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18/05/200920090524Clare English hosts the Book Café with a feast of all things literary.
20090525Join writer Chris Dolan for a feast of new writing and favourite authors.
25/05/200920090531Join writer Chris Dolan for a feast of new writing and favourite authors.
20090601Clare English hosts the Book Café with a feast of all things literary.
20090607Clare English hosts the Book Café with a feast of all things literary.
08/06/200920090614Clare English hosts the Book Café with a feast of all things literary.
20090615Clare English hosts the Book Café with a feast of all things literary.
15/06/200920090621Clare English hosts the Book Café with a feast of all things literary.
20090622Clare English hosts the Book Café with a feast of all things literary.
20090629Clare English hosts the Book Café with a feast of all things literary.
29/06/200920090705Clare English hosts the Book Café with a feast of all things literary.
20090713Clare English hosts the Book Café with a feast of all things literary.
13/07/200920090719Clare English hosts the Book Café with a feast of all things literary.
20090720Clare English hosts the Book Café with a feast of all things literary.
20/07/200920090726Clare English hosts the Book Café with a feast of all things literary.
20090727Clare English hosts the Book Café with a feast of all things literary.
27/07/200920090802Clare English hosts the Book Café with a feast of all things literary.
20090803Clare English hosts the Book Café with a feast of all things literary.
03/08/200920090809Clare English hosts the Book Café with a feast of all things literary.
20090816Clare English hosts the Book Café with a feast of all things literary.
20090823Clare English hosts the Book Café with a feast of all things literary.
20090824Novelist William McIlvanney joins Stuart Kelly to talk about politics, culture and the Scottish Renaissance in a session recorded at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.
Novelist William McIlvanney and Stuart Kelly in conversation at the Book Festival.
23/08/200920090830Clare English hosts the Book Café with a feast of all things literary.
20090831If you love fiction, join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
Join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
31/08/200920090906If you love fiction, join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
Join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
20090907If you love fiction, join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
Join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
07/09/200920090913If you love fiction, join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
Join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
20090914If you love fiction, join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
Join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
14/09/200920090920If you love fiction, join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
Join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
20090921If you love fiction, join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
Join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
28/09/200920091004If you love fiction, join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
Join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
20091005If you love fiction, join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
Join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
05/10/200920091011If you love fiction, join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
Join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
20091012Janice Forsyth talks to broadcaster and novelist Gavin Esler at the 2009 International Genealogy Festival.
Gavin was born in Glasgow, but from where did his ancestors come?
Janice Forsyth talks to broadcaster Gavin Esler at the International Genealogy Festival.
12/10/200920091018Janice Forsyth talks to broadcaster and novelist Gavin Esler at the 2009 International Genealogy Festival.
Gavin was born in Glasgow, but from where did his ancestors come?
Janice Forsyth talks to broadcaster Gavin Esler at the International Genealogy Festival.
20091019Join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
02/11/200920091108Join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
20091109Join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
09/11/200920091115Join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
20091116Chris Kane talks to Anthony Horowitz about his new Alex Rider novel Crocodile Tears and Stephen King fan Ellie Wixon gives her verdict on his latest book Under the Dome.
Chris Kane talks to Anthony Horowitz about his new Alex Rider novel Crocodile Tears.
16/11/200920091122Chris Kane talks to Anthony Horowitz about his new Alex Rider novel Crocodile Tears and Stephen King fan Ellie Wixon gives her verdict on his latest book Under the Dome.
Chris Kane talks to Anthony Horowitz about his new Alex Rider novel Crocodile Tears.
23/11/200920091129The Scottish Book Trust is asking people to tell them about the book that changed their life, so Clare English spends the programme exploring memories of meaningful books.
Clare English explores memories of meaningful books.
20091130Join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
20091214Swedish crime writer Stieg Larsson is all over the bestseller charts.
Publisher Christopher MacLehose and Sarah Death of the Swedish Book Review join us to talk about his success.
We discover why crime writing has replaced flat-pack furniture as Sweden's main export.
25/01/201020100131Clare English talks to writer and Holocaust survivor Thomas Buergenthal, and Ewen McCaig, son of poet Norman MacCaig, discusses the latest collection of his father's work.
Clare English talks to Thomas Buergenthal and Ewen McCaig discusses his father's poetry.
01/02/201020100207Clare English talks to Peter Carey, the Booker Prize-winning author of Oscar And Lucinda and The True History Of The Kelly Gang, plus we look at the legacy of JD Salinger.
Clare English talks to Booker Prize-winning author Peter Carey.
08/02/201020100214Melvyn Bragg explains why he's donated 50 years' worth of his papers to Leeds University.
Why would a still active writer give away their personal archive?
20100315Crime writer Louise Welsh welcomes The Book Cafe into her home and gives us an insight into the working life of a full-time author.
Crime writer Louise Welsh gives us an insight into the working life of a full-time author.
15/03/201020100321Crime writer Louise Welsh welcomes The Book Cafe into her home and gives us an insight into the working life of a full-time author.
Crime writer Louise Welsh gives us an insight into the working life of a full-time author.
22/03/201020100328George Pelecanos is a writer on US drama The Wire and a successful crime novelist.
He tells The Book Cafe about basing his new novel on his own experiences of crime and violence.
George Pelecanos, writer on US drama The Wire and crime novelist, talks about his new book
20100405A first-time author at the age of 90, Alistair Urquhart talks about what it means to him to have written the best-selling non-fiction book in the UK last week.
First-time author Alistair Urquhart on being a best-selling writer at the age of 90.
05/04/201020100411A first-time author at the age of 90, Alistair Urquhart talks about what it means to him to have written the best-selling non-fiction book in the UK last week.
First-time author Alistair Urquhart on being a best-selling writer at the age of 90.
20100412If you love fiction, join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
Join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
20100419Hollywood screenwriter William Nicholson talks about moving on from Gladiator and Shadowlands to writing a love story for teenagers that's unusually explicit about sex.
William Nicholson talks about writing a love story for teens that's unusually explicit.
26/04/201020100502Orange Prize shortlisted author Rosie Alison talks about why historical fiction has come to dominate the bestseller charts and literary prize shortlists.
We find out why historical fiction has come to dominate the bestseller charts.
20100503A forgotten classic - overlooked the first time around, so why is it worth a second look? We speak to an editor who's on a personal crusade to publish a book he's loved for years.
A forgotten classic - overlooked the first time around, so why is it worth a second look?
03/05/201020100509A forgotten classic - overlooked the first time around, so why is it worth a second look? We speak to an editor who's on a personal crusade to publish a book he's loved for years.
A forgotten classic - overlooked the first time around, so why is it worth a second look?
20100510If you love fiction, join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
Join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
20100517Summer Reads - as the holiday season approaches, we challenge River City's Libby McArthur to go out book shopping and bring us back a good selection of enticing holiday reads.
River City's Libby McArthur goes book shopping on our behalf to choose Summer Reads.
17/05/201020100523Summer Reads - as the holiday season approaches, we challenge River City's Libby McArthur to go out book shopping and bring us back a good selection of enticing holiday reads.
River City's Libby McArthur goes book shopping on our behalf to choose Summer Reads.
20100607Yann Martel will be with us to explain why with his new book he's risking the acclaim that came from winning the Man Booker prize with Life of Pi.
He's done something very few authors would: he's used the Holocaust as a base for a novel.
Eighteen years ago The Shadow of the Wind author Carlos Ruiz Zafon was known only in Spain for writing novels for young adults.
Now those books are about to be published in the UK for the first time.
He'll be telling us why he feels that the seeds of the international best-sellers he's written since were there right from the beginning, with The Prince of Mist.
Gavin Pretor-pinney, the bestselling author of 'The Cloudspotter's Guide', stood on the shore in Cornwall on a clear blue-skied day.
Without clouds to occupy his gaze, his attention turned to the waves rolling towards him.
Where did they come from? Why do waves exist? In his inimitable fashion he plunged into researching waves- and found out that our lives depend on them.
Join Clare and Gavin as they surf the ocean that is his new book, The Wave-Watcher's Companion.
Clare English is joined by Yann Martell and Carlos Ruiz Zafon.
20100705Often voted one of the ten most important books of the past century, we'll be marking the 50th anniversary of the publication of Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird by finding out what the book has meant to readers through the generations.
What would make an award-winning journalist leave the security of her day job and put herself in the vulnerable position of first-time novelist? Catherine Deveney explains.
Former Children's Laureate Michael Morpurgo talks about how technology is changing the way authors interact with their young readers - and he should know: rather than the usual 30 pupils in a classroom he recently faced 40,000 at the same time via the internet.
And author Justin Cronin explains how the 766-page story that he plotted out with his small daughter for fun came to be fought over by film companies and publishers before it was even half written.
Find out what Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird has meant to generations of readers.
12/07/201020100718If you love fiction, join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
Join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
20100719As Westminster's reaction to Peter Mandelson's The Third Man continues to make headlines, we'll be discussing the art of writing a political memoir and asking how much more is going on than simply setting the record straight.
Recently a bookbinder from Gloucestershire was called to Ethiopia to repair a 5th century gospel, one of the oldest books in the world.
Working on location in a monastery tucked away in the remote highlands of the country with monkeys scampering round, anxious monks peering over his shoulder and the sun beating down, it was a far cry from his bindery in Tewkesbury! We'll be hearing about Lester Capon's Indiana Jones- style adventure.
Her work is published in English for the first time, so Finnish-Estonian writer Sofi Oksanen tells us about being a superstar of European literature and explains why she's risking her reputation by writing about subjects that her contemporaries just won't touch.
And as the hundred year ban on publishing Mark Twain's memoirs ends, John Freeman, Editor of Granta Magazine, and Twain expert Dr.
Tom Smith will be joining Clare to explain the ban and discuss the legacy of the writer hailed by William Faulkner as 'the father of American literature'.
We discuss the art of writing a political memoir.
19/07/201020100725As Westminster's reaction to Peter Mandelson's The Third Man continues to make headlines, we'll be discussing the art of writing a political memoir and asking how much more is going on than simply setting the record straight.
Recently a bookbinder from Gloucestershire was called to Ethiopia to repair a 5th century gospel, one of the oldest books in the world.
Working on location in a monastery tucked away in the remote highlands of the country with monkeys scampering round, anxious monks peering over his shoulder and the sun beating down, it was a far cry from his bindery in Tewkesbury! We'll be hearing about Lester Capon's Indiana Jones- style adventure.
Her work is published in English for the first time, so Finnish-Estonian writer Sofi Oksanen tells us about being a superstar of European literature and explains why she's risking her reputation by writing about subjects that her contemporaries just won't touch.
And as the hundred year ban on publishing Mark Twain's memoirs ends, John Freeman, Editor of Granta Magazine, and Twain expert Dr.
Tom Smith will be joining Clare to explain the ban and discuss the legacy of the writer hailed by William Faulkner as 'the father of American literature'.
We discuss the art of writing a political memoir.
20100726Best-selling American author Jeffrey Deaver explains how he manages to hold his own in a crowded area of popular fiction - the forensic detective novel- and tells us how he plans to 're-boot' the James Bond novels with his first book for the franchise, due to be published next year.
James Robertson on his long-awaited epic novel And The Land Lay Still, which looks back over 60 years to tell us where we've been and where we're going as a nation.
We meet the woman who may well be the Edinburgh International Book Festival's biggest fan - and Festival Director Nick Barley will be picking out the highlights of the programme and telling us what else he's looking forward to seeing as Edinburgh turns itself into the Festival City once more.
Bestselling author Jeffrey Deaver on holding his own in a crowded area of popular fiction.
26/07/201020100801Best-selling American author Jeffrey Deaver explains how he manages to hold his own in a crowded area of popular fiction - the forensic detective novel- and tells us how he plans to 're-boot' the James Bond novels with his first book for the franchise, due to be published next year.
James Robertson on his long-awaited epic novel And The Land Lay Still, which looks back over 60 years to tell us where we've been and where we're going as a nation.
We meet the woman who may well be the Edinburgh International Book Festival's biggest fan - and Festival Director Nick Barley will be picking out the highlights of the programme and telling us what else he's looking forward to seeing as Edinburgh turns itself into the Festival City once more.
And Summer Reading for Children- we'll be asking whether despite the attractions of activities in the sunshine or electronic games inside on a rainy day books are still a big part of the summer holidays for many children across the country.
Bestselling author Jeffrey Deaver on holding his own in a crowded area of popular fiction.
Diana Quick2010080220100808Another chance to hear actress Diana Quick in conversation with Clare English at last year's Borders Book Festival.
Her most famous television role was as Julia Flyte in the 1980s adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited but lately she's also turned her attention to writing.
In her family biography, A Tug on The Thread, she explores her heritage after having wondered for many years whether her family had a dark, hidden secret.
As well as talking about her book she treats Clare and the audience to some fascinating stories of life as an up and coming young British actress in the 1960s and 70s.
Another chance to hear Clare English in conversation with actress Diana Quick
23/08/201020100829Join Clare English live at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.
20100830Experience the buzz of the Edinburgh International Book Festival with Clare English, as The Book Cafe broadcasts live from Charlotte Square.
Joining Clare on the last day of the Festival are Alexander Mccall Smith, Simon Van Booy and Antonia Fraser.
Alexander Mccall Smith joins Clare English at the Edinburgh Book Festival.
30/08/201020100905Alexander Mccall Smith joins Clare English at the Edinburgh Book Festival.
20100906Comedian Alexei Sayle and writer Jackie Kay compare their experiences of growing up with Communist parents.
Andrew Greig explains how John Buchan, author of The Thirty-Nine Steps, has inspired his writing.
