Backlisted

By Unbound

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Subscribers: 646
Reviews: 3

Tristan John
 Nov 30, 2020
Great fun

Toria Richards
 May 3, 2020

A Podcast Republic user
 Aug 9, 2018

Description

The literary podcast presented by John Mitchinson and Andy Miller. Brought to you by Unbound. Visit www.backlisted.fm

Episode Date
Titus Groan, Gormenghast and Titus Alone by Mervyn Peake
01:11:48
Novelist Joanne Harris (Chocolat, A Narrow Door) is our guest for a celebration of Titus Groan (1946), Gormenghast (1950) and Titus Alone (1959) by Mervyn Peake, three novels which are often referred to, erroneously, as the Gormenghast Trilogy. With Joanne's expert guidance, John and Andy revisit Peake's visionary work for the first time in decades and are surprised and delighted by what they discover. Also in this episode, Andy marks the belated UK publication of Maud Martha, the sole novel by poet Gwendolyn Brooks (Faber); while John enjoys Geoff Dyer's new book about tennis and much more, The Last Days of Roger Federer: And Other Endings (Canongate). Timings: 07:49 - Maud Martha by Gwendolyn Brooks 13:55 - The Last Days of Roger Federer: And Other Endings by Geoff Dyer 18:07 - The Gormenghast series of books by Mervyn Peake For more information on everything discussed in this episode visit https://www.backlisted.fm You can support us and unlock bonus material at https://www.patreon.com/backlisted All books mentioned in the show are available to purchase at https://uk.bookshop.org/shop/backlisted
Jun 21, 2022
The Death of the Heart by Elizabeth Bowen
01:08:22
Tessa Hadley (Free Love, Late in the Day) joins us for a discussion of The Death of the Heart (1938), the sixth novel by Anglo-Irish novelist Elizabeth Bowen; as you'll hear, Tessa has been reading and rereading Bowen's work since she discovered it in her local library when she was 12 years old. We go deep into the glorious idiosyncrasies (and idiosyncratic glories) of Bowen's style and consider why her reputation has waxed and waned in the years since her death in 1973. Also in this episode, John celebrates his recent trip to New Orleans with a reading of Nine Lives (Random House US), Dan Baum's book about the city; and Andy navigates his way round Géricault's painting The Wreck of the Medusa using Tom de Freston's new book Wreck (Granta) as his compass. For more information visit https://www.backlisted.fm Please support us and unlock bonus material at https://www.patreon.com/backlisted Timings: 07:15 Wreck by Tom de Freston 14:42 Nine Lives by Dan Baum 21:36 The Death of The Heart by Elizabeth Bowen
May 23, 2022
De Profundis by Oscar Wilde
01:25:20
Our guest is Stephen Fry, writer, actor and polymath, who last week joined John and Andy in person to discuss Oscar Wilde's De Profundis, the essay addressed to Lord Alfred Douglas 'from the depths' of Wilde's incarceration in Reading Gaol in 1897. It has been described by Colm Tóibín as 'one of the greatest love letters ever written'; it is also Wilde's most powerful testament of the sacred duty of the artist as he conceived it. We discuss the work's convoluted publication history, Wilde's posthumous reputation and his ongoing relevance in the 21st century. In addition, Andy has been reading Hayley Campbell's fascinating All the Living and the Dead (Raven Books), which he describes as "a work of true rigour mortis"; while John digs enthusiastically into Villager (Unbound), the new novel from writer and former Backlisted guest Tom Cox. For more information visit https://www.backlisted.fm. Please support us and unlock bonus material at https://www.patreon.com/backlisted Timings: 14:19 - All the Living and the Dead by Hayley Campbell 21:06 - Villager by Tom Cox 25:52 - De Profundis by Oscar Wilde
May 09, 2022
Family Lexicon by Natalia Ginzburg
01:15:38
