A Body Of Essays

show more detailshow less detail

Episodes

EpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
RepeatedComments
01A Body of Essays: William Fiennes - The Bowel20160404

In an ongoing collaboration with BBC Radio 3, Wellcome Collection's Reading Room is the setting for a series of 'The Essay' devoted to the bodily organs. 'Body of Essays' invites five writers to ruminate on a different organ of the body. This strange proposition has a mysterious allure: the organs are hidden, buried from view, and yet are at the very core of our physical functioning as well as our mental and emotional world. Suctioned together in dark flesh, the organs can be all the more puzzling and intriguing.

William Fiennes is recipient of the Hawthornden Prize and Somerset Maugham Award for his book The Snow Geese, and more recently a tender account of growing up in the family estate with his epileptic brother Richard in The Music Room. A sufferer of Crohn's disease, William focuses on his bowel.

Essayists are:

Monday

William Fiennes, author, writes about the bowel.

Tuesday

Chibundu Onuzo, young author, writes about the thyroid

Wednesday

Philip Kerr, crime author, writes about the brain

Thursday

Annie Freud, poet and visual artist, writes about the kidneys.

Friday

Thomas Lynch, poet-undertaker, writes about the uterus.

01A Body of Essays: William Fiennes - The Bowel20160404

01A Body of Essays: William Fiennes - The Bowel20160404

In an ongoing collaboration with BBC Radio 3, Wellcome Collection's Reading Room is the setting for a series of 'The Essay' devoted to the bodily organs. 'Body of Essays' invites five writers to ruminate on a different organ of the body. This strange proposition has a mysterious allure: the organs are hidden, buried from view, and yet are at the very core of our physical functioning as well as our mental and emotional world. Suctioned together in dark flesh, the organs can be all the more puzzling and intriguing.

William Fiennes is recipient of the Hawthornden Prize and Somerset Maugham Award for his book The Snow Geese, and more recently a tender account of growing up in the family estate with his epileptic brother Richard in The Music Room. A sufferer of Crohn's disease, William focuses on his bowel.

Essayists are:

Monday

William Fiennes, author, writes about the bowel.

Tuesday

Chibundu Onuzo, young author, writes about the thyroid

Wednesday

Philip Kerr, crime author, writes about the brain

Thursday

Annie Freud, poet and visual artist, writes about the kidneys.

Friday

Thomas Lynch, poet-undertaker, writes about the uterus.

01A Body of Essays: William Fiennes - The Bowel20160404

01Mark Ravenhill: The Gall Bladder2014101320150921 (R3)

Five writers choose an organ of the body on which to write an essay. In this first edition, playwright Mark Ravenhill asks whether his identity has changed since his gall bladder was removed.

In a compelling synthesis of biology and literature, we'll hear the 'dark continent' of our inner body, scrutinised through its hidden constituents - the organs.

Across the series Mark Ravenhill, Christina Patterson, Daljit Nagra, Naomi Alderman and Ned Beauman, take on one of the body's mysterious organs. They reflect on the intestines, skin, lungs, gall bladder and appendix. In each case they've met an expert in their chosen organ who has regaled them with its medical function, but ultimately they express what the organ's significance is to them, linking to history, culture and personal experience.

"Jenkinson pushed the piece of paper back across the table to me. "With our contemporary access to food" he said, "we only need about ten per cent of the stomach's capacity". I looked down. He'd drawn a dotted line to create a thin tube of a stomach, cut free from the redundant ninety per cent, our hangover from hunter-gatherer days."

Mark Ravenhill, playwright, actor and journalist, on the Gall bladder.

01Mark Ravenhill: The Gall Bladder20141013

Five writers choose an organ of the body on which to write an essay. In this first edition, playwright Mark Ravenhill asks whether his identity has changed since his gall bladder was removed.

In a compelling synthesis of biology and literature, we'll hear the 'dark continent' of our inner body, scrutinised through its hidden constituents - the organs.

Across the series Mark Ravenhill, Christina Patterson, Daljit Nagra, Naomi Alderman and Ned Beauman, take on one of the body's mysterious organs. They reflect on the intestines, skin, lungs, gall bladder and appendix. In each case they've met an expert in their chosen organ who has regaled them with its medical function, but ultimately they express what the organ's significance is to them, linking to history, culture and personal experience.

"Jenkinson pushed the piece of paper back across the table to me. "With our contemporary access to food" he said, "we only need about ten per cent of the stomach's capacity". I looked down. He'd drawn a dotted line to create a thin tube of a stomach, cut free from the redundant ninety per cent, our hangover from hunter-gatherer days."

