www.penguin.co.uk/podcasts. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
This week on the Penguin Podcast, Isy Suttie is joined by professor and writer, Jonathan Kennedy. Jonathan joins us to discuss his debut work of non-fiction, Pathogenesis, a look at the latest science of infectious diseases and bacteria, and how it has shaped human evolution. Isy and Jonathan also discuss the Stone Henge, his love for cycling scenery, how some bacteria have given us abilities we wouldn't otherwise have, and the importance of South Africa and Pata Pata by Miriam Makeba.Don't forget to subscribe so you never miss an episode, and please do leave us a review – it really does help us. And finally, to find out more about the #PenguinPodcast, visit https://www.penguin.co.uk/podcasts. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
This week on the Penguin Podcast, Isy Suttie is joined by award-winning author, Diana EvansDiana joins us to discuss her latest novel, A House for Alice, the follow-up to the best-selling and critically acclaimed, Ordinary People. Isy and Diana also discuss home and belonging, the idea of letting go, taking risks in writing and reading, and the importance of music and a treasured guitar. Don't forget to subscribe so you never miss an episode, and please do leave us a review – it really does help us. And finally, to find out more about the #PenguinPodcast, visit https://www.penguin.co.uk/podcasts. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
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Comments (6)

Adam Itinerant

I'm glad I never bought anything by Simon Sinek. This vacuous Sunny Guru nonsense will be what iur grandkids mock, mimic and giggle at.

Dec 12th
Reply

Farnoosh

Very nice and informative Episode. Thanks 👍

Aug 15th
Reply

joanna caston

Just loved this podcast. Immediately ordered the books they spoke about. Nihal is excellent at bringing out the most interesting conversation

Oct 4th
Reply

Kate Babbage

An excellent and fascinating discussion of an extraordinary life. Highly recommended.

Sep 24th
Reply

Jonathan Hartley

buenos aires is in Argentina where they speak Spanish. clues in the name! so much for authors research skills.

Jul 13th
Reply

Rachel ogubunka

I doing just that . soon I will find out if I am a writer or not. 🤔

Oct 12th
Reply
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