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Front Row

BBC Radio 4

Society & Culture

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Malorie Blackman, Stonemouth, Louise Welsh, Mahsa and Marjan Vahdat

June 4th, 2015

Episode 924 of 1337 episodes

As she comes to the end of her tenure as Children's Laureate, Malorie Blackman reflects on the experience and discusses how the racist abuse she received made her more determined to push for greater diversity in children's books. The first TV adaptation of an Iain Banks novel broadcasts next week on the BBC. Stonemouth is a romantic mystery delving into love, loyalty and vengeance. Stuart Kelly, who reviewed the book when it came out, and also interviewed the author shortly before his death, reviews the drama. Louise Welsh's latest novel, Death is a Welcome Guest, portrays Britain devastated by a plague in which there are very few survivors. It explores what happens to those left alive and what sort of society might emerge. Louise Welsh explains her fascination with this subject. Mahsa & Marjan Vahdat are Iranian sisters who live in Tehran but must pursue their musical careers abroad. They sing, but although the lyrics are from classical poets - Rumi and Hafez - they can't appear in Iran as women are banned from singing on television and radio. They tell Kirsty about their lives and music - and sing. Presenter: Kirsty Lang Producer: Sarah Johnson.

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