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Welcome to our first Backlisted special of 2023. Today we’re joined by the award-winning novelist and screenwriter Frank Cottrell-Boyce, an official friend of Backlisted, who returns for the first time since his appearance on the Christmas 2021 episode on The Railway Children by Edith Nesbit, one of our most popular shows. These specials are designed to fill the gap until the show proper returns in April. They differ from the usual Backlisted format in that they feature just one guest choosing a number of books in an area they know and care about. The discussion covers examines what inspired Frank’s love of reading when he was growing up, and includes favourite books by T.H. White, Ursula K. Le Guin, Joan Aiken, Tim Hunkin and Richmal Crompton. * To purchase any of the books mentioned in this episode please visit our bookshop at uk.bookshop.org/shop/backlisted where all profits help to sustain this podcast and UK independent bookshops. * For information about everything mentioned in this episode visit www.backlisted.fm *If you'd like to support the show, listen without adverts, receive the show early and with extra bonus fortnightly episodes, become a Patreon at www.patreon.com/backlisted Image Credit: Archives New Zealand from New Zealand, CC BY-SA 2.0
In memory of the great Carmen Callil, we are replaying the first of her two appearances on Backlisted. Joining Andy and John in this episode is Carmen Callil, the legendary publisher and writer, who is best know for founding the Virago Press in 1972. Once described by the Guardian as ‘part-Lebanese, part-Irish and wholly Australian’, Carmen settled in London in 1964 advertising herself in The Times as ‘Australian, B.A. wants job in book publishing’. After changing a generation’s taste through her publishing at Virago, and in particular the Virago Modern Classics, which continues to bring back into print hundreds of neglected women writers, Carmen went on to run Chatto & Windus and became a global Editor-at-Large for Random House. In 2006 she published Bad Faith: A History of Family & Fatherland, which Hilary Spurling called ‘a work of phenomenally thorough, generous and humane scholarship’. Appointed DBE in 2017, she was also awarded the Benson Medal in the same year, awarded to mark ‘meritorious works in poetry, fiction, history and belles-lettres’. The book under discussion is one of her favourite novels, The Tortoise & the Hare by Elizabeth Jenkins, first published by Gollancz in 1954 and triumphantly reissued by Virago Modern Classics in 1983. Also in this episode we explore the new audio version of one our favourite writer’s best novels - The Unfortunates by B.S. Johnson, famously published in a box containing 27 randomly ordered sections in 1969. And last but very much not least: this episode also features our very first canine guest - Effie, Carmen’s extremely well-behaved border terrier. Timings: (may differ due to variable advert length) 8'10 - The Unfortunates by B.S.Johnson 21'16 - The Tortoise and the Hare by Elizabeth Jenkins * To purchase any of the books mentioned in this episode please visit our bookshop at uk.bookshop.org/shop/backlisted where all profits help to sustain this podcast and UK independent bookshops. * For information about everything mentioned in this episode visit www.backlisted.fm *If you'd like to support the show, listen without adverts, receive the show early and with extra bonus fortnightly episodes, become a Patreon at www.patreon.com/backlisted
Merry Christmas Everyone! This year’s Backlisted Christmas special celebrates Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild, a classic of children’s literature and the childhood favourite of our producer, Nicky Birch. We are joined by the writer Una McCormack and Tanya Kirk, the Lead Curator of Printed Heritage Collections (1601-1900) at the British Library, who are both lifetime Streatfeild fans. Ballet Shoes was an immediate bestseller upon publication and the runner-up for the inaugural Carnegie Medal. It has never been out of print and was the first in a series of ‘Shoes’ books by Streatfeild. It has been adapted many times both as an audiobook and for film and television and in 2019 BBC News included Ballet Shoes on its