The literary podcast presented by John Mitchinson and Andy Miller. Brought to you by Unbound. Visit www.backlisted.fm
Água Viva by Clarice Lispector
Clarice Lispector's Água Viva is the subject of this episode of Backlisted. Like several of Lispector's remarkable novels, this slim book caused a sensation when first published in her native Brazil in 1973. Exquisitely written and daringly abstract, it stands as one of its author's masterpieces with Near to the Wild Heart (1943), Family Ties(1960), The Passion According to G.H. (1964) and The Hour of the Star (1977). Joining John and Andy to explore this truly iconic author's life and work are writers Wendy Erskine and David Keenan. Also in this episode, John has been reading Peter Blegvad's recent book Imagine, Observe, Remember, "a way to look at different ways of looking and seeing"; Andy, meanwhile, digs Excavate! The Wonderful and Frightening World of The Fall, a new anthology of essays, artwork and ephemera edited by Tessa Norton and Bob Stanley.
The Fish Can Sing by Halldór Laxness
The Fish Can Sing by Halldór Laxness is the subject of this episode. The book was first published in Iceland as Brekkukotsannáll in 1957, two years after Laxness was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. Joining John and Andy to discuss this ideosyncratic, unforgettable novel and the remarkable life of its author - spanning nearly all of the twentieth century - is author, poet and podcaster Derek Owusu. Also in this episode, John delves into Brian Dillon's new book Suppose A Sentence, while Andy reads A Chelsea Concerto, Frances Faviell's memoir of life during the London Blitz.
Daddy's Gone A-Hunting by Penelope Mortimer
Penelope Mortimer's fourth novel Daddy's Gone A-Hunting (1958) is the subject of this episode of Backlisted. Joining John and Andy to discuss Mortimer's fearless and pioneering autobiographical fiction, including this book, Saturday Lunch With The Brownings (1960) and The Pumpkin Eater (1962), plus the latter's subsequent film adaptation, are critic and broadcaster Lucy Scholes and New York Times daily books editor John Williams. Also in this episode John enjoys Brown Baby, the new memoir by Nikesh Shukla; and Andy takes a break with Always A Welcome: The Glove Compartment History Of The Motorway Service Area by David Lawrence.
Miss Pym Disposes by Josephine Tey
Josephine Tey's classic mystery Miss Pym Disposes (1946) is the subject of this special episode of Backlisted, recorded as part of Aberdeen's Granite Noir festival on February 19th 2021. Joining John and Andy to explore the life and career of Josephine Tey AKA Gordon Daviot AKA Elizabeth MacKintosh (her real name) is Val McDermind, bestselling author and Tey's fellow Queen of Crime. Tey was the author of a series of highly successful novels, and film and TV adaptations, including Brat Farrar, The Franchise Affair and The Daughter of Time, yet she remains something of an enigma. As you'll hear, we thoroughly enjoyed immersing ourselves in her work and learning more about her from Val. Please note: this audio version of the podcast is longer and contains more material than the Granite Noir video webcast. If you would like to watch the original, it's currently available via the Granite Noir website or on YouTube at
Job: The Story of a Simple Man by Joseph Roth
Joseph Roth's Job: The Story of a Simple Man (1930) is the subject of this episode of Backlisted. Joining John and Andy to explore this austere and powerful novel, first published in German as Hiob: Roman eines einfachen Mannes, are Keiron Pim, whose much-anticipated biography of Joseph Roth will be published in 2022, and a returning Backlisted guest, bibliomemoirist and playwright Samantha Ellis. Roth was a prolific yet enigmatic writer - his other books include The Radetzky March and The Legend of the Holy Drinker - and this episode takes a long, considered look at his (often chaotic) life and work, and where Job fits into both. Also in this episode, Andy shares a reading by Salena Godden from her acclaimed new novel Mrs Death Misses Death, while John is beguiled by the fragmented visions of Max Porter's The Death of Francis Bacon.
Locklisted: Teenage Books Special
This Locklisted episode is the sequel to our earlier Children's Books Special. It was recorded in August 2020 and was previously available exclusively to supporters of our Patreon at patreon.com/backlisted. This time we cover our teenage years and the tricky transition into ‘adult’ readers. Much of the conversation is dominated by of our re-reading of The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, but you also get John falling for James Joyce at seventeen (via Wilbur Smith), Nicky moving from Puffin Plus to Douglas Coupland, a digression on the horror novels of Stephen King and James Herbert and a haunting reading by Andy from Graham Greene. Backlisted is entirely funded by the contributions of our Patreons - many thanks to them! If you would like to hear all past episodes of Locklisted and support Backlisted in the process, please sign up as a Locklistener or Master Storyteller at patreon.com/backlisted.
Customer ReviewsSee All
This is a great podcast - so many great underrated books are at last celebrated.
Andy and John (and nicky and matt at the start) really do bring a new life to old books. I have listened to every episode and loved every minute. Their enthusiasm about books and knowledge of publishing i great. They’re very funny and i even enjoy the running gags (croydon, master storyteller, anita brookner, musicals, waterstones in the early 90s etc etc). I have found so many great books through them. I love this so much i’m even a patreon. I hope this continues to the same high standard forever.
A superb podcast. Consistently fascinating. Endlessly illuminating. The best literary podcast available.