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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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Latest episode

Nujeen Mustafa:

‘The Girl From Aleppo’ is a book about a wheelchair-bound teenager who flees her home in Syria to live in Germany. Born with cerebral palsy, Nujeen Mustafa speaks openly about her experience and says refugees need compassion as much as they need shelter.

Latest episodes

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7620 May 2017
30 min

Nujeen Mustafa: 

‘The Girl From Aleppo’ is a book about a wheelchair-bound teenager who flees her home in Syria to live in Germany. Born with cerebral palsy, Nujeen Mustafa speaks openly about her experience and says refugees need compassion as much as they need shelter.

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7513 May 2017
27 min

Bill Hayes: 

Bill Hayes, the author, photographer and long-term partner of writer and professor of neurology Oliver Sacks, reveals the stories of their lives and talks about his moving new book ‘Insomniac City, New York, Oliver and Me’.

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746 May 2017
28 min

The Legend of Hay: 

One of the most important literary events on the planet celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. Taking place in a tiny town in Wales, Hay Festival is a party of ideas and stories spread over 800 events in 10 days. We meet some of the big names who’ll be appearing, including Peter Florence, Howard Jacobson, Hannah Rothschild, Philippe Sands, Tahmima Anam, Elif Safak, Cressida Cowell and Sarfraz Manzoor.

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7329 Apr 2017
26 min

Rowan Pelling: 

Best known for editing the literary magazine ‘The Erotic Review’, Rowan Pelling discusses her new publication ‘The Amorist’, which invites readers to explore the notion that sexual love is the greatest and most compelling mystery of human existence. This is not cellophane-wrapped top-shelf material – Pelling says that “the erotic is what you do with a feather, pornography involves the whole bird”.

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7222 Apr 2017
30 min

Irvine Welsh: 

Georgina Godwin meets Irvine Welsh, the hugely acclaimed and often controversial author who defined a generation with his debut novel ‘Trainspotting’. In his new book ‘The Blade Artist’, Begbie is back. Find out how this bad boy of Glasgow has reinvented himself – and how the author has too.

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7115 Apr 2017
30 min

Donna Leon: 

Leon is a crime writer and one of Venice’s greatest chroniclers; her fans include Theresa May and Hillary Clinton. She’s written 26 books, been translated into 35 languages – though, crucially, not Italian – and sold millions of copies all over the world.

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708 Apr 2017
26 min

Samantha Shannon : 

Author of ‘The Bone Season’, Samantha Shannon wrote her first book at 15 and signed a six-figure book deal for a seven-book adventure series at just 21. Here she talks about growing up in London, “hanging out in Camden market pretending to be a goth”, the importance of experimentation and the third instalment in her series ‘The Song Rising’.

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691 Apr 2017
28 min

John Boyne: 

Irish novelist John Boyne’s ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’ sold more than nine million copies and changed his life dramatically. He tells Georgina Godwin about his school days – “beatings and abuse were taken for granted” – and his work as a writer. Plus: how his new book ‘The Heart’s Invisible Furies’ examines issues close to his life.

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6825 Mar 2017
30 min

Polish literature at The London Book Fair: 

Born and based in rural Poland, Olga Tokarczuk trained as a psychologist – but after discovering she was more neurotic than her clients she quit to became an author. We visit the London Book Fair to speak to her about her unconventional books – and also meet Andrzej Sapkowski, author of The Witcher series.

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6718 Mar 2017
28 min

The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature : 

It’s the Middle East’s largest celebration of the written and spoken word and brings people of all ages and backgrounds together to promote education and the love of reading and writing. We visit the Dubai festival to hear from crime writer Piyush Jha and editor of India’s ‘Screen’ magazine Priyanka Sinha Jha. We also hear from musicians, poets and some of the voices behind the festival.

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6611 Mar 2017
29 min

Jeffrey Archer : 

This week’s sun-drenched episode comes from the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature in Dubai. Georgina Godwin catches up with Jeffrey Archer, whose books have been published in 97 countries, in more than 37 languages and sold more than 270 million copies worldwide. We also hear from the festival CEO Isobel Abulhoul, who tells us why she started the annual event back in 2009.

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654 Mar 2017
29 min

Catherine Mayer: 

The momentum of the feminist movement has increased in recent years. This year alone an estimated 4.8 million people have protested for gender equality and, in 2015, the UK parliament saw the birth of the Women’s Equality party. Journalist and bestselling author Catherine Mayer is a founding member and her latest book ‘Attack of the Fifty Foot Women’ draws on her experience as ‘Time’ magazine’s editor at large and uses illuminating accounts to outline the process of founding the political party.

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6425 Feb 2017
30 min

Steve Crawshaw: 

On ‘Meet The Writers’ this week Georgina Godwin meets Steve Crawshaw, senior advisor at Amnesty International, to discuss his most recent book ‘Street Spirit: The Power of Protest and Mischief’.

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6318 Feb 2017
24 min

Steven Uhly: 

Born in Germany in the 1950s with Bengali ancestry, Steven Uhly is no stranger to racism. But his Spanish stepfather enriched him with the culture of Spain and life in Köln made him feel as German as the rest of the city’s residents. We ask Uhly what it means to be German and he tells us about his life and writing career and his latest book ‘Kingdom of Twilight’.

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6211 Feb 2017
26 min

Héctor Abad: 

We take you to Hay Festival Cartagena de Indias in Colombia to introduce one of the most talented post-Latin American Boom writers, Héctor Abad. He’s a journalist, a novelist and now he’s written a memoir about his relationship with his father, including his shocking murder by paramilitaries.

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