On the 65th birthday of The Moomins, Sophia Jansson, niece of their creator Tove Jansson, tells how the family of small white trolls came into being and traces her aunt's ambivalent relationship with them as their fame grew.
And Jackie Kay and Andrew Greig stay on with Clare to share their memories of Scotland's Makar, Edwin Morgan.
Comedian Alexei Sayle and writer Jackie Kay discuss growing up with communist parents.
06/09/201020100912Comedian Alexei Sayle and writer Jackie Kay discuss growing up with communist parents.
20100913On discovering his novelist uncle's past as a fugitive - writer, campaigning Palestinian lawyer and peace activist, Raja Shehadeh, was motivated to write his unique family memoir, "A Rift in Time: Travels with my Ottoman Uncle".
One hundred year's after fleeing a death sentence for voicing his opposition to Ottoman participation in the First World War, Raja tells Clare English about retracing his uncle's escape route through the Rift Valley.
When did philosophical books make the shift from academia to the shelves of mainstream bookshops? We consider the current trend for pop philosophy books and ask if it's really possible to package them into easily digestible chunks?
When it comes to rating restaurant nothing beats word of mouth recommendations.
So, on the 60th anniversary of eating-out "bible", The Good Food Guide, we ask what place does the printed food guide have in the internet age?
Money laundering, mobster money and the collapse of the banking system...
How well does John le Carré dissect this complex backdrop in his latest spy thriller "Our Kind of Traitor"?
And from this week's BBC Radio Scotland Conversation Zone the late Mo Mowlam shares some personal revelations from the publication of her autobiography.
We review the latest John le Carre novel - Our Kind of Traitor.
13/09/201020100919On discovering his novelist uncle's past as a fugitive - writer, campaigning Palestinian lawyer and peace activist, Raja Shehadeh, was motivated to write his unique family memoir, "A Rift in Time: Travels with my Ottoman Uncle".
One hundred year's after fleeing a death sentence for voicing his opposition to Ottoman participation in the First World War, Raja tells Clare English about retracing his uncle's escape route through the Rift Valley.
When did philosophical books make the shift from academia to the shelves of mainstream bookshops? We consider the current trend for pop philosophy books and ask if it's really possible to package them into easily digestible chunks?
When it comes to rating restaurant nothing beats word of mouth recommendations.
So, on the 60th anniversary of eating-out "bible", The Good Food Guide, we ask what place does the printed food guide have in the internet age?
Money laundering, mobster money and the collapse of the banking system...
How well does John le Carré dissect this complex backdrop in his latest spy thriller "Our Kind of Traitor"?
And from this week's BBC Radio Scotland Conversation Zone the late Mo Mowlam shares some personal revelations from the publication of her autobiography.
We review the latest John le Carre novel - Our Kind of Traitor.
20100920Master storyteller Philip Pullman on the secrets of spinning a good yarn - and he reveals how he discovered he's just not a writer who can do comedy.
Looking ahead to his event at next week's Wigtown Book Festival, novelist Robert Twigger reveals some of the thirteen errors he made when writing his first novel- obviously we're hoping to coax him into telling us how to avoid them!
Scotland is well-represented on the shortlist for this year's School Librarian of the Year prize.
We'll find out what makes a good school librarian and ask how important a place the library is for pupils, given the pressures of lessons and the distractions of after school activities.
And Australian writer Alex Miller is as highly regarded in his home country as Peter Carey, Kate Grenville and Richard Flanagan - so why are readers in this country yet to discover him?
Master storyteller Philip Pullman discusses the secrets of spinning a good yarn.
20/09/201020100926Master storyteller Philip Pullman on the secrets of spinning a good yarn - and he reveals how he discovered he's just not a writer who can do comedy.
Looking ahead to his event at next week's Wigtown Book Festival, novelist Robert Twigger reveals some of the thirteen errors he made when writing his first novel- obviously we're hoping to coax him into telling us how to avoid them!
Scotland is well-represented on the shortlist for this year's School Librarian of the Year prize.
We'll find out what makes a good school librarian and ask how important a place the library is for pupils, given the pressures of lessons and the distractions of after school activities.
And Australian writer Alex Miller is as highly regarded in his home country as Peter Carey, Kate Grenville and Richard Flanagan - so why are readers in this country yet to discover him?
Master storyteller Philip Pullman discusses the secrets of spinning a good yarn.
20100927Author Philip Pullman looks back at the furore caused by his most recent and highly controversial book, The Good Man Jesus and The Scoundrel Christ, in part two of our interview.
Is it important for children to develop storytelling skills? A group of 7 year-olds have been road-testing new packs of cards designed to help them do just that.
We'll hear their verdict and Linda Bandelier from The Scottish Storytelling Centre will explain why it matters.
Shola Olowu-Asante, recent winner in the 2010 Commonwealth Short Story Competition, talks about the pleasure of rediscovering her creativity after becoming disillusioned with her job as a Business News reporter for television.
The competition between David and Ed Miliband has certainly livened up the contest for the leadership of the Labour Party.
It's a classic plot-line, so writer and journalist Stuart Evers will be recommending the best novels about sibling rivalry.
Philip Pullman on the furore over his book The Good Man Jesus And the Scoundrel Christ.
27/09/201020101003Author Philip Pullman looks back at the furore caused by his most recent and highly controversial book, The Good Man Jesus and The Scoundrel Christ, in part two of our interview.
Is it important for children to develop storytelling skills? A group of 7 year-olds have been road-testing new packs of cards designed to help them do just that.
We'll hear their verdict and Linda Bandelier from The Scottish Storytelling Centre will explain why it matters.
Shola Olowu-Asante, recent winner in the 2010 Commonwealth Short Story Competition, talks about the pleasure of rediscovering her creativity after becoming disillusioned with her job as a Business News reporter for television.
The competition between David and Ed Miliband has certainly livened up the contest for the leadership of the Labour Party.
It's a classic plot-line, so writer and journalist Stuart Evers will be recommending the best novels about sibling rivalry.
Philip Pullman on the furore over his book The Good Man Jesus And the Scoundrel Christ.
20101004As a wave of new fiction uses the war in Afghanistan as setting or inspiration we'll be asking how sensitive fiction authors should be to the consequences of using a 'live' story in their writing.
Clare will be joined by Rob Corbidge, Foreign Editor of The Scotsman, and author David Bishop.
Journalist and film-maker Tim Hetherington discusses his book Infidel, which grew out of his time embedded with American troops in Afghanistan.
When he got there he found that rather than trying to document the actual fighting he was much more interested in the relationships between the men of the platoon.
Mountaineer George Mallory disappeared in 1924, attempting to be the first person to conquer Mount Everest.
As his Complete Writings are published for the first time climber Andy Kirkpatrick and writer Peter Gillman explain how he broke with the convention of stiff-upper lip, ironically understated accounts of expeditions and expressed how it feels to climb mountains in a way that still resonates today.
And- Barry Young is trying to establish Scotland's first Sherlock Holmes appreciation society.
We went along to the first meeting to find out why people would want to come out on a dark, cold night all because of a fictional character.
The ethics of using the war in Afghanistan as the basis for fiction.
04/10/201020101010As a wave of new fiction uses the war in Afghanistan as setting or inspiration we'll be asking how sensitive fiction authors should be to the consequences of using a 'live' story in their writing.
Clare will be joined by Rob Corbidge, Foreign Editor of The Scotsman, and author David Bishop.
Journalist and film-maker Tim Hetherington discusses his book Infidel, which grew out of his time embedded with American troops in Afghanistan.
When he got there he found that rather than trying to document the actual fighting he was much more interested in the relationships between the men of the platoon.
Mountaineer George Mallory disappeared in 1924, attempting to be the first person to conquer Mount Everest.
As his Complete Writings are published for the first time climber Andy Kirkpatrick and writer Peter Gillman explain how he broke with the convention of stiff-upper lip, ironically understated accounts of expeditions and expressed how it feels to climb mountains in a way that still resonates today.
And- Barry Young is trying to establish Scotland's first Sherlock Holmes appreciation society.
We went along to the first meeting to find out why people would want to come out on a dark, cold night all because of a fictional character.
The ethics of using the war in Afghanistan as the basis for fiction.
20101011If you love fiction, join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
Join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
11/10/201020101017Together with The Scottish Book Trust we'll be launching Family Legends, the chance to tell the story of a remarkable relative and have it read out to the nation.
Jessica Mitford's book on investigative journalism, 'Poison Penmanship: The Gentle Art of Muckraking', reviewed by Edi Stark.
Rachel Hewitt explains how the project to create the Ordnance Survey map is linked to the English troops' quest to track down Jacobite rebels hiding in the Highlands after the 1745 rebellion.
If you're being very organised and sports-themed books are on your shopping list of Christmas presents Bill Campbell from Mainstream publishing will be picking out some great reads and current trends.
The Family Legends campaign launch, plus Jessica Mitford's writing on journalism reviewed.
20101018If you love fiction, join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
Join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
18/10/201020101024Writer of The Guardian's Digested Reads column John Crace has now turned his attention to 100 classic books from the last century.
He'll be revealing the tricks of writing a successful parody and explaining why, more than being simply a bit of fun, it's a much underestimated way of getting to grips with the essence of a book.
The popularity of historical fiction continues undiminished so we'll be talking to Robyn Young, writer of the hugely successful Brethren trilogy, about carving out a niche for herself in the genre and asking her why she seems to revel in writing particularly gory battle scenes.
Even as they waited for rescue 2000 ft underground the rights to the story of the Chilean miners were being fought over at the Frankfurt Book Fair.
What, if anything, does this haste to buy up a story before the end is clear tell us about the publishing industry just now?
And this autumn we're spoiled for choice with the publication of various writers' Collected Letters - we've had Bruce Chatwin, Philip Larkin and have Saul Bellow still to come.
Personal letters give a vivid sense of the writer's voice and sometimes reveal the odd secret, but they're only half a conversation, are packed with detail and often require explanation.
John Crace, who's just 'digested' Larkin's Letters to Monica for The Guardian, and Rosemary Goring, Literary Editor of The Herald, will be debating how much fun Collected Letters actually are to read.
Parodies of classic books- a bit of fun or a great way to get to the heart of the text?
20101025Nick Nairn, Tom Kitchin, and food writers Catherine Brown and Donald Reid join Clare English for a special edition of The Book Cafe recorded at the BBC Good Food Show.
Nick Nairn joins Clare English in a show recorded at the BBC Good Food Show.
25/10/201020101031Nick Nairn, Tom Kitchin, and food writers Catherine Brown and Donald Reid join Clare English for a special edition of The Book Cafe recorded at the BBC Good Food Show.
Nick Nairn joins Clare English in a show recorded at the BBC Good Food Show.
20101101Graphic novels continue to gain in popularity, so much so that Glasgow Libraries are setting up six reading groups across the city dedicated solely to the genre.
Comic book artist and 'godfather of steampunk' Bryan Talbot, and crime writer turned graphic novelist Denise Mina will be considering the reasons for their growing appeal.
Caroline Clough tells us about her prize-winning debut children's novel, Red Fever, which she wrote entirely in just ten days.
Three weeks ago we linked up with The Scottish Book Trust to launch the Family Legends campaign- the chance to write the story of a remarkable relative and have it read out to the nation.
On Monday BBC Radio Scotland's Nick Rougvie will outline for Clare the story he's written about his grandfather, whom he thinks could have been a spy.
And - for some time now newspapers have been shrinking the amount of space they devote to reviewing and discussing literature.
Women's magazines, however, seem to be increasing their coverage of books.
We'll find out why.
The growing appeal of graphic novels.
01/11/201020101107Graphic novels continue to gain in popularity, so much so that Glasgow Libraries are setting up six reading groups across the city dedicated solely to the genre.
Comic book artist and 'godfather of steampunk' Bryan Talbot, and crime writer turned graphic novelist Denise Mina will be considering the reasons for their growing appeal.
Caroline Clough tells us about her prize-winning debut children's novel, Red Fever, which she wrote entirely in just ten days.
Three weeks ago we linked up with The Scottish Book Trust to launch the Family Legends campaign- the chance to write the story of a remarkable relative and have it read out to the nation.
On Monday BBC Radio Scotland's Nick Rougvie will outline for Clare the story he's written about his grandfather, whom he thinks could have been a spy.
And - for some time now newspapers have been shrinking the amount of space they devote to reviewing and discussing literature.
Women's magazines, however, seem to be increasing their coverage of books.
We'll find out why.
The growing appeal of graphic novels.
20101108If you love fiction, join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
Join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
08/11/201020101114This month 3079 people across Scotland are writing a 50,000 word novel, to be finished by midnight on the 30th November.
The emphasis is on quantity, not quality, and the aim is to kick-start those who've never taken the plunge into print before.
Anastasia Drummond is the regional motivator for Scotland and it's her job to keep the writers' spirits up and the words flowing.
But is there a book in everyone? Really? And what's the point of writing 50,000 words if they're not that good?
Ken Reid lost his sight in his mid twenties and remembers the struggle he had to finish the last book he ever read.
As the Royal National Institute for the Blind marks 75 years of its Talking Books Service, we hear from Ken about gradually losing the ability to read books and what it means to him to have access to them once again.
Alastair Urquhart, prisoner of war of the Japanese during WW2, talks about reliving the awful memories he'd suppressed for 60 years in order to write his book.
We ask Alastair Moffat, director of the Lennoxlove Book Festival, how to establish and grow a new festival like this one and, crucially, how to make it different from the 41 other book festivals that take place in Scotland each year.
And a book 'written' by a meerkat in a quilted dressing gown is set to be a Christmas best-seller.
Literary Editor of Scotland on Sunday, Stuart Kelly, considers what the annual success of Christmas Novelty Books says about our cultural life.
