In Night Waves' second outing to London Zoo, Matthew Sweet and guests discuss Angus Wilson's 1961 novel 'The Old Men At The Zoo'.
From institutional in-fighting to our relationship with nature, via nuclear apocalypse, Wilson's novel uses the Zoo as a backdrop to examine some characteristic preoccupations of mid-20th century Britain. Arguably it is the missing link between the grand Victorian tradition of the English novel and the dystopian science fiction of J.G. Ballard. Yet Wilson is rarely read today.
Matthew is joined by Wilson's friend and biographer Margaret Drabble and by the poet and novelist Iain Sinclair to make a case for a Wilson revival.
'The Old Men At The Zoo' was dramatised for TV in 1983, and Matthew is also joined by the series producer Jonathan Powell, who went on to be Controller of BBC1, along with production manager Margot Hayhoe.
Produced by Luke Mulhall.