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

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.

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.

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.

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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