300 episodes

This podcast features Open Book and A Good Read. Open Book talks to authors about their work. In A Good Read Harriett Gilbert discusses favourite books.

Books and Authors BBC

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.5 • 23 Ratings

This podcast features Open Book and A Good Read. Open Book talks to authors about their work. In A Good Read Harriett Gilbert discusses favourite books.

    Hollie NcNish, Modern American Short Stories, Twins

    Hollie NcNish, Modern American Short Stories, Twins

    Hollie NcNish, Modern American Short Stories, Twins

    • 27 min
    Jhumpa Lahiri

    Jhumpa Lahiri

    Elizabeth Day talks to the writer Jhumpa Lahiri, whose latest novel, Whereabouts, was originally written in Italian, a language she learned in her 40s.
    Whereabouts tells the story of an unnamed middle-aged woman who meanders through a Northern Italian city, sharing her observations on everything from having a manicure to walking a friend’s dog. Lahiri builds up a mosaic of such moments, interspersing them with deeper glimpses into the woman’s relationship with her parents and the sudden death of her father when she was 15. Jhumpa Lahiri has long been interested in themes of dislocation and belonging, the daughter of Bengali immigrants who moved to New York, her first book, The Interpreter of Maladies, was a short story collection which won a Pulitzer Prize.

    The programme also explores the life and writing of the English mid century writer Barbara Pym. Best known for her novels, Excellent Women, Jane and Prudence, and A Glass of Blessings, Pym created sharp observational comedies in which little happens, but a great deal is conveyed. Paula Byrne has written an illuminating new biography, The Adventures of Miss Pym, and talks to Elizabeth about the connections between her tumultuous life and her writing, and they are joined by the writer and lifelong Pym fan, Philip Hensher.

    • 27 min
    Jon McGregor; Chester Himes; Editors Tip

    Jon McGregor; Chester Himes; Editors Tip

    Johny Pitts talks to Jon McGregor about his latest novel Lean Fall Stand, inspired by a trip to Antarctica. Opening with sparse, barely describable landscape in the midst of a storm, it follows Robert "Doc" Wright's recovery in the aftermath and sensitively examines heroism, modern masculinity and the failure of words.

    Chester Himes is an often overlooked favour of his Black American contemporaries Ralph Ellison, Richard Wright and James Baldwin, despite also attempting to carve out a literary career in Paris. With his better-known Harlem detective series being reissued, his biographer Lawrence P. Jackson and crime writer Dreda Say Mitchell discuss his prescient legacy.

    And looking ahead to next month, Francesca Main of Phoenix Books chooses a multi-generational story of love, family and Indian history as her Editor's Tip.


    BOOK LIST:
    Lean Fall Stand by Jon McGregor
    A Rage in Harlem by Chester Himes
    Cotton Comes to Harlem by Chester Himes
    Lonely Crusade by Chester Himes
    Cast the First Stone by Chester Himes
    If He Hollers Let Him Go by Chester Himes
    Chester B Himes: A Biography by Lawrence P Jackson
    Shelter by Lawrence P Jackson
    China Room by Sunjeev Sahota

    • 27 min
    Chris Power; Online Dating in Fiction; Postcard from Delhi

    Chris Power; Online Dating in Fiction; Postcard from Delhi

    Elizabeth Day talks to Chris Power, writer of the short story collection Mothers, about his debut novel A Lonely Man. Robert Prowe is a struggling writer living in Berlin with his wife and two young daughters. One night he meets Patrick, a stranger with a story to tell, who is a ghostwriter for a Russian oligarch who is now being followed. Robert finds himself seduced by Patrick's dramatic story, wondering if it might provide the inspiration he needs for his own novel, and becomes caught up in a paranoid world of threats that may or, may not, be real.

    Swipe Right is Radio 4's series of short stories written by young writers under 30; Caleb Nelson, Bryan Washington, Naoise Dolan, Rebecca Watson, and Beth O'Leary. The series explores relationships and sex in the modern world, characters searching for love in a myriad of ways. Novelists Beth O'Leary, Flatshare, The Switch, and Okechukwu Nzelu, The Private Joys of Nnenna Maloney, share their thoughts of the joys and challenges of writing love stories in an online world.

    And Trisha Sakhlecha whose novel Can You See Me Now is a pacey, psychological thriller exploring female friendship against a backdrop of Indian politics, sends a literary postcard from Delhi.

    Book List

    A Lonely Man by Chris Power
    The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary
    The Switch by Beth O’Leary
    The Road Trip by Beth O’Leary
    The Private Joys of Nnenna Maloney by Okechukwu Nzelu
    The Fourth Hand by John Irving
    Less by Andrew Sean Greer
    The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
    Can you see me now by Trisha Sackhlecha
    We That Are Young by Preti Taneja
    Society by Mahesh Rao
    The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
    Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara

    • 27 min
    Spring Special: Bookshops Reopen, Naomi Ishiguro, Clearing out books

    Spring Special: Bookshops Reopen, Naomi Ishiguro, Clearing out books

    Johny Pitts visits his local bookshop, Review in Peckham, as it prepares to reopen and talks to manager Ben Pope about missing bookseller recommendations

    Naomi Ishiguro discusses her debut novel Common Ground, about a friendship across a cultural divide and the importance of open space for everyone.

    And we reflect on making room in our homes for Spring. Do books count as clutter? Eleanor Ray and Jess Kidd, two authors who have written about hoarding, discuss.

    • 27 min
    A Good Read: Bryony Gordon & Hollie McNish

    A Good Read: Bryony Gordon & Hollie McNish

    Chess, drugs and dentistry- the two writers chat to Harriett about their favourite books

    • 28 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
23 Ratings

23 Ratings

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