Episode 133 - Lynn Shepherd: Part 1

28Nov

The latest episode of This Writing Life podcast is particularly special in that it was the first ever recorded. The subject is Lynn Shepherd, a crime writer, critic, journalist, and copy writer who lives and works in Oxford. Her speciality is literary mystery fiction: each of her novels, Murder in Mansfield Park, Tom All-Alone's, A Treacherous and The Pierced Heart insert an ingenious crime into a well-known story or writer's life. Before we talk about re-mixing Austen, Dickens, Shelley and Bram Stoker, we discuss her life, career, day jobs and love of literature. We even intrigue a little, in the style of Jane Austen.

More information can be found at: lynn-shepherd.com

Part two to follow.

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Episode 132 - Neel Mukherjee: Part 3

27Nov

In the final part of This Writing Life podcast's conversation with Neel Mukherjee, we begin with Donald Trump before floating in a liberal bubble towards Neel's decision to stop listening to the news. We talk about the novel might cope with a 24 hour news cycle and Neel's own creative method - taking in his daily grind and his experience of studying creative writing courses.

Neel's excellent new novel A State of Freedom is out now.

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Episode 131 - Neel Mukherjee: Part 2

11Nov

In the second part of Neel Mukherjee's chat with This Writing Life podcast, he talks the influence of ghost stories on his excellent new novel A State of Freedom, about returning to India (as a visitor and writer), about the short story-novel, about surviving the Man Booker Prize shortlist for The Lives of Others, about the international trends of English literature, and finally about researching and writing about Indian bear-dancing.

Part 3 to follow.

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Episode 130 - Neel Mukherjee: Part 1

5Nov

In the opening instalment of This Writing Life podcast's interview with Neel Mukherjee, Man Booker shortlisted author of The Lives of Others, we discuss his excellent new novel A State of Freedom. After admitting a little pre-publication anxiety, Mukherjee moves onto his new book and its various debts to VS Naipaul's In a Free State and Jawaharlal Nehru's 'Tryst with Destiny' speech, not to mention the parallels with recent interlinked narratives by Davids Mitchell and Szalay. Having slalomed around Mukherjee's relationship with Modernism and his portrait of Indian inequality, we end by discussing food and whether A State of Freedom is happy novel.

Part two of three to follow.

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Episode 129 - Meena Kandasamy: Part 4 (Writing Life Revisited)

2Nov

In the final part of This Writing Life podcast's conversation with Meena Kandasamy, she discusses India as a modern superpower, the place of violence in the lives of women, the poor and everyday society, shifts smartly to talk about her first (and possibly only) venture into acting, before turning to the future. We end by wondering whether the appaling events depicted in her debut novel, The Gipsy Goddess, could ever happen again.

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Episode 128 - Meena Kandasamy: Part 3 (Writing Life Revisited)

30Oct

In the third part of This Writing Life podcast's chat with the Indian poet, novelist and activist Meena Kandasamy, we begin with some chatter about the title of her debut novel, The Gipsy Goddess, before exploring her fraught relationship with social media - its pros and cons for political engagement, literary creativity, feminism and all-round mental health.

Part four to follow.

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Episode 127 - Meena Kandasamy: Part 2 (This Writing Life Revisited)

23Oct

In the second part of This Writing Life podcast's interview with Meena Kandasamy, we discuss how fiction mixes with historical truth, women in The Gipsy Goddess, language to shock and illuminate. And more on Nicki Minaj of course.

Part three to follow.

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Episode 126 - Meena Kandasamy reads from The Gipsy Goddess

17Oct

In this new mini-podlet, Meena Kandasamy reads from chapter 4 of her first novel, The Gipsy Goddess. For those of a nervous disposition, the passage does contain a little strong language, and a reference to Nicki Minaj. But surely those are good things?

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Episode 125 - Meena Kandasamy: Part 1 (This Writing Life Revisited)

30Aug

This Writing Life podcast extracts an interview from its vaults. Back when we had the energy to attempt an actual introduction, even when we mispronounce the author's name, we talked to the extraordinary Meena Kandasamy about her extraordinary debut novel, The Gypsy Goddess.

Part 2 to follow.

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Episode 124 - Rick Bass: Part 5 - For a Little While

4Aug

The final part of This Writing Life's conversation with Rick Bass, award winning writer and respected environmental activist, begins where the last podlet ended. 'Obey little, resist much.' From there, we consider time and how art can help breed a sense of empathy. Bass bashes the de-humanising effects of corporate existence, the apathy and 'altered truths' that make up contemporary life. The pod ends with more Trump, some lighter discussion of Bass's writing day, his family, and finally - with one eye on the audio-audience, so to speak - some chat about Montana.

For a little more about Bass' superb collection For a Little While, visit.

You can listen to Rick read The Hermit's Story here.

Thank you for listening.

 

 

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