list of the 100 most influential novels of all time. We discuss why this might be the case and much more besides and even hear from Miss Streatfeild herself. And it being a Christmas episode, there is a fiendish festive quiz. We also feature two other classic books by writers best known through their writing for children. John discusses A Giant in the Snow by John Gordon, an eerie Puffin classic from 1968, while Andy revels in the darkness of John Christopher’s The Death of Grass, first published in 1956, a post-apocalyptic science fiction novel, definitely written for adults and perfect for cutting through your post-lunch torpor. Enjoy! Timings: (may differ due to variable advert length) 16:39 A Giant in the Snow by John Gordon 22:04 The Death of Grass by John Christopher 29:32 Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild * To purchase any of the books mentioned in this episode please visit our bookshop at uk.bookshop.org/shop/backlisted where all profits help to sustain this podcast and UK independent bookshops. * For information about everything mentioned in this episode visit www.backlisted.fm * If you'd like to support the show, receive the show early and get extra bonus fortnightly episodes, become a Patreon at www.patreon.com/backlisted
The Awakening is an American classic, first published in 1899. The novel’s focus is the inner life of Edna Pontellier, a 29 year-old a married woman and mother of two boys, whose husband Léonce is a New Orleans businessman of Louisiana Creole heritage. The book’s notoriety derives from Edna’s refusal to accept the role that American society of the late 19th century has allocated to her. After the controversy that greeted it on publication, The Awakening sank from view until it was rediscovered by a new generation of readers after the Louisiana State University Press published Chopin’s collected works in 1969. Now acclaimed as a feminist classic – it was published in the UK in 1978 by The Women’s Press and is now both a Penguin and an Oxford classic, a Canongate Canon, and one of the most popular university set texts in America. We’re joined by the Irish American writer Timothy O’Grady and publisher Rachael Kerr to find out why. This episode also finds Andy revelling in Beware of the Bull, a new biography of the incomparable Yorkshire singer-songwriter Jake Thackray (Scratching Shed), while John enjoys Louise Willder’s Blurb Your Enthusiasm, the product of her twenty-five years as a copywriter at Penguin. Timings: 04:57 Blurb Your Enthusiasm by Louise Willder 11:00 Beware of the Bull: The Enigmatic Genius of Jake Thackray by Paul Thompson and John Watterson 18:59 The Awakening by Kate Chopin * To purchase any of the books mentioned in this episode please visit our bookshop at https://uk.bookshop.org/shop/backlisted where all profits help to sustain this podcast and UK independent bookshops. * For information about everything mentioned in this episode visit www.backlisted.fm * If you'd like to support the show, receive the show early and get extra bonus fortnightly episodes, become a Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/backlisted
The Ice Palace or Is-slottet by Tarjei Vesaas is a 20th century classic by one of Norway’s greatest modern writers. First published by Gyldendal in 1963, it went on to win the Nordic Council Literary Prize in 1964. In 1966, it was published in Elizabeth Rokkan’s English translation by Peter Owen who described it as the best novel he ever published. To discuss it we’re joined by friend of the show Max Porter – who’s surprised it isn’t the most famous book in the world – and by another great Norwegian, Karl Ove Knaussgård, who agrees but who also think’s Vessas’s The Birds ( or Fuglane), published six years earlier, might be even better. We discuss both books in their English translations (recently released as Penguin Modern Classics) and Karl Ove treats us to a reading from the beginning of The Ice Palace in Norwegian. This episode also features Andy sharing his pleasure and deep amusement at Bob Dylan’s latest book – The Philosophy of Modern Song (Simon & Schuster) while John is moved by Emergency, Daisy Hildyard’s darkly beautiful novel about a rural Northern childhood overshadowed by presentiments of the coming climate disaster (Fitzcarraldo Editions). Timings: (may differ due to variable advert length) 4:18 - The Philosophy of Modern Song by Bob Dylan 12:35 - Emergency by Daisy Hildyard 17:16 - The Ice Palace by Tarjei Vesaas * To purchase any of the books mentioned in this episode please visit our bookshop at https://uk.bookshop.org/shop/backlisted where all profits help to sustain this podcast and UK independent bookshops. * For information about everything mentioned in this episode visit www.backlisted.fm * If you'd like to support the show, receive the show early and get extra bonus fortnightly episodes, become a Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/backlisted
There can be few writers more deserving of Backlisted’s attention than the Irish writer, Maeve Brennan. An adopted New Yorker, Brennan died there in 1993 and was by that time so thoroughly forgotten in her native land, that she received no obituaries in any Irish papers. We are joined by the writers Sinéad Gleason and David Hayden to discuss her collection, The Springs of Affection – subtitled ‘stories of Dublin’ – which was first published posthumously by Houghton Mifflin in 1997, although all but one of these first appeared in the New Yorker, where Brennan was a staff writer for twenty-seven years. It was the enthusiastic praise from other writers including Alice Munro, Edna O’Brien and Mavis Gallant among others, that helped get The Springs of Affection the kind of international attention that the two collections published in Maeve’s lifetime failed to achieve. Since then, Maeve Brennan’s reputation has grown steadily, and her stories are now regularly and favourably compared to those of Joyce, Chekov and Colette. In Ireland, in particular, she has won the admiration of a new generation of women writers, who in Anne Enright’s phrase, see her as ‘a casualty of old wars not yet won.’ This episode also features Andy revisiting the Linda Nochlin’s classic 1971 essay, Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists? while John is impressed by Orlam, P.J. Harvey’s dark and brooding verse novel, written entirely in Dorset dialect. Timings: (may differ due to variable advert length) 08:44 - Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists? by Linda Nochlin 16:16 - Orlam by P.J. Harvey 22:46 - The Springs Of Affection By Maeve Brennan * To purchase any of the books mentioned in this episode please visit our bookshop at https://uk.bookshop.org/shop/backlisted where all profits help to sustain this podcast and UK independent bookshops. * For information about everything mentioned in this episode visit www.backlisted.fm * If you'd like to support the show, receive the show early and get extra bonus fortnightly episodes, become a Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/backlisted
This Hallowe’en episode of Backlisted focusses on the collection of ‘uncanny’ stories by Henry James, first gathered together under the title The Altar of the Dead and Other Tales to form the seventeenth volume of the New York Edition of his Collected Works in 1917. We are joined, as ever, by our resident spook-master Andrew Male, and by acclaimed novelist and Henry James aficionado Tessa Hadley. We each choose a story to present and read from - these are tackled in chronological order to better trace the evolution of James’s famously dense and challenging late style . Before that Andy confesses his admiration for I Used to Live Here Once, Miranda Seymours’ new biography of Jean Rhys and reads a short Jean Rhys ghost story, while John revisits Giving Up the Ghost, Hilary Mantel’s haunting (and haunted) memoir. Timings: (may differ due to variable advert length) 5:49 - I Used to Live Here Once by Miranda Seymour 12:19 - Giving Up the Ghost by Hilary Mantel 19:38 - The Altar of the Dead and Other Tales by Henry James * If you'd like to purchase any of the books mentioned in this episode please visit our bookshop at https://uk.bookshop.org/shop/backlisted where all profits help to sustain this podcast and UK independent bookshops. * For more information about the show visit www.backlisted.fm * If you'd like to support the show and get extra bonus fortnightly episodes, become a Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/backlisted
Full Tilt by Dervla Murphy

