212 episodes

The literary podcast presented by John Mitchinson and Andy Miller. For show notes visit backlisted.fm and get an extra two shows a month by supporting the pod at patreon.com/backlisted

Backlisted Backlisted

    • Arts
    • 4.7 • 505 Ratings

The literary podcast presented by John Mitchinson and Andy Miller. For show notes visit backlisted.fm and get an extra two shows a month by supporting the pod at patreon.com/backlisted

    A Marsh Island by Sarah Orne Jewett

    A Marsh Island by Sarah Orne Jewett

    For this episode we are joined by the writer, Noreen Masud, author of the acclaimed memoir, A Flat Place (currently shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Non-Fiction). The book she has chosen to discuss is A Marsh Island, a 19th century American novel by Sarah Orne Jowett, who is usually considered one of the foremost proponents of American regionalism – an assumption this episode investigates. The book was first serialised in the Atlantic Monthly magazine in 1885 and published by Houghton Mifflin later that year. The story centres on Dick Dale, a wealthy young urban bohemian artist who finds himself billeted with a traditional farming family in the middle of New England’s Great Salt Marsh. His impact on the small community over the course of a harvest provides what plot there is – but the novel is rich in atmosphere and interior reflection, exploring the complex tensions between rural and urban ways of life in late 19th century East Coast America. It was written at a moment in Jewett’s own life when she had just begun an unconventional relationship with another woman and the episode also explores how that plays out in the subversive presentation of the relationships in the novel.
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    *Tickets are now on sale for our LIVE show in London on Wednesday May 14th where we will be discussing The Good Soldier by Ford Maddox Ford, with guest Alex Michaelides.
    * 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 and join in with the book chat, listen without adverts, receive the show early and get extra bonus fortnightly episodes, become a Patreon at www.patreon.com/backlisted
    *You can sign up to our free monthly newsletter here 
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    • 1 hr 7 min
    The Children of Men by P.D. James

    The Children of Men by P.D. James

    Novelist Andrew Hunter Murray and biographer Laura Thompson join us to discuss The Children of Men (1992), a dystopian thriller by the late P.D. James. The author is probably best remembered as one of Britain's greatest exponents of detective fiction, an heir to the Golden Age of female novelists such as Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh, Dorothy Sayers et al. In The Children of Men, however, James depicts a nightmare near-future in which the world is literally coming to an end. The book became a bestseller; in 2006, it was adapted for the big screen by the Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón. We look at the ways in which James explored issues that seem eerily contemporary: the societal impact of an uncontrolled virus, falling fertility rates, an ageing population, the rise of populism and accompanying exploitation of migrant labour. She also knew how to grip her readers to the very last page. Phyllis Dorothy James, Baroness James of Holland Park, lived a long and remarkable life and it was a pleasure for all of us to revisit her work and biography in this episode. 

    *Tickets are now on sale for our LIVE show in London on Wednesday May 14th where we will be discussing The Good Soldier by Ford Maddox Ford, with guest Alex Michaelides.
    * 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 and join in with the book chat, listen without adverts, receive the show early and get extra bonus fortnightly episodes, become a Patreon at www.patreon.com/backlisted
    *You can sign up to our free monthly newsletter here 
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 1 hr 15 min
    All My Pretty Ones by Anne Sexton

    All My Pretty Ones by Anne Sexton

    Award-winning poet Emily Berry joins us to consider the work and troubled life of Anne Sexton. We focus on her brilliant second collection All My Pretty Ones (1962). Sexton was a trailblazing American poet of the so-called 'confessional' school of the 1960s, one whose writing continues to provoke controversy and debate; her friends and contemporaries included Sylvia Plath and John Berryman. We hear from Sexton herself, in recordings of readings and interviews, and fronting own experimental jazz-rock ensemble, Anne Sexton and Her Kind, and also from her daughter Linda. Please note: Anne Sexton was an unflinching chronicler of her own struggle with mental illness, and this episode contains extensive discussion of suicide and sexual abuse.
    * 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 and join in with the book chat, listen without adverts, receive the show early and with extra bonus fortnightly episodes, become a Patreon at www.patreon.com/backlisted
    *You can sign up to our free monthly newsletter here which has book recommendations from our hosts and guests.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 1 hr 8 min
    Coffee Table Books