It's National Novel Writing Month.
but is there really a book in everyone?
20101115If you love fiction, join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
Join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
15/11/201020101121Author of 'The Gruffalo' and 'Room on the Broom', Julia Donaldson, discusses the pleasures and challenges of writing for children.
Andrew Carnegie, the son of a Dunfermline weaver, born 175 years ago this month, was Britain's greatest ever entrepreneur.
He's known as 'the patron saint of libraries' thanks to the money he gave for the establishment of free public libraries around the world.
We'll be hearing about his impact on literacy in Scotland and worldwide and we'll find out why the cause of improving access to education for all held a special resonance for him.
Naming the Bones author Louise Welsh shows us round the room where she writes her best-selling crime novels.
Why I Love....The Leopard.
Artist Chris Connell on the classic Italian novel.
And, as a new anthology of Irish short stories is published, Bernard Maclaverty explains why he thinks Irish writers have a particular aptitude for the form.
The Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson talks about the challenges of writing for children.
20101122Tales of the City author Armistead Maupin joins Clare to discuss the long-awaited next novel in the controversial and groundbreaking series, Mary Ann in Autumn, and explains why the same set of characters has fascinated him for more than three decades.
Last year the Dundonian book 'Dae yeh mind thon time?' became a best seller, much to the surprise of author Mae Stewart.
We'll be finding out what this unassuming writer, now with two books to her name, makes of her success.
We meet the members of the Dumbiedykes Gadgies Writing Group, who discovered unexpected writing talent in their Edinburgh neighbourhood when they were trying to liven up a community newsletter with some poems.
And Alasdair Grey considers whether any of his subsequent books have topped the success of his landmark novel, Lanark.
Tales of the City author Armistead Maupin on his controversial and groundbreaking series.
22/11/201020101128Tales of the City author Armistead Maupin joins Clare to discuss the long-awaited next novel in the controversial and groundbreaking series, Mary Ann in Autumn, and explains why the same set of characters has fascinated him for more than three decades.
Last year the Dundonian book 'Dae yeh mind thon time?' became a best seller, much to the surprise of author Mae Stewart.
We'll be finding out what this unassuming writer, now with two books to her name, makes of her success.
We meet the members of the Dumbiedykes Gadgies Writing Group, who discovered unexpected writing talent in their Edinburgh neighbourhood when they were trying to liven up a community newsletter with some poems.
And Alasdair Grey considers whether any of his subsequent books have topped the success of his landmark novel, Lanark.
Tales of the City author Armistead Maupin on his controversial and groundbreaking series.
20101129The 'Queen of Scandinavian Crime Fiction' is not Steig Larsson's Lisbeth Salander, as you might expect, but, according to her publicity, Norwegian best-selling author Anne Holt.
On Monday's Book Café one of Scotland's own experts in the genre, Karen Campbell, will be reviewing Anne's latest novel, 1222.
We'll also be asking Anne herself how Norwegian crime writing shapes up alongside the Swedish version.
How to Read Poetry - we'll be revealing how to tackle the form which seems to baffle and delight newcomers in equal measure.
Before Monday evening's 2010 Saltire Society Literary Awards ceremony Margaret Macauley will be in the studio to tell us about her book, The Prisoner of St Kilda, which has been shortlisted for the First Book of the Year Award.
It's the story of Lady Grange, a prominent member of Edinburgh society who was kidnapped and taken to a remote Scottish island on the orders of her estranged aristocratic husband- and was held prisoner for thirteen years until her death.
We'll be finding out why.
As the weather gets colder, Granta magazine is focussing on the hot new writers from Spanish-speaking countries.
Chris Dolan has read the latest issue for us and will be giving his tips of the names to look out for - and we might even talk him into predicting whether the new Mario Vargas Llosa is among them.
Produced by Serena Field.
How does Norwegian crime fiction shape up against the Swedish version?
29/11/201020101205The 'Queen of Scandinavian Crime Fiction' is not Steig Larsson's Lisbeth Salander, as you might expect, but, according to her publicity, Norwegian best-selling author Anne Holt.
On Monday's Book Café one of Scotland's own experts in the genre, Karen Campbell, will be reviewing Anne's latest novel, 1222.
We'll also be asking Anne herself how Norwegian crime writing shapes up alongside the Swedish version.
How to Read Poetry - we'll be revealing how to tackle the form which seems to baffle and delight newcomers in equal measure.
Before Monday evening's 2010 Saltire Society Literary Awards ceremony Margaret Macauley will be in the studio to tell us about her book, The Prisoner of St Kilda, which has been shortlisted for the First Book of the Year Award.
It's the story of Lady Grange, a prominent member of Edinburgh society who was kidnapped and taken to a remote Scottish island on the orders of her estranged aristocratic husband- and was held prisoner for thirteen years until her death.
We'll be finding out why.
As the weather gets colder, Granta magazine is focussing on the hot new writers from Spanish-speaking countries.
Chris Dolan has read the latest issue for us and will be giving his tips of the names to look out for - and we might even talk him into predicting whether the new Mario Vargas Llosa is among them.
Produced by Serena Field.
How does Norwegian crime fiction shape up against the Swedish version?
20101206If you love fiction, join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
Join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
Audrey Niffenegger20101212In this interview Stuart Kelly, Literary Editor of Scotland on Sunday, talks to Audrey Niffenegger, author of the six million- selling 'The Time Traveller's Wife' and a unique voice in contemporary literature.
They discuss her writing, her inspirations and her reaction to becoming a successful novelist after years spent as a visual artist.
She reveals that she only wrote 'The Time Traveller's Wife' as a conventional novel because it wasn't working as a graphic novel and coins a description for her new book, calling it 'the 21st century 19th century novel'.
Stuart Kelly, literary editor of Scotland on Sunday, talks to Audrey Niffenegger.
20101213In "Murder at Mansfield Park," Lynn Shepherd takes Jane Austen's classic and turns it into a murder mystery.
With the story turned on its head and new characters introduced, does she think she can improve Austen's writing? Is this an enjoyable twist on an old classic? Or creative plagiarism? Lynn joins Clare English in the studio to tell her more.
For the last thirty years of his life, Hugh Macdiarmid lived in a small cottage near Biggar.
The cottage might have fallen into disrepair after his death, had it not been for the efforts of friends and supporters who put it to use as a "living museum," where writers could live and work.
Author James Robertson was the first writer to be based at the cottage, and takes us inside.
BBC Radio Scotland's joint campaign with the Scottish Book Trust, "Family Legends," has been running since October, and believes every family has a story to tell.
Writer Robert Douglas gives us tips on how to start putting your story to paper.
In our weekly visit to BBC Radio Scotland's Zones, we'll hear Ricky Ross interviewing author Andrew Greig.
Plus, over 34 million books were sold in the run up to Christmas last year - double the average monthly figures.
We'll look back at some of the best reads of 2010 and find out what would make great Christmas gifts.
Produced by Serena Field & Rich Preston.
Clare English recaps the best reads of 2010 - what should you be giving at Christmas!?
13/12/201020101219In "Murder at Mansfield Park," Lynn Shepherd takes Jane Austen's classic and turns it into a murder mystery.
With the story turned on its head and new characters introduced, does she think she can improve Austen's writing? Is this an enjoyable twist on an old classic? Or creative plagiarism? Lynn joins Clare English in the studio to tell her more.
For the last thirty years of his life, Hugh Macdiarmid lived in a small cottage near Biggar.
The cottage might have fallen into disrepair after his death, had it not been for the efforts of friends and supporters who put it to use as a "living museum," where writers could live and work.
Author James Robertson was the first writer to be based at the cottage, and takes us inside.
BBC Radio Scotland's joint campaign with the Scottish Book Trust, "Family Legends," has been running since October, and believes every family has a story to tell.
Writer Robert Douglas gives us tips on how to start putting your story to paper.
In our weekly visit to BBC Radio Scotland's Zones, we'll hear Ricky Ross interviewing author Andrew Greig.
Plus, over 34 million books were sold in the run up to Christmas last year - double the average monthly figures.
We'll look back at some of the best reads of 2010 and find out what would make great Christmas gifts.
Produced by Serena Field & Rich Preston.
Clare English recaps the best reads of 2010 - what should you be giving at Christmas!?
20101220If you love fiction, join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
Join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
25/10/201020110103Ed Hollis talks about his book The Secret Lives of Buildings in a recording from last year's Aye Write Festival and Nick Nairn, Tom Kitchin and food writers Catherine Brown and Donald Reid join Clare English for a special edition of The Book Cafe recorded at the BBC Good Food Show.
Ed Hollis at Aye Write and Nick Nairn at the Good Food Show join Clare English.
25/10/201020110109Ed Hollis talks about his book The Secret Lives of Buildings in a recording from last year's Aye Write Festival and Nick Nairn, Tom Kitchin and food writers Catherine Brown and Donald Reid join Clare English for a special edition of The Book Cafe recorded at the BBC Good Food Show.
Ed Hollis at Aye Write and Nick Nairn at the Good Food Show join Clare English.
20110110If you love fiction, join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
Join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
10/01/201120110116Wilbert Rideau became an award-winning journalist while serving time on death row in America's most violent jail.
An African American imprisoned during the civil rights ferment of Louisiana in 1961 for the killing of a white woman, he was released after 44 years when his conviction was changed from murder to manslaughter.
He's now written a memoir.
Wilbert will join us to explain how developing the habit of reading in jail first made him realise the enormity of his crime and set him on the path to a more meaningful life.
A hot tip for your New Year reading: a Motherwell reading group reviews Tessa Hadley's The London Train.
Far Flung Fiction- we're going to be sending books out into the world and seeing where they end up.
And The Art of Book Reviewing: The Scotsman's Lee Randall and Ralph Blumenau, top reviewer with Amazon, discuss the etiquette, the pitfalls, the famous bust-ups and divided loyalties associated with the apparently simple matter of saying whether or not a book is any good.
Produced by Serena Field.
Clare English discusses the delicate and diplomatic art of book reviewing.
20110117If you love fiction, join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
Join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
17/01/201120110123160 years after the publication of Moby Dick we talk to the writer of the first novel ever written about the life of its troubled and mercurial author, Herman Melville.
Jay Parini made a splash with his account of the extraordinary last year of Leo Tolstoy's life, The Last Station, which was made into a hit film starring Christopher Plummer and Helen Mirren.
We'll be asking him about the challenges and pleasures of bringing a famous author to life in fiction.
Songs inspired by books - from Kate Bush's Wuthering Heights to The Rolling Stones' Sympathy for the Devil, broadcaster and record producer John Cavanagh and rock and pop critic Fiona Shepherd give us their picks of the best.
The National Library of Scotland is offering members of the public the chance to adopt a manuscript by some of the world's most famous authors.
We've been to take a closer look at the personal documents of Lord Byron, Charles Darwin, David Livingstone and Walter Scott.
And we hear about the book trolley that's brightening up the morning commute of the passengers using a small train station in the east of Glasgow.
Produced by Serena Field.
Songs inspired by books: John Cavanagh and Fiona Shepherd give us their pick of the best.
20110124If you love fiction, join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
Join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
24/01/201120110130Scotland's new National Poet, Liz Lochhead, will join us to discuss her hopes for the role.
Alaskan author David Vann, whose book Legend of a Suicide won him many awards, not to mention fans, will be talking about his new novel of troubled relationships, Caribou Island, and the challenge of returning again in fiction to the dark themes that shaped his childhood.
We visit the Scottish Poetry Library to hear the story of a curious and charming recent discovery.
Ahead of Monday night's awards ceremony soldier-poet Brian Turner chats about keeping illustrious company with the likes of Seamus Heaney on the shortlist of the prestigious T S Eliot Prize for Poetry.
And public library closures: we get to grips with the maelstrom of comments, online campaigns and criticism as the debate intensifies.
Produced by Serena Field.
Scotland's new national poet Liz Lochhead and author David Vann join Clare English.
20110131If you love fiction, join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
Join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
31/01/201120110206Join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
20110207
One of the best- loved children's authors of all, Jacqueline Wilson, on the cuts facing British libraries, her achievements as Children's Laureate and why she thinks some adults are wary of giving her books to children.
Writer Elaine di Rollo on using fiction to get to the parts of social history that her academic research can't reach.
A Day in the Life of MacNaughtan's Bookshop in Edinburgh.
We spent a happy few hours among the secondhand and antiquarian books discussing with the staff the economic challenge the shop faces, whether there's a future for newcomers to the trade and, of course, that magical moment when you suddenly realise you 've found something precious.
And what help can a mentor be to a struggling young writer? Katerina Vasiliou and author Beatrice Colin discuss what each of them brings to their working partnership.
Produced by Serena Field.
Clare English talks to one of the best-loved children's authors, Jacqueline Wilson.
07/02/201120110213
One of the best- loved children's authors of all, Jacqueline Wilson, on the cuts facing British libraries, her achievements as Children's Laureate and why she thinks some adults are wary of giving her books to children.
Writer Elaine di Rollo on using fiction to get to the parts of social history that her academic research can't reach.
A Day in the Life of MacNaughtan's Bookshop in Edinburgh.
We spent a happy few hours among the secondhand and antiquarian books discussing with the staff the economic challenge the shop faces, whether there's a future for newcomers to the trade and, of course, that magical moment when you suddenly realise you 've found something precious.
And what help can a mentor be to a struggling young writer? Katerina Vasiliou and author Beatrice Colin discuss what each of them brings to their working partnership.
Produced by Serena Field.
Clare English talks to one of the best-loved children's authors, Jacqueline Wilson.
