Cover image of Writers and Company from CBC Radio

Writers and Company from CBC Radio

CBC Radio's Writers and Company offers an opportunity to explore in depth the lives, thoughts and works of remarkable writers from around the world. Hosted by Eleanor Wachtel.

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Laurent Binet turns the tables on European history in his boldly imagined new book, Civilizations

One of France's most celebrated contemporary writers, Binet's new novel goes back 500 years and imagines the Incas and Aztecs taking over Europe. He talks to Eleanor about reversing history and blurring the boundaries between truth and fiction.


19 Sep 2021

Rank #1

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In China Room, Sunjeev Sahota reimagines a family legend

Inspired by a story about his great-grandmother, the British writer's evocative new novel, which is longlisted for the 2021 Booker Prize, explores themes of belonging, oppression and the pursuit of freedom as it alternates between 1929 India and 1999 Britain.


12 Sep 2021

Rank #2

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Zadie Smith, Caryl Phillips and Aleksandar Hemon on their lives as readers and writers

To wrap up our 30th anniversary celebrations, Eleanor revisits Writers & Company's 25th anniversary special with Aleksandar Hemon, Caryl Phillips and Zadie Smith at the Toronto International Festival of Authors in 2015.

1hr 1min

5 Sep 2021

Rank #3

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Leanne Shapton on what objects tell us about the lives of others

From 2019, Eleanor speaks with Canadian artist and author Leanne Shapton: from her prize-winning memoir about competitive swimming, to her evocative book, Guestbook: Ghost Stories, a collection of 33 short stories that revolve around the power of objects and ghosts.


29 Aug 2021

Rank #4

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From The Piano to Bright Star, filmmaker Jane Campion explores the power of female sexuality

The Oscar-winning writer and director talked to Eleanor in 2009 about Bright Star, her movie about the 19th-century Romantic poet John Keats and his young neighbour, Fanny Brawne.


22 Aug 2021

Rank #5

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A vision of the world through the lens of Taryn Simon: probing the uncertainty of memory and truth

In this conversation from 2013, the American photographer and conceptual artist talked to Eleanor about mixing camerawork, writing and graphic design to raise questions about truth and certainty.


15 Aug 2021

Rank #6

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Bernardine Evaristo on Black British identity and her Booker-winning novel, Girl, Woman, Other

In this conversation from January 2020, the award-winning British author spoke with Eleanor about amplifying the voices of marginalized people through literature.


8 Aug 2021

Rank #7

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Nordic superstar Olafur Eliasson fuses art and nature to explore pressing contemporary issues

Icelandic Danish artist Olafur Eliasson famously brought the sun to London’s Tate Modern Museum and giant waterfalls to the heart of NYC. In this conversation from 2012, he talks to Eleanor about crafting three-dimensional spaces that awaken a sense of wonder and political empowerment.


1 Aug 2021

Rank #8

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Jericho Brown's prize-winning poetry speaks with power and urgency about racism and violence

In this 2020 interview, the American poet and Pulitzer Prize winner spoke with Eleanor Wachtel about his poetry collection The Tradition, the legacy of racial violence and hopes of finding justice in an unjust world.


25 Jul 2021

Rank #9

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Chan Koonchung's dystopian novel The Fat Years imagines state-engineered amnesia in China

Eleanor speaks to the author of the controversial 2012 novel, which follows a group of friends investigating a mysterious amnesia that takes over China.


18 Jul 2021

Rank #10