    Coffee Table Books

    This fully illustrated, lavishly produced episode of Backlisted represents the last word in coffee table books. Join John, Andy and Nicky as we dip into the origin, design and continuing appeal of specialist hardcover publishing, via some of our favourite cookery books, exhibition catalogues and sumptuous volumes simply too beautiful to leave on the shelf. As you will hear, we loved making this show, which is as deep as it is long. And remember: a coffee table book is for life, not just for Christmas.
     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, join in with the book chat, listen without adverts, receive the show early and get two extra bonus fortnightly episodes, become a Patreon at www.patreon.com/backlisted
    *You can sign up to our free monthly newsletter here 
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 1 hr 4 min
    A Life in Movies by Michael Powell

    A Life in Movies by Michael Powell

    This episode of Backlisted is devoted to A Life in Movies (1986), the first volume of memoirs of the filmmaker Michael Powell who, with his partner Emeric Pressburger, is responsible for some of the finest, most magical and soulful films ever to come out of the UK: The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, Black Narcissus, The Red Shoes, and many more. Joining us for a discussion of Powell's life and work - and his vision of cinema as a space in which all the other arts may find expression - are memoirist and critic James Cook and film writer and academic Melanie Williams. We focus on four productions of the Archers that between them tell the story of Powell and Pressburger's achievement: The Spy in Black, A Matter of Life and Death, "I Know Where I'm Going!" and Gone to Earth. If for some reason you have yet to see these films, or any of Michael Powell's work, set aside some time for your next personal obsession. You'll be glad you did.
    * 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 and join in with the book chat, listen without adverts, receive the show early and with extra bonus fortnightly episodes, become a Patreon at www.patreon.com/backlisted
    *You can sign up to our free monthly newsletter here http://bit.ly/backlistednewsletter
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 1 hr 13 min
    Scouse Mouse by George Melly

    Scouse Mouse by George Melly

    This episode was recorded in the great city of Liverpool and celebrates the life and work of a great Liverpudlian: George Melly, sometime writer, jazz and blues singer, artist, critic, lecturer and aficionado of surrealism. We are joined by two resident experts: the writer Jeff Young and the playwright and screenwriter, Lizzie Nunnery. The book under discussion is Melly’s Scouse Mouse, which is chronologically the first part of Melly’s memoirs. It was first published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson in 1984 and was the third to be released despite covering the first fourteen years of Melly’s life, painting a vivid portrait of growing up in a middle-class Liverpool family, tinged with eccentricity and theatricality, and his painful experiences at boarding school. Subtitled ‘I Never Got Over It’, it was preceded by Rum, Bum & Concertina, an account of his time in the navy, published in 1977, and Owning It, which covers his years as an aspiring musician in the jazz world of the 1950s, first published in 1965. The final volume, Slowing Down was published in 2005, two years before Melly died. 
     
    Scouse Mouse was his Melly’s personal favourite of the four: ‘I don’t know why the events of over sixty years ago should be so much clearer than those of yesterday afternoon, but they are.’ He also adopted that ever-useful motto for the memoirist: ‘Life is lived forwards but understood backwards.’ How much this classic childhood memoir helps us understand the outrageous, complex and multi-faceted life of the grown-up George Melly is just one of the things the panel explore. They also revisit his brilliant book on the pop culture of the1960s, Revolt into Style, a book Andy first discussed back on episode 22 on Randall Jarrell’s The Animal Family.
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    • 1 hr 4 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
505 Ratings

505 Ratings

thisaintit1 ,

perfect

Perfect podcast. No notes.

SRRpod ,

A pure delight

What a joy. These are the conversations I don’t get to have in my day to day life. It’s not often you find another person who’s read Gaudy Night. These conversations have filled a hole for me, made my reading richer, and bring me pure delight.

bechill59 ,

Stone Angel

Absolutely smashing episode. The very book I’ve been searching for.

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