This week we speak to Olga Tokarczuk and Jennifer Croft, joint winners of the Man Booker International prize 2018 for the translated version of Olga’s book Bieguni (Flights)
We caught up with Olga and Jennifer two days after their win and discuss the whirlwind of prize-winning, composing constellation novels, suppressing your first published book, and the challenges of translating fiction.
In this week’s episode we speak to novelist and essayist, Joanna Kavenna.
We talk about false starts, finding a narrative voice in fiction, researching a novel in the Arctic circle and dealing with Polar Bears, how literature can help us understand and limit technology before the machines destroy us and why we all need to take a more Wittgensteinian view of reality.
Joanna is the author of the Ice Museum: In Search of the Lost Land of Thule and A Field Guide to Reality (riverrun, 2016) as well as three other novels and non-fiction essays.
This week we speak to Patrick Langley, author of Arkady from Fitzcarraldo Editions.
With a background in art criticism and radio production, Paddy talks to us about drafting and structuring a work, finding inspiration from the urban backwaters of London and the problem with building elaborate memory palaces…
You can find Arkady here: https://fitzcarraldoeditions.com/books/arkady
And follow Paddy on twitter: twitter.com/PaddyLangley
This week we speak to novelist, poet and teacher, Will Eaves.
Will was Arts Editor of the Times Literary Supplement from 1995 to 2011 and his work has been short-listed for the Goldsmiths Prize, the Ted Hughes Award for Poetry and the BBC National Short Story Award.
We discuss his approach to structuring a novel, turning notes into a finished work, working with a small press and capturing the dream-like state of the unconscious in prose.
Most recently he is author of the Murmur from CB Editions as well as:
Something slightly different this week, as we speak to Daniel Levin Becker, member of the OuLiPo (Ouvroir de littérature potentielle, or ‘Workshop for potential literature’)
Daniel doesn’t consider himself primarily a fiction writer, but as a life-long member of the OuLiPo he is in the company (spiritually if not temporally) of writers such as Raymond Queneau, Georges Perec and Italo Calvino.
Daniel talks to us about the attraction of writing with constraints, his journey to France and the Oulipo and gives us a flavour of how the group operates (including a membership cancellation policy that Mark Zuckerberg can only dream of).
This week we speak to Alex Pheby about having different editing and writing persona, blending fiction with historical research when you are writing about real characters, hitting 3,000 words a day and whether it’s rational to have any faith in an external reality.
Alex’s novels include ‘Grace’ (Two Ravens Press), ‘Playthings’ and the forthcoming ‘Lucia’ (both Galley Beggar Press – https://www.galleybeggar.co.uk/alex-pheby)
Playthings is forthcoming in North America published by Biblioasis: http://biblioasis.com/shop/forthcoming/playthings/