239 episodes

The world's great authors discuss their best-known novel.

World Book Club BBC World Service

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.4 • 120 Ratings

The world's great authors discuss their best-known novel.

    Yaa Gyasi

    Yaa Gyasi

    In this year-long celebration of The Exuberance of Youth, World Book Club revisits the multi-prize-winning debut novel Homegoing by the acclaimed Ghanaian author Yaa Gyasi.

    The story of two half-sisters, separated by forces beyond their control: one sold into slavery, the other married to a white slave-trader, Homegoing traces the generations of family who follow, as their destinies lead them through two continents and three hundred years of history. A novel of remarkable sweep and power, with each character’s life indelibly drawn, Homegoing reveals the devastating legacy of slavery and the resilience of the human spirit.

    (Picture: Yaa Gyasi. Photo credit: Peter Hurley/Vilcek Foundation.)

    • 49 min
    Mohsin Hamid: Exit West

    Mohsin Hamid: Exit West

    In the season celebrating The Exuberance of Youth, World Book Club talks to Pakistani writer Mohsin Hamid about his compelling novel, Exit West.

    Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize Exit West features Nadia and Saeed, two ordinary young people, attempting to fall in love in a world turned upside down. Civil war is driving them from their homeland and they join the great outpouring of people fleeing a collapsing city, hoping against hope, to find their place in the world. Then something extraordinary happens: doors start appearing, all over the world. They lead to other cities, other countries, other lives. But once you leave there’s no coming back. Readers from around the world put their questions to Mohsin Hamid about this dazzling book.

    (Picture: Mohsin Hamid. Photo credit: Jillian Edelstein.)

    • 49 min
    World Book Cafe: Brooklyn

    World Book Cafe: Brooklyn

    World Book Café, the programme where writers reveal the secrets of their home cities, goes to Brooklyn.

    In a lively and engaging conversation from the heart of the neighbourhood, Asian American authors will share insights into their creative lives, the obstacles they face and the joy they find in words and writing.

    Presenter Michelle Fleury will be joined on stage by Brooklyn-based writers Elaine Hsieh Chou, Crystal Hana Kim, Matthew Ortile, Pitchaya Sudbanthad and Jen Lue.

    • 49 min
    Jennifer Egan: A Visit from the Goon Squad

    Jennifer Egan: A Visit from the Goon Squad

    Jennifer Egan answers audience questions about her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel A Visit from the Goon Squad. It is a dazzling, exciting book, which plays with form and storytelling traditions. Goon Squad is made up of connected short stories circling around musician and record executive Bennie Salazar, and Sasha, the passionate, troubled young woman he employs. It explores their pasts and catapults them into the future using a rich variety of voices and narrative styles. This special edition of World Book Club, presented by Katherine Lanpher, was recorded at Brooklyn Central Library.

    (Photo: Jennifer Egan. Credit: Pieter M. Van Hattem)

    • 49 min
    Bryan Washington: Memorial

    Bryan Washington: Memorial

    This month, in the next in our season celebrating The Exuberance of Youth, Harriett Gilbert and readers around the world talk to award-winning American writer Bryan Washington about his moving novel Memorial.

    Benson, a Black day-care teacher and Mike, a Japanese-American chef, live together in Houston, but are beginning to wonder why they're a couple. When Mike flies off to visit his seriously ill, estranged father in Osaka just as his acerbic Japanese mother arrives for a visit, Benson is stuck looking after his boyfriend’s mother, in a very unconventional domestic set-up. As both men cope with their difficult circumstances they undergo life-changing transformations, learning more about love, anger, and grief than they had bargained for along the way.

    Poignant and profound, Memorial is about family in all its strange forms, becoming who you're supposed to be, and the outer limits of love.

    (Picture: Bryan Washington. Photo credit: Louis Do.)

    • 49 min
    NoViolet Bulawayo: We Need New Names

    NoViolet Bulawayo: We Need New Names

    In the latest in World Book Club's season celebrating The Exuberance of Youth, Harriett Gilbert talks to Zimbabwean writer NoViolet Bulawayo about her extraordinary novel, We Need New Names.

    A remarkable literary debut shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize We Need New Names is the unflinching, compelling story of a young girl's journey out of Zimbabwe and into America. A coming-of-age story, we follow a young girl named Darling, first as a 10-year-old in Zimbabwe with her friends, navigating a vibrant world of colour, political chaos and ultimately lethal danger. Later as a teenager emigrating to the Midwest United States, she hopes to find a better future living with her Aunt Fostalina in Michigan, only to discover that her options as a young immigrant are perilously few.

    (Picture: NoViolet Bulawayo. Photo credit: Nye Lyn Tho.)

    • 49 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
120 Ratings

120 Ratings

-dtf- ,

Pretty good

I listened to the podcast with Carlos Ruiz and the guy who wrote Cloud Atlas. Interesting and thoughtful if you know the books or authors, and even if you don't - I hadn't heard of cloud Atlas but was a good listen anyway. Only downside is the mandatory audience questions. All the questions are similar and rather dull.

JMaryM ,

Excellent interview with Kate Atkinson

I really enjoyed the interview with Kate Atkinson. I will be seeking out her books to add to my reading list.

PurpleDNA ,

Love it!

My favourite podcast. It's expanded my reading material into multiple genres with the interesting author interviews & insightful questions asked by other readers.

Top Podcasts In Society & Culture

Mamamia Podcasts
ABC Radio
Shameless Media
Wondery
Mamamia Podcasts
Brittany Hockley and Laura Byrne

You Might Also Like

BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4
Penguin Books UK
London Review Bookshop
BBC Radio 3
Unbound

More by BBC

BBC Radio 4
BBC World Service
BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4
BBC World Service