Mark Ravenhill, playwright, actor and journalist, on the Gall bladder.

01Mark Ravenhill: The Gall Bladder20141013

01Mark Ravenhill: The Gall Bladder2014101320150921 (R3)

Five writers choose an organ of the body on which to write an essay. In this first edition, playwright Mark Ravenhill asks whether his identity has changed since his gall bladder was removed.

In a compelling synthesis of biology and literature, we'll hear the 'dark continent' of our inner body, scrutinised through its hidden constituents - the organs.

Across the series Mark Ravenhill, Christina Patterson, Daljit Nagra, Naomi Alderman and Ned Beauman, take on one of the body's mysterious organs. They reflect on the intestines, skin, lungs, gall bladder and appendix. In each case they've met an expert in their chosen organ who has regaled them with its medical function, but ultimately they express what the organ's significance is to them, linking to history, culture and personal experience.

"Jenkinson pushed the piece of paper back across the table to me. "With our contemporary access to food" he said, "we only need about ten per cent of the stomach's capacity". I looked down. He'd drawn a dotted line to create a thin tube of a stomach, cut free from the redundant ninety per cent, our hangover from hunter-gatherer days."

Mark Ravenhill, playwright, actor and journalist, on the Gall bladder.

01Mark Ravenhill: The Gall Bladder20141013

Five writers choose an organ of the body on which to write an essay. In this first edition, playwright Mark Ravenhill asks whether his identity has changed since his gall bladder was removed.

In a compelling synthesis of biology and literature, we'll hear the 'dark continent' of our inner body, scrutinised through its hidden constituents - the organs.

Across the series Mark Ravenhill, Christina Patterson, Daljit Nagra, Naomi Alderman and Ned Beauman, take on one of the body's mysterious organs. They reflect on the intestines, skin, lungs, gall bladder and appendix. In each case they've met an expert in their chosen organ who has regaled them with its medical function, but ultimately they express what the organ's significance is to them, linking to history, culture and personal experience.

"Jenkinson pushed the piece of paper back across the table to me. "With our contemporary access to food" he said, "we only need about ten per cent of the stomach's capacity". I looked down. He'd drawn a dotted line to create a thin tube of a stomach, cut free from the redundant ninety per cent, our hangover from hunter-gatherer days."

Mark Ravenhill, playwright, actor and journalist, on the Gall bladder.

01Mark Ravenhill: The Gall Bladder20141013

02A Body of Essays: Chibundu Onuzo - The Fire of Life: The Thyroid20160405

One of the youngest authors ever to be published, Chibundu Onuzo takes up her pen to investigate the goldilocks nature of the thyroid in this evening's essay.

In an ongoing collaboration with BBC Radio 3, Wellcome Collection's Reading Room is the setting for a series of 'The Essay' devoted to the bodily organs. 'Body of Essays' invites five writers to ruminate on a different organ of the body. This strange proposition has a mysterious allure: the organs are hidden, buried from view, and yet are at the very core of our physical functioning as well as our mental and emotional world. Suctioned together in dark flesh, the organs can be all the more puzzling and intriguing.

Chibundu Onuzo is the author of the novel The Spider King's Daughter.

The complete list of essayists:

Monday

William Fiennes, author, writes about the bowel.

Tuesday

Chibundu Onuzo, young author, writes about the thyroid

Wednesday

Philip Kerr, crime author, writes about the brain

Thursday

Annie Freud, poet and visual artist, writes about the kidneys.

Friday

Thomas Lynch, poet-undertaker, writes about the uterus.

02A Body of Essays: Chibundu Onuzo - The Fire of Life: The Thyroid20160405

02A Body of Essays: Chibundu Onuzo - The Fire of Life: The Thyroid20160405

One of the youngest authors ever to be published, Chibundu Onuzo takes up her pen to investigate the goldilocks nature of the thyroid in this evening's essay.

In an ongoing collaboration with BBC Radio 3, Wellcome Collection's Reading Room is the setting for a series of 'The Essay' devoted to the bodily organs. 'Body of Essays' invites five writers to ruminate on a different organ of the body. This strange proposition has a mysterious allure: the organs are hidden, buried from view, and yet are at the very core of our physical functioning as well as our mental and emotional world. Suctioned together in dark flesh, the organs can be all the more puzzling and intriguing.

