The Book Club

Updated: 05 Jun 2024 • 380 episodes

Literary interviews and discussions on the latest releases in the world of publishing, from poetry through to physics. Presented by Sam Leith.


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In this week's Book Club podcast, my guest is the Booker Prize winning novelist Richard Flanagan, talking about his extraordinary new book Question 7. It weaves together memoir, reportage and the imaginative work of fiction. Flanagan collides his relationship with his war-traumatised father and his own near-death exper

33 min
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29 May 2024 • EN

The legacy of Franz Kafka

June 3rd marks the centenary of Franz Kafka's death. To talk about this great writer's peculiar style and lasting legacy, I'm joined by two of the world's foremost Kafka scholars. Mark Harman has just translated, edited and annotated a new edition of Kafka's Selected Stories, while Ross Benjamin is the translator of th

50 min
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22 May 2024 • EN

Conn Iggulden: Nero

My guest on this week's Book Club podcast is Conn Iggulden, probably the best selling author of historical fiction of our day. This week Conn publishes Nero, the first in a new trilogy about the notorious Roman emperor. He tells me about how he learned to write historical fiction, his years-long path to overnight succe

42 min
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A garden is a lovesome thing, God wot! On this week's Book Club podcast I'm joined by Olivia Laing to talk about her new book The Garden Against Time: In Search of a Common Paradise. Olivia explores what it is we do when we make a garden, through her own experience of restoring the beautiful garden in her now home. She

32 min
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08 May 2024 • EN

Jackie Kay: May Day

This week, my guest on the Book Club podcast is the poet Jackie Kay, whose magnificent new book May Day combines elegy and celebration. She tells me about her adoptive parents – a communist trade unionist and a leading figure in CND – and growing up in a household where teenage rebellion could mean going to church. We

38 min
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On this week's Book Club podcast I'm joined by Ariane Bankes, whose mother Celia was one of the great beauties of the early twentieth century. Ariane's new book The Quality of Love: Twin Sisters at the Heart of the Century tells the story of the defiantly bohemian lives of Celia and her twin sister Mamaine, whose love

35 min
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