Full Tilt by Dervla Murphy

2022-10-1801:11:12

Full Tilt: Ireland to India with a Bicycle by the Irish travel writer Dervla Murphy was first published in 1965 and is the first of Dervla Murphy’s twenty-six books. It's a journal she kept on the 3,500 mile, six-month journey she made by bicycle from her home in Lismore, Ireland to Delhi in India in 1963, Ireland, traversing Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan on her trusty bike, Ros. Joining us to discuss the book are Felicity Cloake, food writer and the award-winning author of the Guardian’s long-running ‘How to Make the Perfect’ series and Caroline Eden, author and journalist, whose latest book, Red Sands is a reimagining of traditional travel writing using food as the jumping-off point to explore Central Asia. This episode also features Andy reading from Craig Brown's new collected works, Haywire, while John has been enjoying In Search of One Last Song: Britain’s disappearing birds and the people trying to save them by Patrick Galbraith. Timings: (may differ due to variable advert length) 07:25 - Haywire by Craig Brown 14:41 - One Last Song by Patrick Galbraith. 20:48 - Full Tilt by Dervla Murphy For more information visit https://www.backlisted.fm Please support us and unlock bonus material at https://www.patreon.com/backlisted
Roadside Picnic, first published in 1972, is the best-known work of Russia’s most famous modern science fiction writers, Arkady & Boris Strugatsky, together the authors of 26 novels and scores of short stories. To discuss it we are joined by the writer and radio presenter Jennifer Lucy Allan, and the publisher and translator Ilona Chavasse. The book is based on the premise that Earth has been briefly visited by an alien civilisation that have left behind them six ‘Zones’, places strewn with their debris, some of it lethal to humans; all of it fascinating and perplexing. The Zones feed a black market in artefacts supplied by ‘Stalkers’ who are prepared to risk their lives and sanity by entering the forbidden areas to retrieve them. We consider why the book is still considered one of the greatest of all SF novels, how it came to be read as a dark foreshadowing of the Chernobyl disaster and why it has proved itself so ripe for adaptation, both as a series of video games and, most famously, as the basis for Andrei Tarkovsky’s classic 1979 film, Stalker. This episode also finds Andy returning to a haunting novel he read earlier this year: The High House (Swift Press) by former guest Jessie Greengrass, while John is carried away by Everybody (Picador), Olivia Laing’s magnificent book about freedom and the human body. Timings: (may differ due to variable advert length) 08:17 - The High House by Jessie Greenglass. 17:04 - Everybody by Olivia Laing. 23:32 - Roadside Picnic by Arkady & Boris Strugatsky * To purchase any of the books mentioned in this episode please visit our bookshop at uk.bookshop.org/shop/backlisted where all profits help to sustain this podcast and UK independent bookshops. * For information about everything mentioned in this episode visit www.backlisted.fm *If you'd like to support the show, listen without adverts, receive the show early and with extra bonus fortnightly episodes, become a Patreon at www.patreon.com/backlisted
North and South is Elizabeth Gaskell’s fourth novel and considered by many to be her best. It tells the story of Margaret Hale, a principled young middle-class woman from the rural South whose family are obliged to re-settle in the Northern industrial town of Milton. Joining us to discuss the novel’s contemporary relevance, are two new guests: Jennifer Egan, author of A Visit from the Goon Squad and Nell Stevens, author of the memoir, Mrs Gaskell & Me. We cover the books presentation of labour relations at the height of the Industrial Revolution, the changing position of women in society, the reasons for Elizabeth Gaskell’s uncertain reputation, her unsentimental treatment of death and – spoiler alert – whether the novel’s ending works. Also in this episode, Andy is impressed by No Document, Australian writer Anwen Crawford’s ground-breaking work of elegiac non-fiction and John enjoys the exquisite imagination on display in Chloe Ardijis’s Dialogue with a Somnambulist, the Mexican novelist’s recent collection of stories, essays and pen portraits. Timings: (may differ due to variable advert length) 04:20 - No Document by Anwen Crawford. 10:40 - Dialogue with a Somnambulist by Chloe Aridjis. 16:42 - North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell * To purchase any of the books mentioned in this episode please visit our bookshop at uk.bookshop.org/shop/backlisted where all profits help to sustain this podcast and UK independent bookshops. * For information about everything mentioned in this episode visit www.backlisted.fm *If you'd like to support the show, listen without adverts, receive the show early and with extra bonus fortnightly episodes, become a Patreon at www.patreon.com/backlisted