Chibundu Onuzo is the author of the novel The Spider King's Daughter.

The complete list of essayists:

Monday

William Fiennes, author, writes about the bowel.

Tuesday

Chibundu Onuzo, young author, writes about the thyroid

Wednesday

Philip Kerr, crime author, writes about the brain

Thursday

Annie Freud, poet and visual artist, writes about the kidneys.

Friday

Thomas Lynch, poet-undertaker, writes about the uterus.

02A Body of Essays: Chibundu Onuzo - The Fire of Life: The Thyroid20160405

02Christina Patterson: The Skin20141014

Five writers choose an organ of the body on which to essay. In her piece, journalist Christina Patterson reflects on the skin and her own experience of living with acne.

In a compelling synthesis of biology and literature, we'll hear the 'dark continent' of our inner body, scrutinised through its hidden constituents - the organs. In this series, five writers, Mark Ravenhill, Christina Patterson, Daljit Nagra, Naomi Alderman and Ned Beauman, take on one of the body's mysterious organs. They write an essay on the intestines, skin, lungs, gall bladder and appendix. In each case they've met an expert in their chosen organ who has regaled them with its medical function, but ultimately they express what the organ's significance is to them, linking to history, culture and personal experience.

02Christina Patterson: The Skin2014101420150922 (R3)

Five writers choose an organ of the body on which to essay. In her piece, journalist Christina Patterson reflects on the skin and her own experience of living with acne.

In a compelling synthesis of biology and literature, we'll hear the 'dark continent' of our inner body, scrutinised through its hidden constituents - the organs. In this series, five writers, Mark Ravenhill, Christina Patterson, Daljit Nagra, Naomi Alderman and Ned Beauman, take on one of the body's mysterious organs. They write an essay on the intestines, skin, lungs, gall bladder and appendix. In each case they've met an expert in their chosen organ who has regaled them with its medical function, but ultimately they express what the organ's significance is to them, linking to history, culture and personal experience.

02Christina Patterson: The Skin20141014

02Christina Patterson: The Skin20141014

Five writers choose an organ of the body on which to essay. In her piece, journalist Christina Patterson reflects on the skin and her own experience of living with acne.

In a compelling synthesis of biology and literature, we'll hear the 'dark continent' of our inner body, scrutinised through its hidden constituents - the organs. In this series, five writers, Mark Ravenhill, Christina Patterson, Daljit Nagra, Naomi Alderman and Ned Beauman, take on one of the body's mysterious organs. They write an essay on the intestines, skin, lungs, gall bladder and appendix. In each case they've met an expert in their chosen organ who has regaled them with its medical function, but ultimately they express what the organ's significance is to them, linking to history, culture and personal experience.

02Christina Patterson: The Skin2014101420150922 (R3)

Five writers choose an organ of the body on which to essay. In her piece, journalist Christina Patterson reflects on the skin and her own experience of living with acne.

In a compelling synthesis of biology and literature, we'll hear the 'dark continent' of our inner body, scrutinised through its hidden constituents - the organs. In this series, five writers, Mark Ravenhill, Christina Patterson, Daljit Nagra, Naomi Alderman and Ned Beauman, take on one of the body's mysterious organs. They write an essay on the intestines, skin, lungs, gall bladder and appendix. In each case they've met an expert in their chosen organ who has regaled them with its medical function, but ultimately they express what the organ's significance is to them, linking to history, culture and personal experience.

02Christina Patterson: The Skin20141014

03A Body of Essays: Philip Kerr - Breaking Brain20160406

In an ongoing collaboration with BBC Radio 3, Wellcome Collection's Reading Room is the setting for a series of 'The Essay' devoted to the bodily organs. 'Body of Essays' invites five writers to ruminate on a different organ of the body. This strange proposition has a mysterious allure: the organs are hidden, buried from view, and yet are at the very core of our physical functioning as well as our mental and emotional world. Suctioned together in dark flesh, the organs can be all the more puzzling and intriguing.

New York Times best selling author Philip Kerr is the creator of Bernie Gunther, an unflinching private eye. Philip immerses himself in the real world to inform what he puts on the page whether fiction or fact - in this essay we accompany him into a brain surgery operating room.

The complete list of essayists:

Monday

William Fiennes, author, writes about the bowel.

Tuesday

Chibundu Onuzo, young author, writes about the thyroid

Wednesday

Philip Kerr, crime author, writes about the brain

Thursday

Annie Freud, poet and visual artist, writes about the kidneys.

