280 episodes

From the freshest debuts to the biggest bestsellers, this is where the world’s best writers read for the first time from their latest greatest books and share their own personal stories. Recent world premieres include ‘Hamnet’, ‘Again, Rachel’ and ‘Shuggie Bain’.
Enjoy our Book of the Week strand (formerly named Salon Exclusives), where each bite-size episode offers an exclusive taster of a new book. Or relax into an in-depth interview with one of your very favourite writers. Warm your heart with Armstead Maupin. Or hang on every word with Yaa Gyasi.
Hosted by writer and broadcaster, Damian Barr, and handpicked Guest Hosts, the Literary Salon live events and recordings celebrate storytelling and invite you to be part of it.

Produced and edited by Megan Bay Dorman. Programmed by Matt Casbourne. 

Damian Barr's Literary Salon Damian Barr's Literary Salon

    • Arts
    • 4.3 • 46 Ratings

From the freshest debuts to the biggest bestsellers, this is where the world’s best writers read for the first time from their latest greatest books and share their own personal stories. Recent world premieres include ‘Hamnet’, ‘Again, Rachel’ and ‘Shuggie Bain’.
Enjoy our Book of the Week strand (formerly named Salon Exclusives), where each bite-size episode offers an exclusive taster of a new book. Or relax into an in-depth interview with one of your very favourite writers. Warm your heart with Armstead Maupin. Or hang on every word with Yaa Gyasi.
Hosted by writer and broadcaster, Damian Barr, and handpicked Guest Hosts, the Literary Salon live events and recordings celebrate storytelling and invite you to be part of it.

Produced and edited by Megan Bay Dorman. Programmed by Matt Casbourne. 

    A special announcement: it's The End...

    A special announcement: it's The End...

    Our dearest podcast listeners - we have a special, important message for you from our founder Damian Barr, as we say a very fond but sad farewell to the Literary Salon...
    Some of you have come along in person or online or listened to our podcast for years. Thank you for being there—readers bring a book to life, and that’s what you’ve done for Salon. It’s been fifteen years since our first night at Shoreditch House and we’ve grown beyond any dream Damian dared have.
    So in this special final episode, Damian shares his decision with you, takes us on a joyful trip down memory lane, and gives you a sneak peek of the next chapter...


    Damian Barr's Literary Salon was founded 15 years ago by award-winning writer, columnist and broadcaster Damian Barr. Find out more about Damian and subscribe to his personal newsletter on his website - www.damianbarr.com.
    Follow Damian on Twitter/X - @Damian_Barr
    Follow Damian on Instagram - @mrdamianbarr

    Podcast produced and edited by presenter/producer Megan Bay Dorman. For any podcast production or presenting enquiries, email Megan on mbaydorman@gmail.com
    Podcast programmed by Sales, Marketing & Publicity Director Matt Casbourne. For any enquiries email Matt on mcasbourne@gmail.com
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 16 min
    BOOK OF THE WEEK: The Orchid Hour by Nancy Bilyeau

    BOOK OF THE WEEK: The Orchid Hour by Nancy Bilyeau

    Before the summer is out we wanted to share a page-turning holiday read on the podcast. The Orchid Hour takes us back to New York City, 1923, when Zia De Luca’s life is about to be shattered. She lives with her in-laws in Little Italy and works at the public library, but when an unassuming patron is murdered, the police investigation focuses on Zia...
    After another tragedy strikes even closer to home, she learns the crimes are connected to a new speakeasy in Greenwich Village. When the police investigation stalls, Zia decides to find her own answers. As she’s pulled in deeper and deeper, will Zia be able to bring the killers to justice before they learn her secret?
    This is a great book for anyone who enjoyed Broadway Butterfly by Sara Divello and Last Call at the Nightingale by Katharine Schellman.
    The Orchid Hour by Nancy Bilyeau is published by Lume, an imprint of Joffe Books, and available now. If you enjoy the work we do and would like to support the Literary Salon podcast, you can get a copy (at a discounted price!) from our shop on Bookshop.org.


    Podcast produced and edited by Megan Bay Dorman. W: www.meganbaydorman.com E: mbaydorman@gmail.com Insta: @meganbaydorman
    Programmed by Matt Casbourne. Insta: @indiepublishermatt
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 15 min
    BOOK OF THE WEEK: At the Edge of the Woods by Kathryn Bromwich

    BOOK OF THE WEEK: At the Edge of the Woods by Kathryn Bromwich

    Our Book of the Week is a spellbinding debut novel by writer and commissioning editor on The Observer newspaper, Kathryn Bromwich. In At the Edge of the Woods, Laura lives alone in a cabin deep in the Italian Alps. When she isn’t translating documents, she spends her days climbing the mountains exploring the woods. But while she reconnects with nature, Laura is hiding from the violence of her past. The village where she purchases supplies grows wary of the woman in the cabin and of her increasingly odd behaviour...
    With a deft hand and slow-burn tension, At the Edge of the Woods is a captivating novel for anyone who enjoyed Unsettled Ground by Claire Fuller or Strega by Johanne Lykke Holm.
    ‘An exceptional debut; uncanny, unsettling, original and subtle.’ - Robert Macfarlane
    At the Edge of the Woods by Kathryn Bromwich is published by independent press Two Dollar Radio and available now. We recommend buying a copy from your local indie bookshop or you can visit our shop on Bookshop.org.