Authors Jay Griffiths and Geoff Dyer are our guests for a discussion of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. Annie Dillard was only twenty-nine when her first prose book was published in 1974; it went onto win the Pulitzer Prize for Non-Fiction the following year. To discuss this classic of observational nature writing and spiritual enquiry, we are joined by two writers making their Backlisted debuts: Jay Griffiths, the author of Wild: An Elemental Journey and Geoff Dyer, whose most recent book The Last Days of Roger Federer, featured on the Gormenghast episode. By coincidence, Andy has been reading Pages from the Goncourt Journals (NYRB Classics), a spicy, gossip-rich glimpse into 19th century French literary life which has a foreword by Geoff, while John immerses himself in the inner world of John Donne, through regular Backlisted guest Katherine Rundell’s widely acclaimed biography: Super Infinite: The Transformations of John Donne (Faber). Timings: (may differ due to variable advert length) 08:12 - Pages from the Goncourt Journals by Edmond and Jules de Goncourt. 16:45 - Super Infinite: The Transformations of John Donne by Katherine Rundell. 22:29 - Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard * To purchase any of the books mentioned in this episode please visit our bookshop at uk.bookshop.org/shop/backlisted where all profits help to sustain this podcast and UK independent bookshops. * For information about everything mentioned in this episode visit www.backlisted.fm *If you'd like to support the show, listen without adverts, receive the show early and with extra bonus fortnightly episodes, become a Patreon at www.patreon.com/backlisted
The second novel by by literary wunderkind, Helen DeWitt, Lightning Rods is probably the most challenging book we’ve yet featured on Backlisted. Usually described as a satire on American capitalism, it is the diasarmingly upbeat and funny tale of Joe, a struggling salesman, who develops a new office product that he believes serves an urgent need in modern corporate life. Quite what that product is and how it works requires a delicacy in description and a warning for listeners: this is not one for family listening. We are joined by returning guests, novelist and playwright Marie Philips and writer and performer, Ben Moor. The episode also features Andy rediscovering a lost folk horror classic from the 1970s - The Autumn People (also known as The Autumn Ghosts) by Ruth M. Arthur while John is blown away by the force of Sarah Churchwell’s incandescent and incisive account of an American classic: The Wrath to Come: Gone With the Wind and the Lies America Tells. Timings: (may differ due to variable advert length) 13:21 - The Autumn Ghosts by Ruth M. Arthur. 18:34 - The Wrath to Come: Gone with the Wind and the Lies America Tells by Sarah Churchwell. 24:42 - Lightning Rods by Helen DeWitt. * To purchase any of the books mentioned in this episode please visit our bookshop at uk.bookshop.org/shop/backlisted where all profits help to sustain this podcast and UK independent bookshops. * For information about everything mentioned in this episode visit www.backlisted.fm *If you'd like to support the show, listen without adverts, receive the show early and with extra bonus fortnightly episodes, become a Patreon at www.patreon.com/backlisted
It's sixty-five years since John Wyndham published The Midwich Cuckoos, the fourth in his hugely successful series of science fiction novels that began in 1951 with The Day of the Triffids. Many people’s first introduction to The Midwich Cuckoos is through the classic film from 1960, which was renamed The Village of the Damned and starred George Sanders. We’re joined for this episode by the writer and director David Farr, who has just produced the most recent adaptation of the novel: a seven-episode series for Sky. As well as assessing the merits of the book – sometimes obscured by its popular success – we discuss the process of adapting a classic novel for a modern audience. This episode also features Andy sharing his holiday read – The Feast by Margaret Kennedy (author of The Constant Nymph which we featured last year). The novel is set in Cornwall, which was exactly where Andy found himself when he read it. John also introduces a new independent publisher, Hazel Press, whose exquisite small, environmentally friendly books include The Wren by Julia Blackburn, a haunting sequence of short journal entries and prose poems. Timings: (may differ due to variable advert length) 11:00 - The Feast by Margaret Kennedy. 18:01 - The Wren by Julia Blackburn. 22:48 - The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham * To purchase any of the books mentioned in this episode please visit our bookshop at uk.bookshop.org/shop/backlisted where all profits help to sustain this podcast and UK independent bookshops. * For information about everything mentioned in this episode visit www.backlisted.fm *If you'd like to support the show, listen without adverts, receive the show early and with extra bonus fortnightly episodes, become a Patreon at www.patreon.com/backlisted
