BBC Radio 4

Society & Culture

Led by James Naughtie, a group of readers talk to acclaimed authors about their best-known novels


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Kamila Shamsie on Burnt Shadows

February 7th, 2017

James Naughtie and audience talk to Kamila Shamsie about her novel Burnt Shadows

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Novelist Barbara Trapido has been delighting readers over a forty year career. In The Travelling Hornplayer (1998) she spins a tale of betrayal, misunderstanding, coincidence and the passions of youth, all with her subversive and entertaining sense of humour. From its haunting start : "Early on in the morning of my interview, I woke up and saw...

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John Lanchester - Capital

January 1st, 2017

John Lanchester talks to James Naughtie and a group of readers about his novel Capital, which was a major BBC TV drama in 2015. The residents of an affluent street in London are busy getting on with their lives when one day something strange happens. Every house in the street has an identical, mysterious postcard pushed through their letterboxes...

American writer Jay McInerney discusses his debut novel Bright Lights, Big City with James Naughtie and a group of readers. Bright Lights, Big City not only cemented Jay McInerney as a superstar among debut novelists, but came to define the culture of 80s New York in all its gritty yet glamorous glory. We follow the young unnamed narrator - he's...