Friday

Thomas Lynch, poet-undertaker, writes about the uterus.

03A Body of Essays: Philip Kerr - Breaking Brain20160406

03A Body of Essays: Philip Kerr - Breaking Brain20160406

In an ongoing collaboration with BBC Radio 3, Wellcome Collection's Reading Room is the setting for a series of 'The Essay' devoted to the bodily organs. 'Body of Essays' invites five writers to ruminate on a different organ of the body. This strange proposition has a mysterious allure: the organs are hidden, buried from view, and yet are at the very core of our physical functioning as well as our mental and emotional world. Suctioned together in dark flesh, the organs can be all the more puzzling and intriguing.

New York Times best selling author Philip Kerr is the creator of Bernie Gunther, an unflinching private eye. Philip immerses himself in the real world to inform what he puts on the page whether fiction or fact - in this essay we accompany him into a brain surgery operating room.

The complete list of essayists:

Monday

William Fiennes, author, writes about the bowel.

Tuesday

Chibundu Onuzo, young author, writes about the thyroid

Wednesday

Philip Kerr, crime author, writes about the brain

Thursday

Annie Freud, poet and visual artist, writes about the kidneys.

Friday

Thomas Lynch, poet-undertaker, writes about the uterus.

03A Body of Essays: Philip Kerr - Breaking Brain20160406

03Daljit Nagra - The Lungs2014101520150923 (R3)

Five writers choose an organ of the body on which to essay. In his piece, poet Daljit Nagra describes how the lungs are an exchange system, similar to poetry.

In a compelling synthesis of biology and literature, we'll hear the 'dark continent' of our inner body, scrutinised through its hidden constituents - the organs. In this series, five writers, Mark Ravenhill, Christina Patterson, Daljit Nagra, Naomi Alderman and Ned Beauman, take on one of the body's mysterious organs. They write an essay on the intestines, skin, lungs, gall bladder and appendix. In each case they've met an expert in their chosen organ who has regaled them with its medical function, but ultimately they express what the organ's significance is to them, linking to history, culture and personal experience.

03Daljit Nagra - The Lungs20141015

Five writers choose an organ of the body on which to essay. In his piece, poet Daljit Nagra describes how the lungs are an exchange system, similar to poetry.

In a compelling synthesis of biology and literature, we'll hear the 'dark continent' of our inner body, scrutinised through its hidden constituents - the organs. In this series, five writers, Mark Ravenhill, Christina Patterson, Daljit Nagra, Naomi Alderman and Ned Beauman, take on one of the body's mysterious organs. They write an essay on the intestines, skin, lungs, gall bladder and appendix. In each case they've met an expert in their chosen organ who has regaled them with its medical function, but ultimately they express what the organ's significance is to them, linking to history, culture and personal experience.

03Daljit Nagra - The Lungs20141015

03Daljit Nagra - The Lungs2014101520150923 (R3)

Five writers choose an organ of the body on which to essay. In his piece, poet Daljit Nagra describes how the lungs are an exchange system, similar to poetry.

In a compelling synthesis of biology and literature, we'll hear the 'dark continent' of our inner body, scrutinised through its hidden constituents - the organs. In this series, five writers, Mark Ravenhill, Christina Patterson, Daljit Nagra, Naomi Alderman and Ned Beauman, take on one of the body's mysterious organs. They write an essay on the intestines, skin, lungs, gall bladder and appendix. In each case they've met an expert in their chosen organ who has regaled them with its medical function, but ultimately they express what the organ's significance is to them, linking to history, culture and personal experience.

03Daljit Nagra - The Lungs20141015

Five writers choose an organ of the body on which to essay. In his piece, poet Daljit Nagra describes how the lungs are an exchange system, similar to poetry.

In a compelling synthesis of biology and literature, we'll hear the 'dark continent' of our inner body, scrutinised through its hidden constituents - the organs. In this series, five writers, Mark Ravenhill, Christina Patterson, Daljit Nagra, Naomi Alderman and Ned Beauman, take on one of the body's mysterious organs. They write an essay on the intestines, skin, lungs, gall bladder and appendix. In each case they've met an expert in their chosen organ who has regaled them with its medical function, but ultimately they express what the organ's significance is to them, linking to history, culture and personal experience.

03Daljit Nagra - The Lungs20141015

04A Body of Essays: Annie Freud - The Kidneys20160407

In an ongoing collaboration with BBC Radio 3, the Wellcome Collection's Reading Room is the setting for a series of Radio 3's 'The Essay', in this case devoted to the bodily organs.