    Podcast produced and edited by Megan Bay Dorman. W: www.meganbaydorman.com E: mbaydorman@gmail.com Insta: @meganbaydorman
    Programmed by Matt Casbourne. Insta: @indiepublishermatt
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 14 min
    BOOK OF THE WEEK: The Funny Thing About Death by Jo Caulfield

    BOOK OF THE WEEK: The Funny Thing About Death by Jo Caulfield

    Our Book of the Week will have you laughing and crying in equal measure! Stand-up comedian Jo Caulfield’s hilarious memoir, The Funny Thing About Death, is about two unconventional girls growing up in the 1970s.
    Six years ago, Jo was about to go on stage when she found out that her big sister Annie had cancer. Not the best way to start a nationwide comedy tour. But the tour turns out to be a welcome distraction for them both. As Jo reports back from various hotels and service stations, they revisit their childhood and adolescence while navigating Annie's illness, learning through trial and error how to behave when someone you love gets sick.
    'It’s a wildly satisfying and moving read... I loved this special book' - Graham Norton
    The Funny Thing About Death by Jo Caulfield is published by Polygon, an imprint of Scottish independent press Birlinn, and available now. You can get yourself a copy while supporting the Literary Salon and UK indie bookshops by buying from our shop on Bookshop.org.
    And if you fancy meeting Jo in St Andrews, pop along to a special event with her at Toppings bookshop on 20th September!

    Podcast produced and edited by Megan Bay Dorman. W: www.meganbaydorman.com E: mbaydorman@gmail.com Insta: @meganbaydorman
    Programmed by Matt Casbourne. Insta: @indiepublishermatt
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 14 min
    BOOK OF THE WEEK: A Country of Eternal Light by Paul Dalgarno

    BOOK OF THE WEEK: A Country of Eternal Light by Paul Dalgarno

    This week we’re joined by Paul Dalgarno reading from his thoughtful, existential novel, A Country of Eternal Light.
    Margaret Bryce has been having a hard time since dying in 2014. In a liminal place, we join Margaret as she revisits her life, from her Aberdeen prefab childhood to the birth of her twin girls, through Thatcher’s Britain, the Piper Alpha oil rig disaster, Australia’s Black Summer bushfires, the death of Princess Diana and the COVID pandemic. But as Margaret struggles to remember her past, there is something she’s also fighting to forget...
    An emotional journey, A Country of Eternal Light by Paul Dalgarno is published by Polygon (an imprint of Birlinn Ltd) and available now. We recommend buying a copy from your local indie bookshop or you can support the Literary Salon's work by visiting our shop on Bookshop.org.



    Podcast produced and edited by Megan Bay Dorman
    Programmed by Matt Casbourne
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 14 min
    BOOK OF THE WEEK: The Stirrings: A Memoir in Northern Time by Catherine Taylor

    BOOK OF THE WEEK: The Stirrings: A Memoir in Northern Time by Catherine Taylor

    In this week's episode, Catherine Taylor reads from her new book The Stirrings: A Memoir in Northern Time, a story about coming of age in the north of England during the 1970s and 80s. Historical events were happening all around her: from the pursuit and capture of the Yorkshire Ripper, to the anti-nuclear protests and Miners’ Strike. But there were also pressing concerns at home, including her parent’s divorce and a debilitating illness that would define her late adolescence...
    We're so excited about this memoir and we hope you enjoy this reading from Catherine!
    Damian will be in-conversation with Catherine this August at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.
    The Stirrings is published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson and available now. If you'd like a copy, you can support the podcast by buying from our shop on Bookshop.org.

    Podcast produced and edited by Megan Bay Dorman
    Programmed by Matt Casbourne
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 12 min

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5
46 Ratings

46 Ratings

Love Jazzer’s Singing ,

Book Club of Dreams

Damian Barr researches his guests really well and is enormously well read, he doesn’t critique the featured books like Radio 4 book shows, he really discusses them in a really free and interesting way. He’s an enthusiast first and for me that makes this podcast really engaging and interesting. When writers have a book out I know they have to do the rounds of promoting but Damian doesn’t let them trot out the same back-of-the-book stuff, he really takes them off the path. This podcast is interesting even if you don’t know who the writers are, it’s a good way to find new books to read.

LizLewis49 ,

Excellent listening

What fantastic authors and conversation! A charming and generous host in Damian and really great guests, this is not your standard interview podcast. An impressive archive too!

Belal Breaga ,

Savoy savourings

Great little number once again by Damian at the Savoy - actually it was wasn’t so little but a grand affair. Readings that lit up the ballroom and stoked up emotions. Hugely impressive, and these older podcasts are pretty much fun too.

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