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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

Charles Cumming:

Georgina Godwin talks to bestselling UK thriller writer Charles Cumming about his book ‘The Man Between’. Cumming has been described as one of the best of the new generation taking over from where John le Carré and Len Deighton left off. He’s won the Crime Writers’ Association Ian Fleming steel dagger award for best thriller and crime book of the year at the Bloody Scotland festival. He was even approached by MI6 to become a spy himself, an experience that inspired his career.

Latest episodes

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18920 Jul 2019
30 min

Charles Cumming: 

Georgina Godwin talks to bestselling UK thriller writer Charles Cumming about his book ‘The Man Between’. Cumming has been described as one of the best of the new generation taking over from where John le Carré and Len Deighton left off. He’s won the Crime Writers’ Association Ian Fleming steel dagger award for best thriller and crime book of the year at the Bloody Scotland festival. He was even approached by MI6 to become a spy himself, an experience that inspired his career.

DownloadPlay
18 Jul 2019
11 min

Monocle Reads: Hannah Critchlow: 

Georgina Godwin sits down with Hannah Critchlow, a UK scientist, writer and broadcaster, and author of ‘The Science of Fate: Why Your Future is More Predictable Than You Think’. The book explores the idea that concepts such as free will and destiny don’t exist. It also explains how anxieties and phobias are hardwired in our brain and can even be passed down through generations.

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18813 Jul 2019
24 min

Sue Nelson and Wally Funk: 

As part of the Mercury 13, Wally Funk was one of the pioneering women of space travel, frequently outperforming male astronaut candidates in tests of endurance. But just one week before the final phase of training, the programme was abruptly cancelled. Politics and prejudice meant that Wally never flew into space. Undeterred, she went on to become an accomplished pilot and the first female aviation-safety inspector in the US. Sue Nelson, an award-winning science journalist and author of ‘Wally Funk’s Race for Space’, discusses a remarkable life and Funk’s ongoing pursuit of space travel.

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11 Jul 2019
9 min

Monocle Reads: ‘Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of Bees’: 

Conservation biologist Thor Hansen’s book ‘Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of Bees’ outlines everything from the insects’ biology to their relationship with flowers, and discusses the threats posed to bees from climate change and pollution.

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1876 Jul 2019
30 min

Dina Nayeri: 

Dina Nayeri fled Iran with her mother and brother at the age of eight. Her family eventually found their way to a rundown hotel in Italy before being granted asylum in the US. She tells us about the migrant experience, how taekwondo changed her life and describes the people she met during the writing of her book, ‘The Ungrateful Refugee’.

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4 Jul 2019
9 min

Monocle Reads: ‘The Clapback’: 

Elijah Lawal discusses his book ‘The Clapback’ with Georgina Godwin. It’s a non-fiction book that arms you with witty responses to harmful racist stereotypes. It examines the evolution of negative stereotypes towards the black community and gives you the tools you need to shut racism down with humour, historical context and detailed research.

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18629 Jun 2019
30 min

Markus Zusak: 

When Zusak’s parents arrived in Sydney they could neither read not write English – yet he has gone on to sell 16 millions copies of ‘The Book Thief’, which has spent more than 500 weeks on the ‘New York Times’ bestseller list and been made into a major film. After a wait of 13 years, his new novel ‘Bridge of Clay’ has finally been published.

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27 Jun 2019
14 min

Monocle Reads: ‘The Wonders: Lifting the Curtain on the Freak Show, Circus and Victorian Age’: 

Georgina Godwin meets Dr John Woolf, a historian and researcher who talks about his book ‘The Wonders: Lifting the Curtain on the Freak Show, Circus and Victorian Age’. Revealing the dark truth behind the hit film ‘The Greatest Showman’, this is a radical new history of the Victorian era. Woolf delves into the birth of showbusiness and the little-known fact that Queen Victoria was a huge ‘freak fancier’.

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18522 Jun 2019
30 min

Deborah Moggach: 

Novelist and screenwriter Deboragh Moggach, author of books including ‘Tulip Fever’ and ‘These Foolish Things’ – which was made into the film ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ – has adapted many of her novels into television dramas and been nominated for a Bafta for her script of ‘Pride and Prejudice’. She tells Georgina Godwin about Hollywood, writing and how her mother went to prison for attempted murder.

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20 Jun 2019
9 min

Monocle Reads: Dr James D Boys on the legacy of Bill and Hillary Clinton: 

Dr James D Boys is an expert on the political history of the US, its current politics, US ‘grand strategy’ and the country’s presidency – with a particular focus on Bill Clinton’s administration. Boys is the author of three books to date: ‘Clinton’s Grand Strategy: US Foreign Policy in a Post-Cold War World’, ‘Hillary Rising’ and ‘Clinton’s War on Terror’. He talks about the Clintons’ legacy – and the lasting impact of Monica Lewinsky.

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18415 Jun 2019
30 min

Armistead Maupin: 

Georgina Godwin talks to one of America’s finest storytellers Armistead Maupin, the man who gave us ‘Tales of the City’. In this interview, first aired after the release of his memoir ‘Logical Family’ and rebroadcast to mark the Netflix screening of ‘Tales of the City’, we examine books that paint a portrait of an era that forever changed the way we live, with words that gave hope to many who feared they would never find their logical family.

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13 Jun 2019
10 min

Monocle Reads: ‘The AI Does Not Hate You’: 

Science journalist Tom Chivers talks to Georgina Godwin about the risks of AI, where it might lead us and his first book, The AI Does Not Hate You: Superintelligence, Rationality and the Race to Save the World.

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1838 Jun 2019
30 min

Remembering the late Judith Kerr: 

On 22 May beloved author Judith Kerr died at the age of 95. She captured the hearts of countless children with books including ‘The Tiger Who Came to Tea’ and her series of books featuring Mog the cat. Born in 1923, Kerr escaped Nazi Germany with her family, who settled in the UK in 1936. As a tribute to this extraordinary woman, listen again to this episode of Meet The Writers in which Georgina Godwin meets Kerr, one of the authors she admires most.

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7 Jun 2019
6 min

Monocle Reads: Jaipur Literature festival at the British Library: 

We speak to Namita Gokhale, founder and director of the annual ZEE Jaipur Literature festival. A taste of the festival will be at the British Library from 14-16 June to celebrate South Asia’s unique literary heritage.

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1821 Jun 2019
30 min

Elif Shafak: 

Georgina Godwin talks to award-winning novelist Elif Shafak, the most widely read female author in Turkey. She’s previously been chosen by Politico as one of 12 people who can make the world better. This far-reaching interview includes discussion about issues of identity, language and her most recent book, 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World.

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