20110214
Romance is one of the most popular genres of fiction, so we'll be indulging our softer side on Monday's Book Café when we meet Mills and Boon's only male author, an ex-rugby playing grandad from Liverpool who specialises in the intriguingly-named 'medical romance' genre.
Late-blooming literary careers: does life experience win out over youth when it comes to starting out as a writer? Paul Torday, author of the best-seller Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, began writing after a 30-year career in engineering and he and creative writing teacher Cynthia Rogerson will be giving us the benefit of their wisdom on the matter.
And some gorgeous Gaelic poetry for Valentine's Day read by Gerda Stevenson and the late Tom Fleming.
Producer: Serena Field.
Chris Kane talks to Paul Torday, author of the bestseller Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.
14/02/201120110220
Romance is one of the most popular genres of fiction, so we'll be indulging our softer side on Monday's Book Café when we meet Mills and Boon's only male author, an ex-rugby playing grandad from Liverpool who specialises in the intriguingly-named 'medical romance' genre.
Late-blooming literary careers: does life experience win out over youth when it comes to starting out as a writer? Paul Torday, author of the best-seller Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, began writing after a 30-year career in engineering and he and creative writing teacher Cynthia Rogerson will be giving us the benefit of their wisdom on the matter.
And some gorgeous Gaelic poetry for Valentine's Day read by Gerda Stevenson and the late Tom Fleming.
Producer: Serena Field.
Chris Kane talks to Paul Torday, author of the bestseller Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.
20110221
The high-profile television adaptations of her best-selling psychological thrillers will be on our screens from next month, so how does writer Sophie Hannah feel about relinquishing control of her famously tight plots and carefully-written characters?
As the latest figures on library lending are released, we take a look at the trends they reveal and ask what light they shed on the matter of threatened library closures.
According to those library lending figures, The Story of Tracy Beaker was the most -borrowed book of the decade and in part two of our interview with that book's author, Dame Jacqueline Wilson, we find out exactly why she thinks her spiky, troubled and defiant heroine has so captured her young readers' imaginations.
And literary agent David Miller and ex-bookseller and editor Stuart Evers are about to have their first works of fiction published.
In these hard times for the industry, is it a very clever move, given that they're insiders? How will they feel about their work being judged by fellow professionals in the field? And the biggest question of all: did they read other people's work as part of their day job and think: 'I can do better than that!'?
Produced by Serena Field.
Clare English talks to best-selling psychological thriller writer Sophie Hannah.
20110228
World Book Night is approaching; 20,000 people are poised to distribute their share of 1 million free books, big-name authors are expressing their enthusiasm, parties and events have been planned all over the country.
But, alongside the buzz, there are booksellers, authors and publishers who doubt that this unprecedented giveaway will have the all-round positive impact the organisers hope.
Jamie Byng, Chairman of World Book Night, and Vanessa Robertson, independent bookshop owner and World Book Night sceptic, have been trying to schedule a meeting to discuss the matter and we're happy to help out- they'll be joining Clare English live on the programme.
American author Nicole Krauss discusses Great House, the follow-up to the best-selling The History of Love, which won huge praise from critics and readers alike.
For all Daphne du Maurier fans: we'll hear the story behind the re-discovery of five early short stories, lost for almost 70 years.
The collection won't be published until May but Ann Willmore, the Cornish bookseller who unearthed them, will give us an exclusive taster of what to expect.
We gave her a recording device and left her to it; crime writer Denise Mina gives us an intriguing insight into a day in her working life.
And- we'll be reviewing the new novel by Kim Edwards, the author of book group favourite The Memory Keeper's Daughter.
Producer: Serena Field.
World Book Night - the pros and cons of giving away one million books.
28/02/201120110306
World Book Night - the pros and cons of giving away one million books.
20110307
Collections of essays don't exactly fly off the bookshelves, even in the best of economic times, but, despite this, Hanif Kureishi's new book is a compilation of his thoughts on everything from the screenplay of My Beautiful Laundrette to a Kureishi family holiday to Venice.
He believes that essay-writing is a vital part of the author's discipline- but is it of any relevance to the general reader? He'll be attempting to convince us to discover the joys of the form.
Tony Fitzjohn has spent his life working to conserve East Africa's most beautiful and endangered creatures.
As a young man he left the boredom of the London suburbs for Africa, where he met Joy Adamson of Born Free fame.
She told him her husband needed a new assistant, because the last one had been killed by a lion.
Tony thought it sounded like the job for him and stayed for 18 years.
He'll be joining us to share some of the enthralling stories of life with the big cats from his memoir, Born Wild.
American writer Gary Shteyngart discusses Super Sad True Love Story, his very funny, very thought-provoking, portrait of a status-obsessed, technology-dependent America set in the near-future.
And- we gave her a recording device and left her to it; crime writer Denise Mina gives us an intriguing insight into a day in her working life.
Producer: Serena Field.
Hanif Kureishi tries to convince us of the joys of reading essay collections.
20110314
If you love fiction, join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
Join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
14/03/201120110320
Kilmarnock-born writer Gordon Ferris's novel, The Hanging Shed, has just become a number one bestseller electronically, weeks before it was released in print.
E books are changing the literary landscape even faster than expected, so we'll be asking whether we should be cheered by this success story, because traditionally non-bestselling authors can now get a piece of the publishing pie, or whether it signals an ever more bleak prospect for bookshops and printed books.
Nobel Prize winners Toni Morrison and J M Coetzee are fans of hers- and fans don't come much bigger than that.
We meet the best writer most of us have never heard of.
And she lives right under our noses in Scotland.
Rosemary Goring, Literary Editor of The Herald gives us her pick of the best Scottish fiction out this spring.
Johanna Adorjan's grandparents survived the Holocaust and escaped the tumult of Hungary during the uprising of 1956, only to commit suicide together in 1991, rather than allow one to die before the other.
Sixteen years after their death, Johanna set out to get to know them better and to try to understand the reasons behind that devastating decision.
We'll be hearing about her moving and thoughtful memoir, An Enduring Love.
And- as the year of Books on the BBC continues, we'll be reviewing BBC2's forthcoming version of Michel Faber's best-selling epic The Crimson Petal and the White and asking whether television adaptations prompt viewers to then pick up the book, or are they a lazy way of ticking one more novel off the To Read list?
Produced by Serena Field.
How a Scottish novel became an ebook sensation weeks before its print debut.
20110321
If you love fiction, join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
Join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
21/03/201120110327
Chicago-based crime writer Sara Paretsky, creator of the first feisty female investigator V I Warshawski, explains why it was time to breathe new life into her creation with her latest thriller, Body Work.
With the phased demolition of the Red Road flats in Glasgow set to begin, Clare talks to Alison Irvine about her debut novel, This Road Is Red.
Alison created stories based on her interviews with current and former residents of the Red Road's flats, once the tallest in Western Europe.
The National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh is the only copyright library in the country and there's a legal requirement that it stocks a copy of every book and periodical published in Britain.
The pressure on space is obvious and it's running out.
We'll find out how they're tackling the challenge.
Being Human, a world poetry anthology offering hundreds of thoughtful and passionate poems about living in the modern world, is about to be published.
It's the companion anthology to the much admired and hugely successful Staying Alive and Being Alive.
Bloodaxe Books editor Neil Astley joins Clare to talk about this new instalment and the success of the trilogy.
And he'll treat us to some readings - Sara Paretsky talks about reinvigorating her main character, detective VI Warshawski.
20110328
If you love fiction, join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
Join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
28/03/201120110403
If you love fiction, join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
Join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
20110404
"Father and son were in some ways ridiculously alike, in others ridiculously different." Michael Frayn discusses his moving memoir 'My Father's Fortune - A Life' with Clare English, in a session recorded at this year's Aye Write Festival at the Glasgow's Mitchell Library.
The writer, whose novels such as Spies and Headlong and plays such as Noises Off, Copenhagen and Democracy, has won many awards.
In this latest work, he delves into his own family background to discover more about the asbestos sales rep who was his father.
Clare English talks to writer Michael Frayn about his memoir My Father's Fortune.
04/04/201120110410
"Father and son were in some ways ridiculously alike, in others ridiculously different." Michael Frayn discusses his moving memoir 'My Father's Fortune - A Life' with Clare English, in a session recorded at this year's Aye Write Festival at the Glasgow's Mitchell Library.
The writer, whose novels such as Spies and Headlong and plays such as Noises Off, Copenhagen and Democracy, has won many awards.
In this latest work, he delves into his own family background to discover more about the asbestos sales rep who was his father.
Clare English talks to writer Michael Frayn about his memoir My Father's Fortune.
20110509If you love fiction, join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
Join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
09/05/201120110515In the centenary year of William Golding, daughter Judy reveals what it was like to grow up with a brilliant but often difficult father.
In the centenary year of William Golding, daughter Judy discusses her memoirs.
20110516If you love fiction, join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
Join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
16/05/201120110522The BBC radio programme Afghan Woman's Hour was a lifeline for the women of Afghanistan during its five years on air.
The most popular part of the programme was the Life Stories slot, where ordinary women put their hopes, struggles and experiences into words, despite the legacy of years of conflict.
Presenter and producer of the show, Zarghuna Kargar, joins Clare to explain why, after the programme ended, she was moved to collect their stories into a book.
A portrait of a Victorian city at the cutting edge of creativity and innovation, the 1888 International Exhibition in Kelvingrove and the Glasgow Boys: we review Orange Prize shortlisted author Jane Harris's new novel, Gillespie and I.
It'll be the biggest gathering at Auchinleck House in Ayrshire since biographer James Boswell entertained his subject, Dr.
Johnson, there over two hundred years ago.
A celebration of the art of writing biography and memoir, we hear about the Boswell Book Festival, the newest addition to Scotland's roster of literary attractions.
Fresh from the success of the BBC adaptation of The Field of Blood, Denise Mina discusses her latest novel, The End of the Wasp Season.
And The F Word: the latest edition of Granta Magazine for new writing focuses on feminism.
What does this loaded term mean today? Is it really a dirty word? Zarghuna Kargar, Anne Ellis and Denise Mina join Clare.
How the BBC's Afghan Woman's Hour encouraged women to put their life stories into words.
20110523If you love fiction, join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
Join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
23/05/201120110529Christopher Brookmyre on the risks of breaking new ground with his latest novel, Where the Bodies are Buried.
Will the legions of Brookmyre devotees make the leap with him?
The new James Bond novel is out on Thursday.
Jeffery Deaver discusses the challenge of re-booting the franchise, pleasing the fans and staying true to his own style.
As the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland prepares to take a good hard look at its treatment of this country's travelling people, author and storyteller Jess Smith explains how a dramatic performance she based on the experiences of the community was the trigger for the Church's soul-searching.
We dispel the myth that children these days prefer a screen to reading a book and look into why sales of children's books are rising year on year.
And- does motherhood change the kind of reader you are? Journalist and mother of two Jane Graham joins Clare to discuss.
Produced by Serena Field.
Christopher Brookmyre on the risks of breaking new ground with his latest novel.
20110530Glasgow-born Aminatta Forna, fresh from winning one of the world's most important literary awards, the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for The Memory of Love, joins us to talk about that, whether she can also bag next week's Orange Prize and- getting back to writing- rediscovering Sierra Leone, the place she grew up, for a remarkable new collection of travel stories.
We get a taste of modern Greece as we talk to Meaghan Delahunt about To the Island, a novel where the search for a lost father reveals the impact of recent political upheaval on the lives of ordinary people.
As her hugely-successful Dragonfire series for children reaches its conclusion, author Anne Forbes gives us a guided tour of the Edinburgh locations that inspired her magical version of the city.
And: Jock Hume, twenty one year old father-to-be from Dumfries, was one of the band of musicians who played on the deck of the sinking Titanic as passengers scrambled into life boats, only to die in the icy water themselves.
Almost a hundred years later, Jock's grandson, ex-Fleet Street journalist Christopher Ward, has written about the impact of the disaster on two generations of his family.
He joins Clare to reveal a story of class discrimination, corporate incompetence and family betrayal.
Producer: Serena Field.
Award-winning author Aminatta Forna on a remarkable new collection of travel writing.
30/05/201120110605Glasgow-born Aminatta Forna, fresh from winning one of the world's most important literary awards, the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for The Memory of Love, joins us to talk about that, whether she can also bag next week's Orange Prize and- getting back to writing- rediscovering Sierra Leone, the place she grew up, for a remarkable new collection of travel stories.
We get a taste of modern Greece as we talk to Meaghan Delahunt about To the Island, a novel where the search for a lost father reveals the impact of recent political upheaval on the lives of ordinary people.
As her hugely-successful Dragonfire series for children reaches its conclusion, author Anne Forbes gives us a guided tour of the Edinburgh locations that inspired her magical version of the city.
And: Jock Hume, twenty one year old father-to-be from Dumfries, was one of the band of musicians who played on the deck of the sinking Titanic as passengers scrambled into life boats, only to die in the icy water themselves.
Almost a hundred years later, Jock's grandson, ex-Fleet Street journalist Christopher Ward, has written about the impact of the disaster on two generations of his family.
He joins Clare to reveal a story of class discrimination, corporate incompetence and family betrayal.
Producer: Serena Field.
Award-winning author Aminatta Forna on a remarkable new collection of travel writing.
20110606Thirty years ago children's author and illustrator Shirley Hughes created four year old Alfie and his naughty little sister Annie Rose.
Their everyday adventures have entranced generations of young readers ever since.
Children's writer Debi Gliori will join Clare in looking at Hughes's pictures for the Alfie books, to try to put her finger on their magic, and to explain what Hughes's work meant to her as a young illustrator, and then again when she became a mother.
Author Ali Smith will be discussing her new novel There But For The, where a dinner party guest somewhat overstays his welcome.