Forty years ago the writer Paul Theroux hoisted his knapsack on his back and set off on a journey on foot around the coast of the United Kingdom; the effects of Thatcherism were being felt in earnest and the Falklands War was in progress. The Kingdom by the Sea, Theroux's grumpy, funny account of this journey, was published the following year (1983) and caused outrage in many of the seaside towns the author had passed through and seemingly written off. In this episode the Backlisted team - Andy, John, Nicky and Tess - revisit the book, and a few books like it, to discuss whatever happened to travel writing; how Britain has changed since 1982; and what Theroux got right - and wrong - about his adopted country. In addition, John enjoys a more recent travelogue, Felicity Cloake's new book Red Sauce Brown Sauce: A British Breakfast Odyssey (Mudlark); while Andy reads two poems from Fiona Benson's stunning new collection Ephemeron (Cape Poetry). Timings: (may differ due to variable advert length) 08:16 - Fiona Benson. Ephemeron. 15:44 - Felicity Cloake's new book Red Sauce Brown Sauce: A British Breakfast Odyssey. 22:28 - The Kingdom by the Sea by Paul Theroux * To purchase any of the books mentioned in this episode please visit our bookshop at uk.bookshop.org/shop/backlisted where all profits help to sustain this podcast and UK independent bookshops. * For information about everything mentioned in this episode visit www.backlisted.fm *If you'd like to support the show, listen without adverts, receive the show early and with extra bonus fortnightly episodes, become a Patreon at www.patreon.com/backlisted
Novelist Joanne Harris (Chocolat, A Narrow Door) is our guest for a celebration of Titus Groan (1946), Gormenghast (1950) and Titus Alone (1959) by Mervyn Peake, three novels which are often referred to, erroneously, as the Gormenghast Trilogy. With Joanne's expert guidance, John and Andy revisit Peake's visionary work for the first time in decades and are surprised and delighted by what they discover. Also in this episode, Andy marks the belated UK publication of Maud Martha, the sole novel by poet Gwendolyn Brooks (Faber); while John enjoys Geoff Dyer's new book about tennis and much more, The Last Days of Roger Federer: And Other Endings (Canongate). Timings: (may differ due to variable advert length) 07:52 - Maud Martha by Gwendolyn Brooks. 13:51 - The Last Days of Roger Federer: And Other Endings by Geoff Dyer. 18:03 - Gormenghast by Mervyn Peake * To purchase any of the books mentioned in this episode please visit our bookshop at uk.bookshop.org/shop/backlisted where all profits help to sustain this podcast and UK independent bookshops. * For information about everything mentioned in this episode visit www.backlisted.fm *If you'd like to support the show, listen without adverts, receive the show early and with extra bonus fortnightly episodes, become a Patreon at www.patreon.com/backlisted
Tessa Hadley (Free Love, Late in the Day) joins us for a discussion of The Death of the Heart (1938), the sixth novel by Anglo-Irish novelist Elizabeth Bowen; as you'll hear, Tessa has been reading and rereading Bowen's work since she discovered it in her local library when she was 12 years old. We go deep into the glorious idiosyncrasies (and idiosyncratic glories) of Bowen's style and consider why her reputation has waxed and waned in the years since her death in 1973. Also in this episode, John celebrates his recent trip to New Orleans with a reading of Nine Lives (Random House US), Dan Baum's book about the city; and Andy navigates his way round Géricault's painting The Wreck of the Medusa using Tom de Freston's new book Wreck (Granta) as his compass. Timings: (may differ due to variable advert length) 07:20 - Wreck by Tom de Freston. 14:40 - Nine Lives by Dan Baum. 21:36 - The Death of the Heart by Elizabeth Bowen * To purchase any of the books mentioned in this episode please visit our bookshop at uk.bookshop.org/shop/backlisted where all profits help to sustain this podcast and UK independent bookshops. * For information about everything mentioned in this episode visit www.backlisted.fm *If you'd like to support the show, listen without adverts, receive the show early and with extra bonus fortnightly episodes, become a Patreon at www.patreon.com/backlisted
De Profundis by Oscar Wilde