Publisher Marigold Atkey and journalist Emily Rhodes join us for a discussion of Lessico famigliare, Natalia Ginzburg's novelistic memoir or autobiographical novel, first published in Italy in 1963 and most recently translated by Jenny McPhee as Family Lexicon (Daunt/NYRB). Ginzburg had a long and distinguished career in Italian literature, theatre and politics. This episode explores her fascinating life and asks why her work is finding new readers and admirers in the 21st century, amongst them Rachel Cusk and Sally Rooney. Also in this episode John enjoys How To Gut a Fish (Bloomsbury), a debut collection of short stories by Shelia Armstrong; while Andy reflects on Vashti Bunyan's pilgrimage to the Outer Hebrides, as recounted in Wayward (White Rabbit), her memoir of the 1960s and beyond. For more information visit https://www.backlisted.fm. Please support us and unlock bonus material at https://www.patreon.com/backlisted Timecodes: 13:00 Wayward by Vashti Bunyan 21:07 How To Gut a Fish by Shelia Armstrong 27:13 Family Lexicon by Natalia Ginzburg
Apr 25, 2022
Escape to an Autumn Pavement and Jamaica by Andrew Salkey
01:15:53
Our guests are both new to Backlisted: the legendary publisher, editor, writer Margaret Busby and the award-winning poet, Raymond Antrobus. They join us to discuss the work of the Caribbean writer, Andrew Salkey, in particular his 1960 Hampstead ‘bedsit novel’, Escape to An Autumn Pavement, and his epic poem Jamaica, which explores the historical foundations of Jamaican society and was first published in 1973 by the pioneering press, Bogle L’Ouverture. As you will discover, Salkey was a consummate live performer - as are both our guests – and the episode make a strong case for his work to be revisited. It also features Andy enjoying the graphic novel and memoir, All the Sad Songs by Summer Pierre, while John is blown away by Aftermath, Preti Taneja’s brave and uncompromising account of recovering from a public tragedy. For more information visit https://www.backlisted.fm. Please support us and unlock bonus material at https://www.patreon.com/backlisted Timecodes 09:37 - All The Sad Songs by Summer Pierre 15:34 - Aftermath by Preti Taneja 23:24 - Escape To An Autumn Pavement by Andrew Salkey 55:23 - Jamaica by Andrew Salkey
Apr 11, 2022
The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon
01:17:09
Our guests are both Backlisted old hands: Professor Sarah Churchwell, Professor in American Literature and Chair of Public Understanding of the Humanities at the School of Advanced Study, University of London and Sam Leith, literary editor of the Spectator. We are discussing the 1966 postmodern novel The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon, by some way his shortest book, but no less complex and intriguing for its relative brevity. Sound the muted post horn! Also in this episode, Andy extols the subtle virtues of former guest Susie Boyt’s novel, Loved and Missed while John discovers the Ukrainian-American poet Ilya Kaminsky’s dramatic sequence, Deaf Republic, which tells the stories of a fictional town falling under foreign occupation. For more information visit https://www.backlisted.fm. Please support us and unlock bonus material at https://www.patreon.com/backlisted Timecodes: 07:39 Loved and Missed by Susie Boyt 14:37 Deaf Republic by Ilya Kaminsky 22:08 The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon
Mar 28, 2022
Fungus the Bogeyman by Raymond Briggs
01:12:48
We are joined by author-illustrator Nadia Shireen and writer Andrew Male for a smellybration of Fungus the Bogeyman (1977) by the great Raymond Briggs, the much-loved and bestselling picture book Andrew describes as "the children's Anatomy of Melancholy". We consider Briggs's life and work in full: Father Christmas, The Snowman, When the Wind Blows, Ethel & Ernest and the sepulchral Time For Lights Out (2019), his latest - and perhaps last - book; we also hear several times from the (often very funny) author himself. Also in this episode Andy talks about issues raised by reading Laugh a Defiance, a long out-of-print memoir by campaigner Mary Richardson; while John shares his enthusiasm for Jessica Au's new novel, Cold Enough For Snow (Fitzcarraldo). For more information visit backlisted.fm. Please support us and unlock bonus material at https://www.patreon.com/backlisted 08:00 Laugh a Defiance by Mary Richardson 15:42 Cold Enough For Snow by Jessica Au 20:46 Fungus The Bogeyman by Raymond Briggs Closing music by @AShamaluevMusic.