We discover the treasures of the oldest public lending library in Scotland.
And crowd funded literature: who needs publishers? Authors pitch an idea for their next book online and members of the public pledge money.
If the target is reached the book will be written- and supporters may even get lunch with the author thrown in.
Writer Ali Smith and Benedicte Page from The Bookseller Magazine balance up the pros and cons of democratising the book commissioning process.
Producer: Serena Field.
Happy 30th birthday! We celebrate Shirley Hughes's illustrations for the Alfie books.
06/06/201120110612Happy 30th birthday! We celebrate Shirley Hughes's illustrations for the Alfie books.
20110613If you love fiction, join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
Join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
13/06/201120110619Without clues, could you tell the difference between fiction by a man or by a woman? Nobel Laureate VS Naipaul reckons he can tell "within a paragraph or two" if a piece of writing has been written by a woman.
On Monday's Book Cafe Clare will be putting this theory to the test.
Without clues, could you tell the difference between fiction written by men and women?
20110620If you love fiction, join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
Join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
20/06/201120110626Next month is the centenary of the birth of Mervyn Peake, author of the Gormenghast novels.
His children, Sebastian and Clare, have brought out two very different books to mark their father's anniversary - a memoir and a book of the illustrations he drew to entertain them.
We'll be piecing together a fascinating portrait of this writer, illustrator and poet, creator of a dark, fantastical realm which has captivated readers all over the world.
The best-seller charts are regularly topped by novels created by teams of writers.
As the duo behind the Nicci French crime thrillers commit to a series of 8 books over the next 10 years, we'll quiz them about the secrets of working together and find out whether more brain power means better stories.
The new Children's Laureate, Gruffalo creator Julia Donaldson, why she's passionate about keeping children in the habit of reading over the summer holidays.
Writing historical novels for young people sounds like a difficult trick to pull off but multi- award winning Scottish author Theresa Breslin clearly has the knack.; she's once again in the running for the prestigious Carnegie Medal, awarded to the writer of an outstanding book for children.
Her latest novel takes us to AndalucÃa during the time of the Spanish Inquisition and sets a love story against a backdrop of violence, social unrest and the discovery a new world by Christopher Columbus.
She'll join us to talk about turning complicated history into gripping stories that truly engage young readers.
Producer: Serena Field.
We celebrate the centenary of Mervyn Peake, author of the Gormenghast novels.
20110627From Elizabeth I reviewing the army at Tilbury in 1588 to Barack Obama's 2008 victory address- what makes a great speech? As a book of the speeches that changed history is published, Annabel Goldie MSP and speechwriter Martin Shovel will be sharing the secrets of stirring the souls of your listeners when addressing a crowd.
Author of The Bicycle Book, Bella Bathurst, persuades Edi of the joys of travelling on two wheels.
We'll be picking out some fantastic reads for this summer.
And we'll hear the last of the five winning stories in the Family Legends writing competition.
Edi Stark talks to Annabel Goldie MSP about what makes a great speech.
27/06/201120110703Edi Stark talks to Annabel Goldie MSP about what makes a great speech.
20110704If you love fiction, join Edi Stark for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
Join Edi Stark for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
04/07/201120110710Join Edi Stark for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
20110711As the final Harry Potter film is released we look back at the series of books that gripped the imagination of an entire generation of young readers.
Award-winning author Colm Tóibín explains how solitude works both for and against him as a writer as we look at his latest book, The Empty Family.
Clare discovers how E.
B.
White spun the classic American children's story, Charlotte's Web.
The National Library of Scotland boasts the finest Byron collection in the world.
We've been to see their latest acquisition: a 186 year old memorial book that lay on his grave and was written in by the great and the good who came to mourn, giving us a fascinating insight into how he was regarded in his own lifetime.
And- rather than turning us into introverted, escapist bookworms, can reading fiction improve our social skills and even heal us? Clare will be joined by Jane Davis, Director of the charity The Reader.
Producer: Serena Field.
Goodbye Harry Potter: we look back at the books that gripped a generation of readers.
11/07/201120110717Goodbye Harry Potter: we look back at the books that gripped a generation of readers.
20110718Egypt's Reading Revolution: As summer follows the uprising of the Arab Spring, Egyptians are looking for a better life for themselves and their children and that's showing itself in the first place through the demand for books and knowledge.
Publishing is booming, and two new daily newspapers and a children's bookshop have opened up since February.
The BBC's correspondent in Cairo, Jon Leyne, will describe the cultural revolution replacing the political upheaval.
Favourite children's author Michael Morpurgo explains why he was moved to write his latest book by a small, wooden toy dog on wheels made by two German Prisoners of War that he found in the Imperial War Museum.
Tuesday will be a turning point for the Save the Libraries Campaign, as campaigners challenge Brent Council in the High Court over their plan to cut half their local libraries.
The stakes are high: if the campaigners win, councils all over the country will have to rethink their planned closures.
If the council wins, libraries are more vulnerable than ever.
We'll be hearing about the impact of either outcome for Scottish libraries.
Multiple award-winning writer Colm Tóibín on why writing makes him miserable in part two of our interview.
And- Janine di Giovanni has been called 'one of our generation's finest foreign correspondents' and has reported almost every violent conflict since the 1980s.
She'll join us to talk about turning her reporter's eye from the war zones of Afghanistan, Iraq and Bosnia to herself, to write her moving memoir of love and war, Ghosts by Daylight.
Producer: Serena Field.
Michael Morpurgo talks about the inspiration for his latest book: a toy found in a museum.
18/07/201120110724Michael Morpurgo talks about the inspiration for his latest book: a toy found in a museum.
20110725If you love fiction, join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
Join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
25/07/201120110731Join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
20110801In this special full-length programme, Clare English talks to Booker Prize-winning author Penelope Lively about her long and illustrious career, and explores the events and influences that have shaped her as a writer.
Producer: Serena Field.
Booker Prize-winning author Penelope Lively talks to Clare English.
01/08/201120110807Booker Prize-winning author Penelope Lively talks to Clare English.
20110808It's been called 'the must-read book of the summer'.
Author of Say Her Name, Francisco Goldman, talks about blurring fact and fiction in order to be able to write about his beautiful and talented young wife, writer Aura Estrada, who died in a bodysurfing accident on holiday only two years into their marriage.
Q.C.
and human rights lawyer Mark Muller explains how his work in international conflict resolution led directly to the founding of a small, intimate and influential festival of books and ideas in the Scottish Borders.
Sebastian Barry discusses his new novel, On Canaan's Side, already long -listed for this year's Man Booker Prize.
Author Simon van Booy may have won great acclaim for two collections of short stories but we'll be finding out how easy it was to make the leap to writing his first novel.
And: far from being the simple Ploughman Poet, Robert Burns's work was radical and subversive- so much so that he didn't dare to put his name to many of his best-known poems such as 'A Man's A Man'.
No stranger to controversy himself, Kevin Williamson, founder of underground magazine Rebel Inc, will give us a flavour of his multi-media Fringe show, 'Robert Burns: Not in My Name', which situates Burns very much as a man of his time- and of ours.
Books featured this week:
Say Her Name- Francisco Goldman
On Canaan's Side- Sebastian Barry
Everything Beautiful Began After- Simon van Booy
Producer: Serena Field.
Clare English talks to Francisco Goldman, author of 'must-read book' Say Her Name.
08/08/201120110814It's been called 'the must-read book of the summer'.
Author of Say Her Name, Francisco Goldman, talks about blurring fact and fiction in order to be able to write about his beautiful and talented young wife, writer Aura Estrada, who died in a bodysurfing accident on holiday only two years into their marriage.
Q.C.
and human rights lawyer Mark Muller explains how his work in international conflict resolution led directly to the founding of a small, intimate and influential festival of books and ideas in the Scottish Borders.
Sebastian Barry discusses his new novel, On Canaan's Side, already long -listed for this year's Man Booker Prize.
Author Simon van Booy may have won great acclaim for two collections of short stories but we'll be finding out how easy it was to make the leap to writing his first novel.
And: far from being the simple Ploughman Poet, Robert Burns's work was radical and subversive- so much so that he didn't dare to put his name to many of his best-known poems such as 'A Man's A Man'.
No stranger to controversy himself, Kevin Williamson, founder of underground magazine Rebel Inc, will give us a flavour of his multi-media Fringe show, 'Robert Burns: Not in My Name', which situates Burns very much as a man of his time- and of ours.
Books featured this week:
Say Her Name- Francisco Goldman
On Canaan's Side- Sebastian Barry
Everything Beautiful Began After- Simon van Booy
Producer: Serena Field.
Clare English talks to Francisco Goldman, author of 'must-read book' Say Her Name.
20110829Clare meets superstar Norwegian writer Jo Nesbo.
Despite critics comparing her work to Alice Munro and William Trevor as much as Ruth Rendell or PD James, Scottish author Morag Joss has been unable to shake the label of 'crime writer' since her first three books, which were in that genre.
She'll join us to talk about attempting to re-invent herself with her seventh novel, 'Across the Bridge'.
'There is only one country that was given by God! It is Scotland to the Scots'.
The father of sci -fi, Jules Verne, only spent twelve days in the country but his classic novels, 'Journey to the Centre of the Earth', '20,000 Leagues under the Sea' and 'Around the World in 80 Days' reveal how deeply he was impressed by Scotland.
Ian Thompson joins us to explain why.
And- the man who brought Daleks back to the small screen in the BAFTA-winning first series of Doctor Who starring Christopher Eccleston is to become writer-in-residence at Edinburgh Napier University's.
Rob Shearman will reveal how he'll be encouraging his students to think big when he takes up his post next month.
Produced by Serena Field.
Clare English meets Norwegian writer Jo Nesbo.
29/08/201120110904Clare meets superstar Norwegian writer Jo Nesbo.
Despite critics comparing her work to Alice Munro and William Trevor as much as Ruth Rendell or PD James, Scottish author Morag Joss has been unable to shake the label of 'crime writer' since her first three books, which were in that genre.
She'll join us to talk about attempting to re-invent herself with her seventh novel, 'Across the Bridge'.
'There is only one country that was given by God! It is Scotland to the Scots'.
The father of sci -fi, Jules Verne, only spent twelve days in the country but his classic novels, 'Journey to the Centre of the Earth', '20,000 Leagues under the Sea' and 'Around the World in 80 Days' reveal how deeply he was impressed by Scotland.
Ian Thompson joins us to explain why.
And- the man who brought Daleks back to the small screen in the BAFTA-winning first series of Doctor Who starring Christopher Eccleston is to become writer-in-residence at Edinburgh Napier University's.
Rob Shearman will reveal how he'll be encouraging his students to think big when he takes up his post next month.
Produced by Serena Field
Books mentioned on today's programme:
Across the Bridge- Morag Joss
Red Dust Road- Jackie Kay
The Leopard- Jo Nesbo
Jules Verne's Scotland; In Fact and Fiction- Ian Thompson.
Clare English meets Norwegian writer Jo Nesbo.
20110905If you love fiction, join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
Join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
05/09/201120110911If you love fiction, join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
Join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
20110912Jonathan Coe's breakthrough novel was his fourth, 1994's 'What a Carve Up!', a stylistically breathtaking, bitingly funny exploration of greed, corruption and class entitlement in 1980s Britain.
His success grew from there due to his deft balance of technically clever and hugely enjoyable, exuberant, writing, In his most recent book, 'The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim', he turns his attention to our relationship with communication technology and the way it paradoxically isolates and dominates us, a perfect subject for this chronicler of the absurdity of modern life.
In this special edition of The Book Cafe Jonathan looks back at his career so far and talks about the books that have influenced him as a writer.
Producer: Serena Field.
Jonathan Coe's latest book, 'The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim' is out now.
Clare English talks to author Jonathan Coe about his career and influences.
12/09/201120110918Jonathan Coe's breakthrough novel was his fourth, 1994's 'What a Carve Up!', a stylistically breathtaking, bitingly funny exploration of greed, corruption and class entitlement in 1980s Britain.
His success grew from there due to his deft balance of technically clever and hugely enjoyable, exuberant, writing, In his most recent book, 'The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim', he turns his attention to our relationship with communication technology and the way it paradoxically isolates and dominates us, a perfect subject for this chronicler of the absurdity of modern life.
In this special edition of The Book Cafe Jonathan looks back at his career so far and talks about the books that have influenced him as a writer.
Producer: Serena Field.
Jonathan Coe's latest book, 'The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim' is out now.
Clare English talks to author Jonathan Coe about his career and influences.
20110919If you love fiction, join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
Join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
19/09/201120110925Join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
20110926If you love fiction, join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
Join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
26/09/201120111002Lauren Child and Cressida Cowell discuss being children's authors and best friends, and Janice Forsyth discovers the art of writing a creepy ghost story.
Lauren Child and Cressida Cowell discuss being children's authors and best friends.
20111003'If anyone in future wants to know how an intelligent Englishwoman led her life in the twentieth century, her inner and outer life, from birth to a very old age, hers are books that will need to be read': the words of journalist Ian Jack in his introduction to 'Life Class: the Selected Memoirs of Diana Athill'.
Her writing is compelling in its clarity and searing honesty, skills honed over four decades of work with the publishing company Andre Deutsch, where she became known as the best editor in London.
From six volumes of memoir, as well as a novel and a collection of short stories, we can build up a picture of the arc of Diana's fascinating life, starting with a privileged childhood in the country and ending in a lovely residential home in Highgate, London, where we travelled for a special edition of The Book Café.
Producer: Serena Field.
'Instead of a Book: Letters to a Friend' by Diana Athill is published on the 6th October.
Writer and editor Diana Athill talks to Clare English.
