179 episodes

Damian Barr's Literary Salon tempts the world's best writers to read exclusively from their latest greatest works and share their own personal stories. Star guests include: Jojo Moyes, John Waters, Yaa Gyasi, Mary Beard, Diana Athill and Louis de Bernières - all in front of a live audience at leading glamorous locations world-wide. Our London home is the Savoy. Suave Salonnière Damian Barr is your host.





Produced by Megan Bay Dorman and Russell Finch.

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

    • Books
    • 3.9 • 14 Ratings

Damian Barr's Literary Salon tempts the world's best writers to read exclusively from their latest greatest works and share their own personal stories. Star guests include: Jojo Moyes, John Waters, Yaa Gyasi, Mary Beard, Diana Athill and Louis de Bernières - all in front of a live audience at leading glamorous locations world-wide. Our London home is the Savoy. Suave Salonnière Damian Barr is your host.





Produced by Megan Bay Dorman and Russell Finch.

    Salon News - so much better than the real news.... April 2021

    Salon News - so much better than the real news.... April 2021

    Welcome to the latest instalment of Salon News! Listen in for all the goss on mystery filming Damian's doing, our new Reading Agency partnership, proof that books make you a better person, and our upcoming Salons - the next few months are promising to be glorious!
    We start with an incredibly exciting FREE Salon on Thursday 22nd April (8pm UK time), with the iconic architect and designer David Rockwell - the designer of the Oscars, the Hairspray set, numerous theatres, and so much more. Join us live on our YouTube channel for an evening of stories and drama. MORE INFO HERE
    Then we kick off our new strand of Salons in which some of our favourite people will be guest Salon hosts! On 14th May Paris Lees will be interviewed by Alexandra Heminsley, and on 3rd June Kate Mosse will be interviewed by Sam Baker. Damian will of course still be there to mingle in the online chat with you all, and we can't wait! MORE INFO HERE
    Plus get tantalising clues about Damian's mystery filming and hear what else we're up to, involving the Reading Agency, World Book Night (free books anyone?!), bibliotherapy, and tentative first steps back into bookshops.
    Salon News - so much better than the real news.


    Podcast produced and edited by Megan Bay Dorman
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    • 12 min
    SALON EXCLUSIVE: Lucy Holland reads from 'Sistersong'

    SALON EXCLUSIVE: Lucy Holland reads from 'Sistersong'

    We're delighted to share an exclusive extract with you from this immersive, sweeping debut! In Lucy Holland’s Sistersong we travel back to 6th century Britain to a kingdom besieged by Saxons and their Christian god. Three sisters are all that stands between the old ways and a world on the precipice of change. Riva, Keyne and Sinne become entangled in a web of treachery and heartbreak, and must fight to forge their own paths while rediscovering the power that lies in the land and within themselves.
    “This takes ancient British myth and gives it a wonderfully fresh twist. The book combines timely themes around our lost connection with nature, the fluidity of identity and the power of claiming your own story with a haunting atmosphere and a rollicking pace. Lucy Holland is a brilliantly assured storyteller.” Molly Flatt
    Sistersong is published by Macmillan and available now in all good bookshops. As always we recommend you buy from your local indie, but if you’re unable to then grabbing a copy from our online Bookshop is always a great option (with 10% going towards supporting a collective pool if indie bookshops).


    Podcast produced and edited by Megan Bay Dorman
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    • 13 min
    SALON EXCLUSIVE: Craig Taylor reads from 'New Yorkers'

    SALON EXCLUSIVE: Craig Taylor reads from 'New Yorkers'

    For those of you who remember our Shoreditch House days, we launched Craig Taylor’s 'Londoners' there to great acclaim. The Canadian journalist is part of our beloved alumni so while we can’t celebrate his follow-up book 'New Yorkers' in person, we’re thrilled to offer our listeners the next best thing.
    Craig’s new book captures the city’s vibrancy, diversity and resilience no matter what’s thrown at it. The indomitable spirit of its residents in their relentless effort to ‘make it’ shines through. Drawn from millions of words, hundreds of interviews, and six years in the making, this book is a grand portrait of an irrepressible city and a hymn to the vitality of its people.
    New Yorkers is published by John Murray and available now in all good bookshops. If you can’t make it to your independent bookshop then you can shop with us online through Bookshop.org.