'Body of Essays' invites five writers to ruminate on a different organ of the body. This strange proposition has a mysterious allure: the organs are hidden, buried from view, and yet are at the very core of our physical functioning as well as our emotional world. Suctioned together in dark flesh, the organs can be all the more puzzling and intriguing.

Annie Freud won the the Dimplex Prize for New Writing for her first poetry collection The Best Man That Ever Was and her most recent collection, The Remains, showcases her skill as both a poet and a visual artist. Annie brings a powerful, pungent, perfumed physicality to everything she sets out to write about; this evening's serving of kidneys being no exception.

Other essayists are William Fiennes on the bowel, Chibundu Onuzo on the thryoid, Philip Kerr on the brain and Thomas Lynch on the uterus.

04A Body of Essays: Annie Freud - The Kidneys20160407

04A Body of Essays: Annie Freud - The Kidneys20160407

In an ongoing collaboration with BBC Radio 3, the Wellcome Collection's Reading Room is the setting for a series of Radio 3's 'The Essay', in this case devoted to the bodily organs.

'Body of Essays' invites five writers to ruminate on a different organ of the body. This strange proposition has a mysterious allure: the organs are hidden, buried from view, and yet are at the very core of our physical functioning as well as our emotional world. Suctioned together in dark flesh, the organs can be all the more puzzling and intriguing.

Annie Freud won the the Dimplex Prize for New Writing for her first poetry collection The Best Man That Ever Was and her most recent collection, The Remains, showcases her skill as both a poet and a visual artist. Annie brings a powerful, pungent, perfumed physicality to everything she sets out to write about; this evening's serving of kidneys being no exception.

Other essayists are William Fiennes on the bowel, Chibundu Onuzo on the thryoid, Philip Kerr on the brain and Thomas Lynch on the uterus.

04A Body of Essays: Annie Freud - The Kidneys20160407

04Naomi Alderman: The Intestines20141016

Five writers choose an organ of the body on which to reflect. In her piece, novelist and journalist, Naomi Alderman reflects on the incredible labyrinth that is the intestines.

In a compelling synthesis of biology and literature, we'll hear the 'dark continent' of our inner body, scrutinised through its hidden constituents - the organs. In this series, five writers, Mark Ravenhill, Christina Patterson, Daljit Nagra, Naomi Alderman and Ned Beauman, take on one of the body's mysterious organs. They write an essay on the intestines, skin, lungs, gall bladder and appendix. In each case they've met an expert in their chosen organ who has regaled them with its medical function, but ultimately they express what the organ's significance is to them, linking to history, culture and personal experience.

04Naomi Alderman: The Intestines20141016

Five writers choose an organ of the body on which to reflect. In her piece, novelist and journalist, Naomi Alderman reflects on the incredible labyrinth that is the intestines.

In a compelling synthesis of biology and literature, we'll hear the 'dark continent' of our inner body, scrutinised through its hidden constituents - the organs. In this series, five writers, Mark Ravenhill, Christina Patterson, Daljit Nagra, Naomi Alderman and Ned Beauman, take on one of the body's mysterious organs. They write an essay on the intestines, skin, lungs, gall bladder and appendix. In each case they've met an expert in their chosen organ who has regaled them with its medical function, but ultimately they express what the organ's significance is to them, linking to history, culture and personal experience.

05A Body of Essays: Thomas Lynch - Whence and Whither: Some Thoughts on Uteri, on Wombs20160408

In an ongoing collaboration with BBC Radio 3, the Wellcome Collection Reading Room is the setting for a series of 'The Essay' devoted to the bodily organs. 'Body of Essays' invites five writers to ruminate on a different organ of the body. This strange proposition has a mysterious allure: the organs are hidden, buried from view, and yet are at the very core of our physical functioning as well as our mental and emotional world. Suctioned together in dark flesh, the organs can be all the more puzzling and intriguing.

Thomas Lynch is the author of five collections of poetry, most recently The Sin-Eater: A Breviary. His hyphenated life as both poet and undertaker has led him to being the subject of two award-winning documentaries - PBS's "The Undertaking" and the BBC's "Learning Gravity".

The complete list of essayists:

Monday

William Fiennes, author, writes about the bowel.

Tuesday

Chibundu Onuzo, young author, writes about the thyroid

Wednesday

Philip Kerr, crime author, writes about the brain

Thursday

Annie Freud, poet and visual artist, writes about the kidneys.