De Profundis by Oscar Wilde

2022-05-0901:25:501

Our guest is Stephen Fry, writer, actor and polymath, who last week joined John and Andy in person to discuss Oscar Wilde's De Profundis, the essay addressed to Lord Alfred Douglas 'from the depths' of Wilde's incarceration in Reading Gaol in 1897. It has been described by Colm Tóibín as 'one of the greatest love letters ever written'; it is also Wilde's most powerful testament of the sacred duty of the artist as he conceived it. We discuss the work's convoluted publication history, Wilde's posthumous reputation and his ongoing relevance in the 21st century. In addition, Andy has been reading Hayley Campbell's fascinating All the Living and the Dead (Raven Books), which he describes as "a work of true rigour mortis"; while John digs enthusiastically into Villager (Unbound), the new novel from writer and former Backlisted guest Tom Cox. Timings: (may differ due to variable advert length) 14:25 - All the Living and the Dead by Hayley Campbell. 21:09 - Villager by Tom Cox. 25:51 - De Profundis by Oscar Wilde * To purchase any of the books mentioned in this episode please visit our bookshop at uk.bookshop.org/shop/backlisted where all profits help to sustain this podcast and UK independent bookshops. * For information about everything mentioned in this episode visit www.backlisted.fm *If you'd like to support the show, listen without adverts, receive the show early and with extra bonus fortnightly episodes, become a Patreon at www.patreon.com/backlisted
Publisher Marigold Atkey and journalist Emily Rhodes join us for a discussion of Lessico famigliare, Natalia Ginzburg's novelistic memoir or autobiographical novel, first published in Italy in 1963 and most recently translated by Jenny McPhee as Family Lexicon (Daunt/NYRB). Ginzburg had a long and distinguished career in Italian literature, theatre and politics. This episode explores her fascinating life and asks why her work is finding new readers and admirers in the 21st century, amongst them Rachel Cusk and Sally Rooney. Also in this episode John enjoys How To Gut a Fish (Bloomsbury), a debut collection of short stories by Shelia Armstrong; while Andy reflects on Vashti Bunyan's pilgrimage to the Outer Hebrides, as recounted in Wayward (White Rabbit), her memoir of the 1960s and beyond. Timings: (may differ due to variable advert length) 12:57 - Wayward by Vashti Bunyan. 21:24 - How To Gut A Fish by Shelia Armstrong. 27:17 - Family Lexicon by Natalia Ginzburg * To purchase any of the books mentioned in this episode please visit our bookshop at uk.bookshop.org/shop/backlisted where all profits help to sustain this podcast and UK independent bookshops. * For information about everything mentioned in this episode visit www.backlisted.fm *If you'd like to support the show, listen without adverts, receive the show early and with extra bonus fortnightly episodes, become a Patreon at www.patreon.com/backlisted
Our guests are both new to Backlisted: the legendary publisher, editor, writer Margaret Busby and the award-winning poet, Raymond Antrobus. They join us to discuss the work of the Caribbean writer, Andrew Salkey, in particular his 1960 Hampstead ‘bedsit novel’, Escape to An Autumn Pavement, and his epic poem Jamaica, which explores the historical foundations of Jamaican society and was first published in 1973 by the pioneering press, Bogle L’Ouverture. As you will discover, Salkey was a consummate live performer - as are both our guests – and the episode make a strong case for his work to be revisited. It also features Andy enjoying the graphic novel and memoir, All the Sad Songs by Summer Pierre, while John is blown away by Aftermath, Preti Taneja’s brave and uncompromising account of recovering from a public tragedy. Timings: (may differ due to variable advert length) 09:44 - All The Sad Songs by Summer Pierre. 15:36 - Aftermath by Preti Taneja. 22:16 - Escape to An Autumn Pavement & Jamaica by Andrew Salkey * To purchase any of the books mentioned in this episode please visit our bookshop at uk.bookshop.org/shop/backlisted where all profits help to sustain this podcast and UK independent bookshops. * For information about everything mentioned in this episode visit www.backlisted.fm *If you'd like to support the show, listen without adverts, receive the show early and with extra bonus fortnightly episodes, become a Patreon at www.patreon.com/backlisted
Our guests are both Backlisted old hands: Professor Sarah Churchwell, Professor in American Literature and Chair of Public Understanding of the Humanities at the School of Advanced Study, University of London and Sam Leith, literary editor of the Spectator. We are discussing the 1966 postmodern novel The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon, by some way his shortest book, but no less complex and intriguing for its relative brevity. Sound the muted post horn! Also in this episode, Andy extols the subtle virtues of former guest Susie Boyt’s novel, Loved and Missed while John discovers the Ukrainian-American poet Ilya Kaminsky’s dramatic sequence, Deaf Republic, which tells the stories of a fictional town falling under foreign occupation. Timings: (may differ due to variable advert length) 07:38 - Loved and Missed by Susie Boyt. 14:43 - Deaf Republic by Ilya Kaminsky. 22:16 - The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon * To purchase any of the books mentioned in this episode please visit our bookshop at uk.bookshop.org/shop/backlisted where all profits help to sustain this podcast and UK independent bookshops. * For information about everything mentioned in this episode visit www.backlisted.fm *If you'd like to support the show, listen without adverts, receive the show early and with extra bonus fortnightly episodes, become a Patreon at www.patreon.com/backlisted
Comments (4)

Tim Gardner

Holy crap, this is bad. The Podcasters and the guests are priests in The Church of Millenial Wokeness. I just wanted to learn about a sci-fi classic I'd never heard of before. Instead I was subjected to 20 minutes of prostheltizing sermons on the end of the world due to climate change [the Jehovah Witnesses would be proud] and the need to accept the tenets of transgenderism [as confusing as the trinity doctrine in Christianity]. No different than churches making homeless people listen to a sermon before eating. *Undubscribed

Oct 12th
Reply

Anna Cade

Love love love this podcast I wish you guys had taught me literature at school and beyond. I can’t believe your breadth of knowledge and the incredible amount that you manage to read. And Olga Tokarczuk Ksiegi Jakubowe! I have her enormous tome (in Polish) waiting on my shelf… may take me a decade to get around to it so thank you for digging it out.

Jan 20th
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Isobel Holland

what a superb podcast - the best kind of Bookgroup.

Oct 16th
Reply

Jenny Rafferty

having read Beloved for the first time a month ago, and loving it so much and knowing I'll read it again and again, I was excited to listen to this episode. and I loved your discussions! I think this is my favourite blacklisted yet.

May 30th
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