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Culture / Podcast

Meet the Writers

Want to know more about the authors behind your favourite books? Tune in to discover the methods of – and inspiration behind – some of the world’s most exciting writers. Every Saturday, Georgina Godwin hosts an in-depth discussion with the person behind the prose.

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Agnes Poirier:

Agnes Poirier is a journalist, author and political commentator. Georgina Godwin speaks to her about her latest book, ‘Notre-Dame: The Soul of France’, which explores the magnificent history and uncertain future of one of the world’s most iconic buildings. Containing personal accounts of the day when it went up in flames, and the cultural war over its future, it explains why Notre-Dame is so important to the nation – and the world.

Latest episodes

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14 Oct 2021
23 min

Monocle Reads: Russell Jones: 

Russell Jones is a sensory consultant who is fascinated by how our senses change how we feel, think and act every day. He speaks to Georgina Godwin about his new book ‘The Power of your Senses’, which details his “sensory prescriptions” for everything from waking up to going to bed – and everything that happens in between.

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30610 Oct 2021
30 min

Agnes Poirier: 

Agnes Poirier is a journalist, author and political commentator. Georgina Godwin speaks to her about her latest book, ‘Notre-Dame: The Soul of France’, which explores the magnificent history and uncertain future of one of the world’s most iconic buildings. Containing personal accounts of the day when it went up in flames, and the cultural war over its future, it explains why Notre-Dame is so important to the nation – and the world.

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7 Oct 2021
21 min

Monocle Reads: the Cheltenham Festival team: 

On ‘Monocle Reads’ this week Georgina Godwin visits the team behind the Cheltenham Festival, including head of programming Nicola Tuxworth, for an insight into the process behind the world's oldest literature festival. This year’s theme is “Read the World” and the Festival runs from 8 until 17 October.

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3053 Oct 2021
30 min

Annie Macmanus : 

Annie Macmanus is a household name, though not necessarily as a writer. As Annie Mac, she has had a long and incredibly successful career as a DJ and broadcaster, having hosted programmes for 17 years on BBC Radio 1 until this summer. Georgina Godwin speaks to her about her debut novel ‘Mother Mother’, which this year became a ‘Sunday Times’ bestseller.

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30 Sep 2021
24 min

Monocle Reads: Martin Bailey: 

Martin Bailey co-curated Tate Britain’s 2019 exhibition ‘Van Gogh and Britain’. He is the author of several books on the artist and writes the weekly newsletter ‘Adventures with Van Gogh’ for ‘The Art Newspaper’. Bailey tells Georgina Godwin about his latest book, ‘Van Gogh’s Finale: Auvers & the Artist’s Rise to Fame’, a comprehensive analysis of the artist’s suicide and what followed.

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30426 Sep 2021
30 min

Robert McCrum: 

Acclaimed writer, journalist and broadcaster Robert McCrum has had a distinguished career, including stints as editor in chief of Faber & Faber and literary editor of ‘The Observer’. Throughout, William Shakespeare has served as a guide and comfort, not least after McCrum suffered a stroke and rediscovered his sense of the world through the bard’s words. He speaks to Georgina Godwin about his new book ‘Shakespearean: On Life and Language in Times of Disruption’.

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23 Sep 2021
24 min

Monocle Reads: Deborah Feldman: 

Georgina Godwin speaks to German-American writer Deborah Feldman. Born into a strict Hasidic community in New York, Feldman longed for more and in 2012 she released her autobiography ‘Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots’. The best-selling story of how she left to find freedom and independence has inspired the hit Netflix drama ‘Unorthodox’.

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30319 Sep 2021
30 min

Sebastian Faulks: 

Sebastian Faulks has been an indomitable force of the British literary scene since his first novel was published in 1984. His 1993 novel ‘Birdsong’ sold more than 2 million copies in the UK and regularly features as one of the nation’s favourite books. He speaks to Georgina Godwin about his new novel ‘Snow Country’, the second in a loose trilogy set in Austria, which explores consciousness and the human psyche.

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16 Sep 2021
24 min

Monocle Reads: Tom Chivers : 

Tom Chivers is a poet and publisher who has long been fascinated by London, the city he grew up in and continues to call home. His fascination is not with the landmarks and monuments that are easy to spot but with what lies underneath the city: the hidden and submerged past that is buried below its streets. He speaks to Georgina Godwin about his new book ‘London Clay’. Combining history, geology and memoir, it takes us on eight fascinating journeys in the depths of the city.

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30212 Sep 2021
30 min

Will Storr: 

Georgina Godwin talks to Will Storr. His critically acclaimed books are about everything from ghosts to selfies, but at the heart of his work is a desire to look deep into the human experience and explore just why we think or behave the way we do. His new book ‘The Status Game’ argues that competition for status underpins all human activity.

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9 Sep 2021
14 min

Monocle Reads: Susanna Clarke : 

The Women’s Prize for Fiction is one of the greatest annual, international celebrations of female creativity. It is now in its 26th year and it honours outstanding, ambitious, original fiction written in English by women from anywhere in the world. The 2021 award was won by Susanna Clarke for her novel ‘Piranesi’. Georgina Godwin went along to the party to celebrate her success.

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3015 Sep 2021
30 min

Christopher Clarey: 

Writing for ‘The New York Times’, Christopher Clarey has captured the drama of sport for more than 25 years. He speaks to Georgina Godwin about his new book ‘The Master’, which tells the story of the greatest player in men’s tennis, Roger Federer.

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2 Sep 2021
26 min

Anuradha Roy and Christopher MacLehose: 

Georgina Godwin meets publisher Christopher MacLehose and acclaimed Indian author Anuradha Roy. MacLehose, a leader in translated literature in the UK, is reported to have brought works into English from 34 languages. He recently launched Mountain Leopard Press, which focuses on translation as well as contemporary literature. One of its lead titles is ‘The Earthspinner’, the fifth novel by Anuradha Roy.

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30029 Aug 2021
30 min

Phil Manzanera: 

This edition of ‘Meet The Writers’ takes a slightly different direction as Georgina Godwin speaks to Phil Manzanera. He is a writer – but one who uses notes and staves rather than words. Manzanera shot to fame in the 1970s as lead guitarist with seminal band Roxy Music and is also a record producer, who has worked with some of the most celebrated musicians in the world.

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26 Aug 2021
23 min

John Wiseman: 

Georgina Godwin speaks to academic John Wiseman about his new book ‘Hope and Courage in the Climate Crisis: Wisdom and Action in the Long Emergency’, which draws on science, philosophy, indigenous cultures, spiritual traditions and more to inspire action as we face ecological calamity.

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