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The Voices of Marrakesh – Elias Canetti

We’re back with another in our occasional summer series of Books That Matter, chosen and discussed by John Simopoulos, Dean of Degrees of St Catherine’s College, Oxford.   Today, we’re talking about “a sublime monster”, as John describes him – Elias Canetti, the Bulgarian-born novelist who wrote in German and won the Nobel Prize in Literature.  […]

Big Prospects for the Short Story

“To be a successful short story writer, you have to be utterly vulnerable on the page, and utterly ruthless in revision.” Perceptive words that set our agenda this week on Eve’s Salmagundi Club.  Commercially neglected for far too long, we’re increasingly bullish on the prospects for the short story.  If you’re not a natural short […]

Remnants of a Quiet Life

John Simopoulos, Dean of Degrees of St Catherine’s College, Oxford, is with us again today in an occasional but delightful series we’re running this summer that we’re calling “Books That Matter”.   Featuring books and authors you may not necessarily have come across, but which will amply repay your attention.  Today, we present Remnants of a […]

The Choices We Make

Paolo Giordano’s The Solitude of Prime Numbers was Italy’s top selling title last year and the winner of the country’s premier literary award, the Premio Strega (Italy’s equivalent of the Booker prize).  Today is our last conversation with Paolo, fresh from his debut at Britain’s Hay Festival.  What has the past year’s tumultuous success been […]

The Solitude of Prime Numbers

Paolo Giordano’s first novel, The Solitude of Prime Numbers, took Italy by storm last year: selling over a million copies and becoming the year’s top selling title.  Today we talk to Paolo, fresh from his debut at the Hay Festival, about the process of writing.  “Writing a novel is like tearing a piece out of […]

Paolo Giordano

Paolo Giordano was just 25 when his first novel, The Solitude of Prime Numbers, took Italy by storm last year… selling over a million copies and becoming the year’s No. 1 bestselling title.  It has been translated into twenty languages and will be filmed by Italian director Saverio Costanzo. How did the idea for the […]

The Prefrontal Gym

“Every story is a new Heaven” says Brian Eno of  Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives by David Eagleman – our guest this morning.  The connection between good science and good writing is closer than you might think.  And listen out for David’s definition of “good writing” – it’s eye-opening!  Neuroscience offers untold possibilities for […]

Sum by David Eagleman

“This gorgeously produced, wee sliver of a book packs an enormous punch” says one reviewer on Amazon, and they’re not wrong (Philip Pullman is a big fan, too).  Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives by David Eagleman is intelligent, speculative fiction – easy enough to read a few pages on the way to work, but […]

Last Time With Geoff

In our last conversation with highly-acclaimed British author Geoff Dyer, whose fourth novel Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi is published this week, we discuss inter alia how the writer deals with critics, the vagaries of the writer’s life, and the classic dilemma of the romantic poet. In today’s Write Report, Donna reports that children’s […]

It’s All About Tone

In today’s conversation with acclaimed British author Geoff Dyer, whose fourth novel Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi is published this week, we discuss the writer as an obsessive,  the difference between addiction and obsession, what Burning Man meant to Geoff, and why he always favors tone over plot. In today’s Write Report, Donna reports […]

The Fifth Network

We continue talking to acclaimed British author Geoff Dyer whose fourth novel Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi is published this week.  Today we discuss how his current book came about; the relationship between Geoff/Jeff; and coping with readers’ expectations. In today’s Write Report, Donna reports on ScriptFrenzy – a contest to produce 100 pages […]

Put The Writer In the Box

Taking a welcome break from the Scribd story that we first broke on LITOPIA AFTER DARK nearly ten days ago, we’re again talking to highly-acclaimed British author Geoff Dyer (the Daily Telegraph calls  him “the best living writer in Britain”) whose fourth novel Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi is published this week.  Today we’re […]

Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi

The Daily Telegraph has called him “the best living writer in Britain”.  Zadie Smith believes “his prose is the equal of anyone in the country – a national treasure.”  Geoff Dyer is the consummate writer’s writer, and he is our guest all this week on Litopia Daily. On the eve of publication of his fourth […]

The Lessons of Haggis

To conclude our week’s worth of all-time great reads, selected by John Simopoulos, Dean of Degrees at St Catherine’s College, Oxford, we end on a note of sublime levity: today’s’s featured author is Beachcomber (J.B. Morton) – an English columnist and essayist of exquisite humour…  “and I can say that with the authority of one […]

Austerlitz

“The most amazing single book that I know.”  The words of John Simopoulos, Dean of Degrees at St Catherine’s College, Oxford, talking about today’s featured book – W. G. Sebald‘s Austerlitz – rare praise indeed and an exceptional recommendation. In today’s Write Report, Donna brings us news of the year’s first case of plagiarism… and […]