    ‘An incredible achievement. Insightful, funny, surprising, profound, moving and honest. This could be the great American novel - and it isn't even a novel.’ Joe Dunthorne, author of Submarine


    Podcast produced and edited by Megan Bay Dorman



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    • 15 min
    SALON EXCLUSIVE: Emma Stonex reads from The Lamplighters

    SALON EXCLUSIVE: Emma Stonex reads from The Lamplighters

    No one really knows what happened that night. The seas were calm, the doors locked from the inside of the lighthouse and all the clocks were stopped. Somehow they vanished without a trace, leaving their widows and the villagers with so many unanswered questions. Over time the simplest explanations gave way to conspiracy theories and ghost stories, and twenty years on a writer has come to speak with the women left behind to know their stories. 
    In a narrative that alternates between the widows and interviews with their menfolk before they disappeared, Emma Stonex’s gripping historical novel is one of the most anticipated books of the year! The Lamplighters is published by Picador and is available now to order from all good bookshops - preferably an indie. Or you’re also welcome to order from our shop here.

    ‘I loved The Lamplighters – lighthouse keepers, ghosts, warring widows. It’s a wonderfully smart and atmospheric story.’ Observer
    ‘A remarkable book, through every page, every character, the writing resonates with the dark, powerful presence of the sea.’ Raynor Winn, author of The Salt Path


    Podcast produced and edited by Megan Bay Dorman


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    • 16 min
    SALON EXCLUSIVE: Ali Benjamin reads from 'The Smash-Up'

    SALON EXCLUSIVE: Ali Benjamin reads from 'The Smash-Up'

    We're delighted to share Ali Benjamin's exclusive reading from The Smash-Up with you! A novel with rather more than a soupçon of satire, this timely book hones in on a snapshot of history to probe the depths of the culture wars in America. Zo is swept up in the politics of the #MeToo movement, the Kavanaugh hearings, and her duties to the feminist activism group she formed: All Them Witches. Ethan finds himself caught between his home life and the battle to get his livewire daughter Alex to sleep.
    But life is about to get a little more complicated when he receives a panicked message containing accusations against his former business partner, Randy. A slew of them. Suddenly on the wrong side of the narrative, Ethan is forced to question everything as the family slowly fractures under the pressure. 
    Published by Riverrun and available now in all good bookshops. We strongly encourage you to buy through your local indie bookshop, but if that’s not possible then you can buy a copy through our shop on Bookshop.org.

    ‘The Smash-Up is an incandescent meteor of a novel, blazing through the preoccupations of our time with wit, originality and compassion. Timely, risky and dazzling.’ Polly Clark, author of Tiger
    ‘A great page-turner, this book could only have been written now. It made me cry, it made me laugh, it made me think. Every woman should read this book. Every woman, every feminist, every activist. And then, together we should all go and Burn It All Down.’ Jane Harris, author of Orange Prize shortlisted The Observations.





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

    • 18 min
    SALON EXCLUSIVE: Lesley Storm reads from 'It's About Time'

    SALON EXCLUSIVE: Lesley Storm reads from 'It's About Time'

    We’re delighted to be featuring Lesley Storm’s beautiful collection of poems - It's About Time: Poems of an Uncertain Woman. At 67-years-old, Lesley has written a meditation on the passing of time, her reflections living as a trans woman and overcoming adversity, and what it means to her to be a woman. Here are love poems, life poems, elegies, aubades, odes, existential solitude poems, prose poems, joyous poems of fleeting human pleasures, poems compassionate, sanguine and witty, poems delicate with vulnerability, urgent poems on survival over time.
    ‘Powerful, moving and accomplished poems that speak to all humanity’. - Jane Goldman, screenwriter
    It’s About Time: Poems of an Uncertain Woman is published by Edinburgh based indie press Leamington Books and is available directly from them here, or in all good bookshops. 


    Podcast produced and edited by Megan Bay Dorman.


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    • 11 min

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5
14 Ratings

14 Ratings

cincysport ,

Just Discovered!!

A wonderful podcast. I hope there will be many more episodes. I loved Amor Towles’s reading of a chapter from A Gentleman in Moscow, one of my favorite books ever.

Fr. Tom in Illinois ,

Brilliant Job, Damian!

Every episode is a winner - and as is noted...don't worry, it's not a book club. This is perhaps one of the most promising things to crop up in the literary world in recent years - right next to digital publishing, e-readers, and sliced whole-grain bread.

Great job!

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