Friday

Thomas Lynch, poet-undertaker, writes about the uterus.

05A Body of Essays: Thomas Lynch - Whence and Whither: Some Thoughts on Uteri, on Wombs20160408

05A Body of Essays: Thomas Lynch - Whence and Whither: Some Thoughts on Uteri, on Wombs20160408

In an ongoing collaboration with BBC Radio 3, the Wellcome Collection Reading Room is the setting for a series of 'The Essay' devoted to the bodily organs. 'Body of Essays' invites five writers to ruminate on a different organ of the body. This strange proposition has a mysterious allure: the organs are hidden, buried from view, and yet are at the very core of our physical functioning as well as our mental and emotional world. Suctioned together in dark flesh, the organs can be all the more puzzling and intriguing.

Thomas Lynch is the author of five collections of poetry, most recently The Sin-Eater: A Breviary. His hyphenated life as both poet and undertaker has led him to being the subject of two award-winning documentaries - PBS's "The Undertaking" and the BBC's "Learning Gravity".

The complete list of essayists:

Monday

William Fiennes, author, writes about the bowel.

Tuesday

Chibundu Onuzo, young author, writes about the thyroid

Wednesday

Philip Kerr, crime author, writes about the brain

Thursday

Annie Freud, poet and visual artist, writes about the kidneys.

Friday

Thomas Lynch, poet-undertaker, writes about the uterus.

05A Body of Essays: Thomas Lynch - Whence and Whither: Some Thoughts on Uteri, on Wombs20160408

05Ned Beauman: The Appendix2014101720150924 (R3)

Five writers choose an organ of the body on which to reflect. In his piece, novelist and journalist Ned Beauman confronts the idea that the appendix is redundant.

In a compelling synthesis of biology and literature, we'll hear the 'dark continent' of our inner body, scrutinised through its hidden constituents - the organs. In this series, five writers, Mark Ravenhill, Christina Patterson, Daljit Nagra, Naomi Alderman and Ned Beauman, take on one of the body's mysterious organs. They write an essay on the intestines, skin, lungs, gall bladder and appendix. In each case they've met an expert in their chosen organ who has regaled them with its medical function, but ultimately they express what the organ's significance is to them, linking to history, culture and personal experience.

05Ned Beauman: The Appendix20141017

05Ned Beauman: The Appendix2014101720150924 (R3)

Five writers choose an organ of the body on which to reflect. In his piece, novelist and journalist Ned Beauman confronts the idea that the appendix is redundant.

In a compelling synthesis of biology and literature, we'll hear the 'dark continent' of our inner body, scrutinised through its hidden constituents - the organs. In this series, five writers, Mark Ravenhill, Christina Patterson, Daljit Nagra, Naomi Alderman and Ned Beauman, take on one of the body's mysterious organs. They write an essay on the intestines, skin, lungs, gall bladder and appendix. In each case they've met an expert in their chosen organ who has regaled them with its medical function, but ultimately they express what the organ's significance is to them, linking to history, culture and personal experience.

05Ned Beauman: The Appendix20141017

05 LASTNed Beauman: The Appendix20141017

Five writers choose an organ of the body on which to reflect. In his piece, novelist and journalist Ned Beauman confronts the idea that the appendix is redundant.

In a compelling synthesis of biology and literature, we'll hear the 'dark continent' of our inner body, scrutinised through its hidden constituents - the organs. In this series, five writers, Mark Ravenhill, Christina Patterson, Daljit Nagra, Naomi Alderman and Ned Beauman, take on one of the body's mysterious organs. They write an essay on the intestines, skin, lungs, gall bladder and appendix. In each case they've met an expert in their chosen organ who has regaled them with its medical function, but ultimately they express what the organ's significance is to them, linking to history, culture and personal experience.

05 LASTNed Beauman: The Appendix20141017

Five writers choose an organ of the body on which to reflect. In his piece, novelist and journalist Ned Beauman confronts the idea that the appendix is redundant.

In a compelling synthesis of biology and literature, we'll hear the 'dark continent' of our inner body, scrutinised through its hidden constituents - the organs. In this series, five writers, Mark Ravenhill, Christina Patterson, Daljit Nagra, Naomi Alderman and Ned Beauman, take on one of the body's mysterious organs. They write an essay on the intestines, skin, lungs, gall bladder and appendix. In each case they've met an expert in their chosen organ who has regaled them with its medical function, but ultimately they express what the organ's significance is to them, linking to history, culture and personal experience.