03/10/201120111009'If anyone in future wants to know how an intelligent Englishwoman led her life in the twentieth century, her inner and outer life, from birth to a very old age, hers are books that will need to be read': the words of journalist Ian Jack in his introduction to 'Life Class: the Selected Memoirs of Diana Athill'.
Her writing is compelling in its clarity and searing honesty, skills honed over four decades of work with the publishing company Andre Deutsch, where she became known as the best editor in London.
From six volumes of memoir, as well as a novel and a collection of short stories, we can build up a picture of the arc of Diana's fascinating life, starting with a privileged childhood in the country and ending in a lovely residential home in Highgate, London, where we travelled for a special edition of The Book Café.
Producer: Serena Field.
'Instead of a Book: Letters to a Friend' by Diana Athill is published on the 6th October.
Writer and editor Diana Athill talks to Clare English.
20111010If you love fiction, join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
Join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
10/10/201120111016Former principal with The Royal Ballet, Deborah Bull, takes us behind the footlights and velvet curtain and talks about revealing the private world of a ballet dancer in her new book.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again: esteemed screenplay writer and children's author Frank Cottrell Boyce discusses taking Ian Fleming's creation and writing the further adventures of the four-fendered flying car.
Scotland's National Poet is having a busy autumn: Liz Lochhead discusses A Choosing, her new volume of selected poems, and talks about juggling her involvement in two new theatre productions with her commitments as Makar.
We speak to the author of a recent example of crossover fiction, Laini Taylor, and discuss whether books that appeal to both adults and young adults are growing in popularity.
And, as a new project launches that sends famous authors to visit hospitals, we ask whether reading stories to sick children can prove more than a welcome diversion during a long stay on a ward.
Might it even aid recovery?
Producer: Serena Field
Books mentioned on the programme:
The Everyday Dancer- Deborah Bull
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again- Frank Cottrell Boyce
A Choosing: Selected Poems- Liz Lochhead
Daughter of Smoke and Bone- Laini Taylor.
We talk to Deborah Bull, former Royal Ballet principal, and author Frank Cottrell Boyce.
20111017Michel Faber, author of The Crimson Petal and the White, in conversation with Clare English for a special edition of The Book Cafe, where they look back at his career and Michel chooses some key readings from his body of work.
Produced by Serena Field.
Michel Faber, author of The Crimson Petal and the White, looks back on his career.
20111024Clare talks to crime writer Val McDermid and Professor Sue Black about the Million for a Morgue campaign.
Sue's enlisted the help of ten top crime fiction authors to raise funds for a world-leading forensic centre in Dundee.
How did she get the likes of Val, Jeffrey Deaver and Kathy Reichs to agree that it's about time they repaid the help they receive with plotting and research from experts like Sue?
The film adaptation of Lionel Shriver's 2005 Orange Prize winner We Need to Talk About Kevin is set to have a huge opening weekend in cinemas across the country- but is it a good read? We persuaded book blogger Karen Howlett, who as a mother has avoided this story of a son who goes on a Columbine-style shooting spree until now, to give it a go.
She'll give us her review.
A huge new biography of Vincent Van Gogh promises revelations about an already well-documented life.
Art critic Moira Jeffrey will join us to review it- and give us her pick of the best recent biographies of artists.
As special BBC programmes mark the centenary of the birth of Gaelic poet Sorley Maclean, we'll be discussing A Leaping White Flame, a new Collected Poems that gives a more complete picture than we've had before of the political and personal passions that infused his work.
And- Christine de Luca discusses the challenges and joys of writing her first novel and explains why a successful career as a poet wasn't quite enough.
Produced by Serena Field.
Writer Val McDermid and professor Sue Black talk about the Million for a Morgue campaign.
24/10/201120111030Clare talks to crime writer Val McDermid and Professor Sue Black about the Million for a Morgue campaign.
Persuaded by Val, ten top crime fiction authors have joined forces to raise funds for a world-leading forensic centre in Dundee- but how did she get the likes of Lee Child, Jeffery Deaver and Kathy Reichs to agree that it's about time they repaid the help they receive with plotting and research from experts like Sue?
The film adaptation of Lionel Shriver's 2005 Orange Prize winner We Need to Talk About Kevin is set to have a huge opening weekend in cinemas across the country- but is it a good read? We persuaded book blogger Karen Howlett, who as a mother has until now avoided this story of a son who goes on a Columbine-style shooting spree, to give it a go.
She'll give us her review.
A huge new biography of Vincent Van Gogh promises revelations about an already well-documented life.
Art critic Moira Jeffrey will join us to review it- and give us her pick of the best recent biographies of artists.
As special BBC programmes mark the centenary of the birth of Gaelic poet Sorley Maclean, we'll be discussing A Leaping White Flame, a new Collected Poems that gives a more complete picture than we've had before of the political and personal passions that infused his work.
And- Christine de Luca discusses the challenges and joys of writing her first novel.
We'll ask whether a successful career as a poet wasn't quite enough!
Produced by Serena Field.
Writer Val McDermid and Professor Sue Black discuss the Million for a Morgue campaign.
20111031In 1985 Jeanette Winterson published Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, her semi-autobiographical first novel.
Now a modern classic, it was inspired by her difficult relationship with her obsessive, insecure and strictly religious adoptive mother.
Jeanette joins Clare to discuss her new book, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?, the exploration of how she escaped from home via the wonders of Accrington Public Library and Oxford University- the true story behind Oranges.
It's Hallowe'en, so Ramsey Campbell, the grand old man of the horror genre, will be giving us his pick of the best horror reads, and reviewing some brand new writing in the genre from big-hitters Stephen King, Don DeLillo and Paul Auster, courtesy of the new issue of Granta Magazine.
We'll hear stories of the early days of BBC Scotland- featuring microphones the size of cabinets that were wheeled across the studio- from Pat Walker, former Assistant Controller.
His new book, The BBC in Scotland: The First 50 Years, describes the phenomenal creativity of the staff starting from scratch in a brand new medium.
Best-selling children's author Tom Palmer, who writes gripping sports stories to encourage reluctant and struggling young readers, will be marking the start of Dyslexia Awareness Week.
And: playwright and artist John Byrne and Lennoxlove Book Festival Director Alastair Moffat discuss their revival of John's landmark 1977 play Writer's Cramp, a dazzling satire of British post war culture, for this year's festival.
We'll get the inside story about getting the team together again, including actor Bill Paterson, for the second time round.
Producer: Serena Field.
Jeanette Winterson talks about her new memoir, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?
31/10/201120111106In 1985 Jeanette Winterson published Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, her semi-autobiographical first novel. Now a modern classic, it was inspired by her difficult relationship with her obsessive, insecure and strictly religious adoptive mother. Jeanette joins Clare to discuss her new book, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?, the exploration of how she escaped from home via the wonders of Accrington Public Library and Oxford University- the true story behind Oranges.
It's Hallowe'en, so Ramsey Campbell, the grand old man of the horror genre, will be giving us his pick of the best horror reads, and reviewing some brand new writing in the genre from big-hitters Stephen King, Don DeLillo and Paul Auster, courtesy of the new issue of Granta Magazine.
We'll hear stories of the early days of BBC Scotland- featuring microphones the size of cabinets that were wheeled across the studio- from Pat Walker, former Assistant Controller. His new book, The BBC in Scotland: The First 50 Years, describes the phenomenal creativity of the staff starting from scratch in a brand new medium.
Best-selling children's author Tom Palmer, who writes gripping sports stories to encourage reluctant and struggling young readers, will be marking the start of Dyslexia Awareness Week.
And: playwright and artist John Byrne and Lennoxlove Book Festival Director Alastair Moffat discuss their revival of John's landmark 1977 play Writer's Cramp, a dazzling satire of British post war culture, for this year's festival. We'll get the inside story about getting the team together again, including actor Bill Paterson, for the second time round.
Producer: Serena Field.
Jeanette Winterson talks about her new memoir, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?
20111107We find out whether Anthony Horowitz's new Sherlock Holmes novel finds favour with the founder of The Sherlock Holmes Society of Scotland, Barry Young.
A tough test indeed.
Author Kapka Kassabova lived and breathed tango for ten years, until finally she had to break the addiction.
Clare hears about the dedication, the passion, the philosophy and, of course, the love affairs- and tentatively tries out a few steps herself.
We get a taste of the best of African literature: Kenyan Binyavanga Wainaina explains how he hopes his memoir, One Day I Will Write About This Place, will challenge the West's cliched view of Africans.
How British Sign Language can enhance the telling of a story- for both deaf and hearing audiences.
And- as the nights draw in we'll bring you some suggestions for the best Winter Reads.
Producer: Serena Field.
The best Winter Reads, plus a review of Anthony Horowitz's new Sherlock Holmes novel.
07/11/201120111113We find out whether Anthony Horowitz's new Sherlock Holmes novel finds favour with the founder of The Sherlock Holmes Society of Scotland, Barry Young.
A tough test indeed.
Author Kapka Kassabova lived and breathed tango for ten years, until finally she had to break the addiction.
Clare hears about the dedication, the passion, the philosophy and, of course, the love affairs- and tentatively tries out a few steps herself.
We get a taste of the best of African literature: Kenyan Binyavanga Wainaina explains how he hopes his memoir, One Day I Will Write About This Place, will challenge the West's cliched view of Africans.
How British Sign Language can enhance the telling of a story- for both deaf and hearing audiences.
And- as the nights draw in we'll bring you some suggestions for the best Winter Reads.
Producer: Serena Field
Books mentioned in this programme:
The House of Silk- Anthony Horowitz
Twelve Minutes of Love: A Tango Story- Kapka Kassabova
One Day I Will Write About This Place- Binyavanga Wainaina
The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe- C.S.
Lewis
All Made Up- Janice Galloway
Song of Achilles- Madeline Miller
Before I go to Sleep- S J Watson
Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter- Tom Franklin
Water for Elephants- Sara Gruen.
The best Winter Reads, plus a review of Anthony Horowitz's new Sherlock Holmes novel.
20111114Acclaimed comic book artist Bryan Talbot marks the 25th anniversary of Art Spiegelman's Maus: A Survivor's Tale, the only graphic novel ever to win the Pulitzer Prize and widely thought to be the most powerful narrative ever made about the Holocaust.
Peter Englund explains why he believes his imaginative approach to writing about World War One, using archive and fiction to follow a diverse cast of individuals through the conflict, brings us to an understanding of how it felt to be caught up the war, in the way that history books simply can't.
Edinburgh Makar Ron Butlin and author Jean Rafferty explain why campaigning on behalf of writers in prison across the globe is important for the cause of freedom of speech in the UK as well as abroad.
And we'll be hearing more recommendations for Winter Reads to curl up with as the nights draw in.
Producer: Serena Field.
The 25th anniversary of comic book Maus, one of the most powerful Holocaust narratives.
14/11/201120111120The 25th anniversary of comic book Maus, one of the most powerful Holocaust narratives.
20111121If you love fiction, join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
Join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
21/11/201120111127DBC Pierre discusses the difficulty of following his 2003 Man Booker Prize-winning novel, Vernon God Little.
Newly-shortlisted for the Costa Book Awards, Louisa Young joins us to talk about My Dear I Wanted to Tell You, her World War One-set tale of class, love and plastic surgery.
As part of BBC Scotland's Explorer Season we'll be discussing what it means to explore now that almost every inch of our planet has been discovered and whether it's different from travelling.
Writer Ian Jack and travel journalist Robin Gauldie join Clare to talk about the potential for exploring in our everyday lives, and trace how travel writing has changed since the days of greats such as T.
E.
Lawrence.
Writer and critic Stuart Evers delivers his verdict on the previously unpublished Jack Kerouac novel, The Sea is My Brother.
And we'll continue our quest for the best Winter Reads.
Producer: Serena Field
Books mentioned on today's programme:
My Dear I Wanted to Tell You- Louisa Young
Vernon God Little- DBC Pierre
The Sea is My Brother- Jack Kerouac.
DBC Pierre talks about the difficulty of following up his 2003 Man Booker-winning novel.
20111128If you love fiction, join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
Join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
28/11/201120111204How to Find Your Next Great Read: expert advice to help you to break out of a reading rut.
To mark St Andrew's Day, authors James Robertson and Sara Sheridan tell us about 26 Treasures.
Twenty six intriguing objects, unique to Scotland, have been selected from the collection of The National Museum of Scotland and a writers' collective has responded to them in only 62 words, so few because the fragments will be displayed alongside the objects to give the museum's visitors a new way into their story.
We'll get a taste of what kind of writing is possible with such little room to manoeuvre.
And we'll continue our quest for the best books to get you through the winter.
Producer: Serena Field
Mentioned on today's programme:
The Cypress Tree: A Love Letter to Iran- Kamin Mohammadi.
20111205The second volume of Dear Me letters is out now! This time containing a whole host of contributions from 75 public figures; including Alice Cooper, Alan Cumming, Steven King and Gene Hackman.
Editor Joseph Galliano joins Clare to give the inside track on squeezing those heart felt nuggets out of the trickiest of catches.
Denise Mina pops into the studio to tell Clare about the importance of meeting her readers, ahead of a pre-Christmas reading at Waterstones this week, plus she has a very exciting announcement to make!
And with Christmas fast approaching and e-readers making it to the top of lots of Christmas lists we'll go head to head with tablet vs.
tome and examine the pros and cons of kindles and the like.
Daniela Sacerdoti joins Clare to talk about her debut novel Watch Over Me which has been described as a poignant story about letting go and moving on - with a little help from beyond the grave.
Plus, we hear from Patrick Bishop on his latest book, the first great novel of the Afghan war, Follow Me Home.
Editor Joseph Galliano talks to Clare English about the second volume of Dear Me letters.
05/12/201120111211The second volume of Dear Me letters is out now! This time containing a whole host of contributions from 75 public figures; including Alice Cooper, Alan Cumming, Steven King and Gene Hackman.
Editor Joseph Galliano joins Clare to give the inside track on squeezing those heart felt nuggets out of the trickiest of catches.
Denise Mina pops into the studio to tell Clare about the importance of meeting her readers, ahead of a pre-Christmas reading at Waterstones this week, plus she has a very exciting announcement to make!
And with Christmas fast approaching and e-readers making it to the top of lots of Christmas lists we'll go head to head with tablet vs.
tome and examine the pros and cons of kindles and the like.
Daniela Sacerdoti joins Clare to talk about her debut novel Watch Over Me which has been described as a poignant story about letting go and moving on - with a little help from beyond the grave.
Plus, we hear from Patrick Bishop on his latest book, the first great novel of the Afghan war, Follow Me Home.
Editor Joseph Galliano talks to Clare English about the second volume of Dear Me letters.
20111212Children's author Jeff Kinney's new Diary of a Wimpy Kid book, Cabin Fever, smashed records a couple of weeks ago, selling over 80,000 books in its first four days of publication.
Only JK Rowling and Stephenie Meyer have ever beaten that figure.
Clare finds out what this self-effacing author, who isn't even noticed on the streets of his home town in America, makes of the success of his series about the growing pains of his young protagonist, Greg Heffley.
Kamin Mohammadi cut herself off emotionally from her country, Iran, after her family fled to London because of Ayatollah Khomeini's Revolution.
In the reserved and orderly surroundings of 1970s Britain nine year old Kamin was ashamed of the image Iran now had in the eyes of the world, one of severe repression, unpredictable violence and religious fundamentalism, and resolved to become 'an English girl'.
Years later she returned to Tehran to rebuild her relationship with her large, loving family.
She joins us to talk about The Cypress Tree, her moving 'love letter' to Iran.
It's that time of year again when thousands of children take to the stage in their annual Nativity play.
What is the enduring appeal of the Nativity Story? Author Carey Morning joins Clare and two parents to we examine how the resilience of this ancient story keeps it relevant to children today.
Bob Dixon reports from Portobello High School where a group of talented S2 pupils have written their own book about the American slave trade with a little help from author Mary Turner Thomson author of 'The Bigamist'
And we turn our attention to celebrity books for Christmas - showbiz journalist Martel Maxwell joins the Book Cafe to discuss why celebrities have them published and what makes us buy them.
Clare English explores the resilience of the Nativity story.
12/12/201120111218Children's author Jeff Kinney's new Diary of a Wimpy Kid book, Cabin Fever, smashed records a couple of weeks ago, selling over 80,000 books in its first four days of publication.
Only JK Rowling and Stephenie Meyer have ever beaten that figure.
Clare finds out what this self-effacing author, who isn't even noticed on the streets of his home town in America, makes of the success of his series about the growing pains of his young protagonist, Greg Heffley.
Kamin Mohammadi cut herself off emotionally from her country, Iran, after her family fled to London because of Ayatollah Khomeini's Revolution.
In the reserved and orderly surroundings of 1970s Britain nine year old Kamin was ashamed of the image Iran now had in the eyes of the world, one of severe repression, unpredictable violence and religious fundamentalism, and resolved to become 'an English girl'.
Years later she returned to Tehran to rebuild her relationship with her large, loving family.
She joins us to talk about The Cypress Tree, her moving 'love letter' to Iran.
It's that time of year again when thousands of children take to the stage in their annual Nativity play.
What is the enduring appeal of the Nativity Story? Author Carey Morning joins Clare and two parents to we examine how the resilience of this ancient story keeps it relevant to children today.
Bob Dixon reports from Portobello High School where a group of talented S2 pupils have written their own book about the American slave trade with a little help from author Mary Turner Thomson author of 'The Bigamist'.
And we turn our attention to celebrity books for Christmas - showbiz journalist Martel Maxwell joins the Book Café to discuss why celebrities have them published and what makes us buy them.
Clare English explores the resilience of the Nativity Story.
20111219In our last Book Café before Christmas, we'll be marking the first appearance in print of a certain Winnie-the-Pooh, in the Christmas Eve 1925 edition of the London Evening News.
David Benedictus, author of the only official sequel to A.
A.
Milne's Pooh Bear books, and Julia Eccleshare, The Guardian's Children's Books Editor will discuss the enduring appeal of the honey-loving bear of very little brain and his friends from the Hundred Acre Wood.
With present-buying in mind, reviewer Christina Hardyment of The Times will give us her pick of the best audio books around this Christmas.
And: The Mitchell Library in Glasgow has been celebrating 100 years in its current location at Charing Cross.
Principal Librarian Trish Grant will be revealing fascinating tales from the library's history, from the burying of a time capsule under the foundation stone in 1907 to the Library's role in the solving of the 1950 theft of the Stone of Destiny.
Producer: Serena Field.
We mark the first appearance in print of Winnie the Pooh on Christmas Eve 1925.
1 To 1 Janice Galloway20120101Janice Galloway discusses her second volume of memoir, All Made Up, with Clare English in a session recorded at the Portobello Book Festival near Edinburgh.
Producer: Serena Field.
Clare English talks to author Janice Galloway at the Portobello Book Festival.
17/10/201120120108Another chance to hear Michel Faber, author of The Crimson Petal and the White, in conversation with Clare English for a special edition of The Book Cafe. They look back at his career and Michel chooses some key readings from his body of work.
Produced by Serena Field.
Michel Faber, author of The Crimson Petal and the White, looks back on his career.
20120109We mark 30 years since our first acquaintance with a certain teenage diarist in 1982's The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13 3/4.
The BBC's adaptation of Charles Dickens' novel Great Expectations was essential Christmas viewing. Next up is his final work, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, left unfinished at the time of his death in 1870. Screenwriter Gwyneth Hughes has followed in the footsteps of Wilkie Collins, M R James and others and has written an ending to this, one of his most intriguing works. Culture correspondent of The Scotsman publications, Stuart Kelly, will join Clare to explain why Edwin Drood is one of Dickens' greatest books and will sketch out some possible endings to this dark story of drugs, desire and disappearance.
At this time of resolution-making Roman Krznaric will join us to talk about his new book, The Wonderbox, where he mines world culture and history to show us how we can lead a more adventurous and purposeful life. A guaranteed pick-me-up for the early days of January!
This month the winners of the 2011 Costa Book of the Year and the 2011 T S Eliot Prize for Poetry will be announced- another year of literary prizes has begun! Our many British literary awards fuel much discussion; the burning question this year is whether The Literature Prize will indeed be set up to rival the Man Booker, but which ones should keen and switched-on readers take notice of and why? Stuart Kelly will give his guide to the awards calendar.
Producer: Serena Field.
Clare English marks 30 years of acquaintance with teenage diarist Adrian Mole.
09/01/201220120115Clare English marks 30 years of acquaintance with teenage diarist Adrian Mole.
2012011620120122We discover the work of Per Wahlöö, the Scandinavian crime writer all others look up to.
Jo Nesbø says that Per Wahlöö was the 'godfather of Scandinavian crime writing', creating the archetypical disillusioned, troubled but somehow dedicated detective now familiar to us from the work of Steig Larsson, Henning Mankell and Nesbø himself. Sarah Death, the translator of two new editions of Wahlöö's classic crime novels, explains why now's the time to discover him for ourselves.
Winner of the 2011 Costa Novel Award, Andrew Miller joins Clare to discuss Pure, the story of an 18th century Parisian cemetery so packed with bodies that it pops and bursts under the pressure, spilling human remains into surrounding cellars and basements. It beat the Man Booker winner, Julian Barnes' The Sense of an Ending, because the judges felt Miller's work deserves a wider readership. We'll find out why.
He used to write his poems on the joists of the roofs above Stirling but this year a book of his work will be published- in easy reach for those of us based on the ground. Poet William Letford joins Clare to discuss how he's establishing his career at the same time as holding down the day job as a roofer.
The Falkirk-based company that brought us the words of some of the biggest authors around, including JK Rowling, Stephen King and Jodi Picoult. We take the time to appreciate the art of the typesetter.
And- Michael Morpurgo and the Happy Meal. We discuss the pros and cons of linking fiction to fast food.
Producer: Serena Field.
20120123We're looking north and thinking about Island life and culture...
Fair Isle-based singer-songwriter Lise Sinclair gives us a sneak preview of her latest collection of songs, inspired by the characters in a book of short stories by Orcadian writer George Mackay Brown.
Donald S Murray's father was a weaver of Harris Tweed on the Isle of Lewis. A single father to his two small sons, like many of the villagers he worked from home on the loom and, as a child, Donald knew exactly where he was in the village using only his ears, because each machine had its own unique sound. He joins us to talk about Weaving Songs; part memoir, part poetry collection, it's his tribute to croft, cloth and community.
Also: we find out how to access Live Literature Funding, a pot of money available to anyone wanting to host their own event featuring their favourite author.
'Some of us came from the mountains, and had never before seen the sea... ' American writer Julie Otsuka discusses her novel The Buddha in the Attic, a moving collective history of the Japanese women who sailed to California after World War One as 'picture brides', with no plans other than their arranged marriages to men they'd only ever seen in photographs.
Producer: Serena Field.
A preview of a new collection of songs based on George Mackay Brown's short stories.
23/01/201220120129A preview of a new collection of songs based on George Mackay Brown's short stories.
2012013020120205Helen Dunmore talks her excitement at being asked to write her first Hammer horror novel.
Helen Dunmore on breaking new ground as a writer: the author of the Leningrad-set books The Siege and The Betrayal talks about her excitement at being asked to write her first horror novel, under the new Hammer fiction imprint.
The Herald's Rosemary Goring gets to grips with the dark secrets of a big Highlands family as she reviews The White Lie, the first novel from award-winning non-fiction writer Andrea Gillies.
We discover the art of book-binding thanks to an international competition hosted by the National Library of Scotland.
And- we've read all the headlines about the uncertain future faced by some libraries, but as we look ahead to National Libraries Day we ask how the librarians of the future are being equipped to take up their roles in the age of e-books and multiple online resources. Crime writer and ex-library reader in residence Ann Cleeves and Professor of Librarianship Peter Reid join Clare to explain why the road ahead for librarians is no terrain for the stereotypical shrinking violets.
Producer: Serena Field.
20120206'This Isn't The Sort Of Thing That Happens To Someone Like You'; Author Jon McGregor on the knack of coming up with a great title- and whether he's taking a risk in following three critically- acclaimed novels with a short story collection.
He founded and directs an innovative publishing house, Cargo, and the spin-off Margins festival of music and words. Ahead of this year's extravaganza, we'll be asking 24 year old Mark Buckland about his ambition to showcase Scotland's rich literary scene to its best advantage. He'll be joined by one of his festival guests, ex- Arab Strap musician Aidan Moffat.
We wish Happy 250th Birthday to the oldest English Literature department in the world, which is very appropriately to be found in Edinburgh, the seat of the Scottish Enlightenment.
The saying goes 'write what you know' and Elizabeth Wein did just that, turning her passion for flying into the compelling tale of two women, a pilot and a spy, whose friendship is tested by the pressures of serving in World War II.
Producer: Serena Field.
Author Jon McGregor talks about the knack of coming up with a great title.
06/02/201220120212Author Jon McGregor talks about the knack of coming up with a great title.
20120213Jonathan Coe's breakthrough novel was his fourth, 1994's 'What a Carve Up!', a stylistically breathtaking, bitingly funny exploration of greed, corruption and class entitlement in 1980s Britain. His success grew from there due to his deft balance of technically clever and hugely enjoyable, exuberant, writing, In his most recent book, 'The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim', he turns his attention to our relationship with communication technology and the way it paradoxically isolates and dominates us, a perfect subject for this chronicler of the absurdity of modern life. This is another chance to hear this special edition of The Book Cafe where Jonathan looks back at his career so far and talks about the books that have influenced him as a writer.
Producer: Serena Field.
Jonathan Coe's latest book, 'The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim' is out now.
Another chance to hear author Jonathan Coe in conversation with Clare English
13/02/201220120219Jonathan Coe's breakthrough novel was his fourth, 1994's 'What a Carve Up!', a stylistically breathtaking, bitingly funny exploration of greed, corruption and class entitlement in 1980s Britain. His success grew from there due to his deft balance of technically clever and hugely enjoyable, exuberant, writing, In his most recent book, 'The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim', he turns his attention to our relationship with communication technology and the way it paradoxically isolates and dominates us, a perfect subject for this chronicler of the absurdity of modern life. This is another chance to hear this special edition of The Book Cafe where Jonathan looks back at his career so far and talks about the books that have influenced him as a writer.
Producer: Serena Field.
Jonathan Coe's latest book, 'The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim' is out now.
Another chance to hear author Jonathan Coe in conversation with Clare English.
20120220If you love fiction, join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
Join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
20/02/201220120226Since its launch in 2006, Twitter has become a crucial tool for libraries, publishers, book festivals and writers. Superstar authors like Margaret Atwood have established far closer ties with their readers than ever before, aspiring writers have taken their profile into their own hands, and publishers have run hugely successful publicity campaigns - all using only 140 characters. We examine the literary world's growing enthusiasm for this most succinct form of social networking.
Clare meets Agnès Desarthe, one of France's most loved and respected contemporary writers- but does the appeal of her work come through in translation?
Author Jean Bareham leads us through the hidden gardens of Edinburgh's Royal Mile- still important for locals' well-being over one hundred years after their creation within the area's slums.
And, in case the winter is lasting just that bit too long for you, we'll be dipping our toes in the warm waters around the South Sea Islands with the debut novel by Madeleine Tobert.
Producer: Serena Field.
How Twitter has become a crucial survival tool for writers, publishers and libraries.
2012022720120304If you love fiction, join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
Join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
The Lockerbie disaster continues to cause hurt and court controversy. We speak to the author and publisher behind contentious new book Megrahi: You Are My Jury.
His first two novels, Everything is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, drew extravagant praise and many accusations of being manipulatively sentimental with controversial subjects such as the Holocaust and 9/11. Regardless, Jonathan Safran-Foer followed them with a treatise on vegetarianism, a book sculpture and now a re-working of a sacred Jewish text. He discusses his tendency to polarise opinion, and whether being such a huge name gives him a certain immunity to criticism.
Everything will indeed be illuminated next week, as Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature banishes the darkness of the February nights with state-of-the-art projections onto some of the capital's most prominent buildings. Director of City of Literature, Ali Bowden, joins us to describe what we can look forward to seeing.
Alaskan author Eowyn Ivey takes us to the wild, wintery woods of her home state as she discusses the challenges of re-working a traditional Russian fairy tale in her beautiful debut novel, The Snow Child.
She was in her own time eclipsed by her husband, Oscar Wilde's, glittering triumphs and scandalous 1895 downfall. We set that right as biographer Franny Moyle introduces us to feminist, liberal thinker and fabulously unconventional style icon, Constance Wilde.
Producer: Serena Field.
An interview with Jonathan Safran Foer, plus a controversial new book on Lockerbie.
20120305If you love fiction, join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
Join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
05/03/201220120311We'll be browsing the contents of Scotland's Bookshelf. Chosen by a panel of three experts ahead of the official launch at Glasgow's Aye Write Book Festival, these twenty books from the last century represent the cream of modern Scottish writing. Or do they? Have your say as we bring the judges back together to discuss, and possibly defend, their selection.
Libyan author Hisham Matar discusses his acclaimed novel, 'Anatomy of a Disappearance' and the place of literature amid the turmoil of the Arab uprisings.
And Dame Daphne Sheldrick, described as 'the last of the Joy Adamson/ Diane Fossey generation' of conservationists, discusses a life lived in a truly magical part of Kenya.
Producer: Serena Field.
We discuss Scotland's Bookshelf: twenty books representing the cream of Scottish writing.
2012031220120318Star of ITV's Trial and Retribution David Hayman looks ahead to performing Philip Larkin's jazz-inspired writing at this year's StAnza poetry festival- and discusses returning to Glasgow's Citizens Theatre, thirty-three years after he started his career there, to play King Lear.
With novels Submarine and Wild Abandon Joe Dunthorne has been making quite a name for himself as a fresh voice in fiction- but as he gears up for his events at StAnza, he joins us to explain why it's only when he writes poetry that he really feels free to take risks with his writing.
We meet 21 year old Nigerian writer Chibundu Onouzo, the youngest woman ever to sign a two-book deal with Faber and Faber.
And Alex Gray will explain why she, and fellow crime authors, decided to set up the newest addition to Scotland's roster of literary festivals: the Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival. So what took them so long?
Producer: Serena Field.
David Hayman talks about performing Philip Larkin's jazz-inspired poetry and prose.
2012031920120325The film version of SUZANNE Collins' fantasy novel, The Hunger Games, is set to have the biggest opening weekend in film history this weekend, on both sides of the Atlantic. Her dystopian vision of the future, and her brave, conflicted heroine, Katniss Everdeen, have captivated teenagers and adults alike. Two young readers and Janet Smyth, Director of the children's programme at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, join Clare to chew over exactly why this trilogy stands out in the crowded young adult book market.
Rachel Joyce found that the BBC Radio 4 play she wrote for her father while he was terminally ill just didn't give enough scope for what she wanted to say about love, hope, retirement, loss- and how we touch each other's lives. So she wrote it again, as her debut novel. She'll join us to discuss, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry.
Historian Sean Longden on the untold story of those children who were not evacuated during World War Two. Far from being tearful evacuees, many Scottish boys and girls were on the front line, working as Scouts, Guides, telegram messengers, even serving in the Merchant Navy. We trace the impact the conflict had on a generation of teenagers.
And acclaimed American poet Marianne Boruch tells us how the highly emotional experience of observing the dissection of a body in an anatomy class led her into new creative territory.
Producer: Serena Field.
Clare English explores why the Hunger Games trilogy stands out in the book market.
The film version of SUZANNE Collins' fantasy novel, The Hunger Games, is set to have the biggest opening weekend in film history this weekend, on both sides of the Atlantic. Her dystopian vision of the future, and her brave, conflicted heroine, Katniss Everdeen, have captivated teenagers and adults alike. Two young readers and Janet Smyth, Director of the children's programme at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, join Clare to chew over exactly why this trilogy stands out in the crowded young adult book market.
Rachel Joyce found that the BBC Radio 4 play she wrote for her father while he was terminally ill just didn't give enough scope for what she wanted to say about love, hope, retirement, loss- and how we touch each other's lives. So she wrote it again as a novel. She'll join us to discuss, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry.
Historian Sean Longden on the untold story of those children who were not evacuated during World War Two. Far from being tearful evacuees, many Scottish boys and girls were on the front line, working as Scouts, Guides, telegram messengers, even serving in the Merchant Navy. We trace the impact the conflict had on a generation of teenagers.
And poet Marianne Borusch tells us how the highly emotional experience of observing the dissection of a body in an anatomy class led her into new creative territory.
Producer: Serena Field.
Why The Hunger Games trilogy stands out in the crowded young adult book market.
If you love fiction, join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
Join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
20120326If you love fiction, join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
Join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
26/03/201220120401On The Book Cafe with Clare English:
Jodi Picoult, best-selling author of 18 novels including "My Sisters Keeper." Not afraid of tackling tricky topics in her books; in her latest one "Lone Wolf" Jodi's looking at organ donation and the right to die - but with her usual page-turning, gripping style.
Jodi's books are hugely popular with book clubs but what makes for a great book group book? Librarian Stewart Bain and readers, Joyce Clerk and Ann MacLeod, talk us through some of their favourites and ponder whether there's such a thing as a "silver reader" - the sister of the online "silver surfer"?
Shhh... a new book "Quiet (The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)" argues that the world should stop forcing introverts to come out of their shell. "Society is biased", says author, Susan Cain. You'd never see a job ad asking for a thoughtful, quiet introvert - but why not?
And let your mind drift into a philosophical adventure with Scottish author Jennie Erdal who has taken David Hume as her inspiration for her new book "The Missing Shade of Blue".
Bestselling author Jodi Picoult joins Clare English to talk about her new book Lone Wolf.
20120402As countries in the Middle East and North Africa struggle to recreate themselves after the Arab Spring uprisings, we ask what the place of books and literature might be in the midst of such violence and turmoil. British- Syrian author Robin Yassin- Kassab joins Clare to discuss.
He's spoken of feeling freed up by the end of his tenure as Poet Laureate, and now he's poured that creativity into quite a challenge: a follow-up to Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island. Will Andrew Motion's new sea-faring sequel leave us feeling queasy, or will we raise a glass of grog? Stevenson enthusiast and Editor of Anon poetry magazine Colin Fraser reviews 'Silver: Return to Treasure Island' - and we'll be treated to David Tennant reading us an extract, taken from the forthcoming audio book.
Over the next few months The Book Cafe will be celebrating some of Scotland's library treasures. This week we trace the turbulent history of Garrison House in Millport, the Isle of Cumbrae, from its origins combatting smuggling in the 1700s to the sit-in protest that prevented the closure of the building's library in the late 1990s.
Bertha Rochester from 'Jane Eyre', Flaubert's frustrated Emma Bovary and Wilkie Collins's mysterious Woman in White: the figure of the mad woman is a familiar one in some of our favourite literary classics. But would these heroines be regarded as such today- and was that label a very convenient one for nineteenth-century women who were too independent, morally free or highly-strung? Dr Sarah Dillon gives us a taste of her forthcoming Edinburgh International Science Festival event and joins Clare for a spot of literary diagnosis.
Producer: Serena Field.
Clare English revisits the figure of the 'mad woman' in our favourite literary classics.
02/04/201220120408Clare English revisits the figure of the 'mad woman' in our favourite literary classics.
20120409We meet the first star author of the e-book age, Gordon Ferris. Why, despite having modern technology- the e reader- to thank for the huge sales of his last book, does he find such creative scope in the pre-forensic science era of the traditional 1940s-set detective novel?
Setting up a publishing enterprise is usually an end in itself but at the Inverness-based charity For the Right Reasons it's a way to help those who are trying to beat their addiction to drugs or alcohol. We find out why, and talk to Jay Muirhead, the author of their latest book, which is, fittingly, the story of the pioneering youth work started in 1933 by her grandfather in Glasgow's Maryhill area.
Scotland is usually associated with crime fiction but we have a surprisingly long pedigree in Science Fiction writing, too. Author Ken MacLeod and sci fi enthusiast Bram Gieben join Edi to celebrate some of Scotland's out-of-this-world gems.
And with Philip Pullman hard at work re-writing his favourite Brothers Grimm fairy tales, two new adaptations of Snow White in the cinemas and the recent discovery of 500 new fairy tales in Germany, we'll be exploring our deep connection to these dark fables.
Producer: Serena Field.
Featuring the first star author of the e-book era, Gordon Ferris.
09/04/201220120415Featuring the first star author of the e-book era, Gordon Ferris.
20120416If you love fiction, join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
Join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
16/04/201220120422The best gardening books for spring. Broadcaster and garden designer Frieda Morrison and Sinclair Williamson, Gardens Advisor with the National Trust for Scotland, discuss their favourites.
Jude Morgan is an intriguing figure: he writes under a pen name, keeps under the book world's radar, and writes mesmerising fiction about some of our best-known historical figures. Unafraid of a challenge, in his new novel he gives us his version of the life of William Shakespeare. His celebrity fans include Hilary Mantel. How could we resist the opportunity to talk to him?
One of our finest authors, Kathleen Jamie, on the trick of getting down on paper her experiences of the natural world in Sightlines, her new book of nature writing.
And as the Inner Hebridean island of Colonsay gears up for its very first Book Festival we'll find out how the 120-strong community are preparing for an invasion of book-lovers and big-name authors, including Alexander McCall Smith and Liz Lochhead.
Producer: Serena Field.
The best gardening books for spring.
20120423If you love fiction, join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
Join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
23/04/201220120429The Paddington Bear books have sold over 40 million copies in 40 countries. As the latest instalment of the marmalade-loving, duffel coat-wearing bear's adventures is published, author Michael Bond explains why he's still fascinated by his furry hero 54 years after first creating him, and reveals the advantages to a storyteller of having a bear as your main character.
Irvine Welsh on Skagboys, his prequel to Trainspotting, and how, rather than it simply being more drugs, desperation and depression, it's a further exploration of his great theme of why people lose their way in life.
It's World Book Night, where volunteers each give away 24 copies of their chosen book with the aim of encouraging non-readers to take up the habit. Thomas Lynch and Alastair Cook explain how they're using WBN to inspire more dads to get into reading and set the example to their children- and author Iain Banks will join us to discuss how a passion for reading inspired by a giveaway is good for the book industry.
And- Mary Shelley's classic gothic tragedy of 1818, Frankenstein, has just been turned into a digital app. Author of the app, Dave Morris, explains how he tacked the enormous task of re-working Shelley's text so that the reader can form a relationship with Dr Victor Frankenstein- and Dale Townshend, lecturer in Gothic and Romantic literature at Stirling University, gives us his review.
Producer: Serena Field.
Paddington Bear author Michael Bond, Irvine Welsh and World Book Night.
20120430If you love fiction, join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
Join Clare English for a literary treat with new writing and favourite authors.
30/04/201220120506Authors Jenni Fagan and Elizabeth Reeder join Clare to discuss their impressive debut novels and talk about making the transition from having the initial idea for a book, to having the discipline to write it, and, finally, having the luck and skill to get published.
We explore a gem of a Beatrix Potter collection at the AK Bell Library in Perth.
And it's a common dream for many of us to own a little bookshop one day but Steve Rapaport found that, far from being a case of discussing his favourite classics, dusting shelves and making the odd sale, his new venture requires him to draw on his various previous careers as a salesman, a student of computer science and a stage actor. He's joined by fellow independent bookshop owner Barry Young to discuss the dream and the reality.
Producer: Serena Field.
Clare English meets debut novelists Jenni Fagan and Elizabeth Reeder.
20120507'It is no small enterprise to bring down a queen of England'.
Hilary Mantel discusses Bring up the Bodies, the highly-anticipated sequel to Wolf Hall, in which her hero Thomas Cromwell is at the height of his powers, masterminding the fall of Anne Boleyn.
It's the month for new work from the big-hitters as we review Toni Morrison's latest, Home.
As we pick over the local election results, Granta, the magazine for new writing, asks what British identity means today. Stuart Kelly, Culture Correspondent of The Scotsman Publications, reviews.
And: Happy Birthday Robert Browning! Dickens' bicentenary has grabbed all the attention so far this year but on Monday we mark 200 years since the birth of a poet who's dropped out of favour despite paving the way for such literary giants as TS Eliot, Ezra Pound and Alan Bennett.
Producer: Serena Field.
Hilary Mantel discusses Bring Up the Bodies, the highly-anticipated sequel to Wolf Hall.

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  • Arts, Culture & the Media
  • Programme ID: b0079gb9
  • Arts, Culture & the Media
  • Programme ID: b0079gb9

Programme Id

  • Programme ID: b0079gb9