Mar 14, 2022
South Riding by Winifred Holtby
01:09:54
Our guests are Tanya Kirk, Lead Curator of Printed Heritage Collections 1601-1900 at The British Library, and Backlisted's old friend Una McCormack, a New York Times bestselling author. We are discussing Winifred Holtby's classic final novel South Riding, published posthumously in 1936 and widely admired for its broad canvas of social realism and as a classic of early feminism. Also in this episode John updates us on his progress through Olga Tokarczuk's The Books of Jacob (Fitzcarraldo), translated by Jennifer Croft; while Andy has been reading My Rock 'n' Roll Friend (Canongate), Tracey Thorn's memoir of her longstanding friendship with Lindy Morrison, the former drummer of The Go-Betweens. For more information visit backlisted.fm. Please support us and unlock bonus material at https://www.patreon.com/backlisted
Feb 28, 2022
Winter Reading II: Short Stories
01:09:06
This episode of Backlisted features Andy, John and Nicky chatting about short stories and the perennial appeal of the form to both writers and readers. This is a sequel to the first Winter Reading show we posted in January. Books under discussion include Wendy Erskine's new collection Dance Move; The Voice in My Ear by Frances Leviston; Rupert Thomson's memoir This Party's Got to Stop; Randall Jarrell's Book of Stories; A Swim in a Pond in the Rain by George Saunders; and, ahead of our full episode on her novel South Riding, coming next week, Pavements at Anderby by Winifred Holtby. Andy reads a story entitled The Old Spot from the latter volume which has not been republished, anthologised or broadcast in full since its original appearance in 1937. (He promises to work on his Yorkshire accent in the meantime.) For more information visit backlisted.fm. Please support us and unlock bonus material at https://www.patreon.com/backlisted
Feb 21, 2022
Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers
01:14:57
Authors Harriet Evans (The Beloved Girls) and Francesca Wade (Square Haunting) join us to celebrate Dorothy L. Sayers's 'novel not without detection' Gaudy Night (1935), perhaps the high point in the classic series of books featuring Harriet Vane and Lord Peter Wimsey. Sayers was a feminist pioneer and we discuss her intellectual life and brilliant and unorthodox career. Also in this episode, John dips into The Art of the Glimpse (Head of Zeus), an anthology of Irish short stories edited by Sinéad Gleeson, and reads something short and magical by Dermot Healy; and Andy recommends Tessa Hadley's new book Free Love (Jonathan Cape) in these terms: "Imagine Elizabeth Taylor had written a novel inspired by Richard Thompson's Beeswing." For more information visit backlisted.fm. Please support us and unlock bonus material at https://www.patreon.com/backlisted
Feb 07, 2022
Finishing the Hat and Look, I Made a Hat by Stephen Sondheim
01:18:06
Stephen Sondheim's biographer David Benedict and writer and musician Jason Hazeley join us for a special episode devoted to Finishing the Hat and Look, I Made a Hat, the late and very great songwriter's two volumes of lyrics, memoir, criticism and much more, first published in 2010 and 2011 respectively; Sondheim's work defies easy categorisation and these glorious books are no exception. NB. This show contains expert recommendations for further listening and, as you'll hear, putting it together was a real thrill. Somehow we also find time to discuss the novel O Caledonia, a modern classic of Scottish fiction by Elspeth Barker, and Finna, the second collection by American poet Nate Marshall. For more information visit backlisted.fm. Please support us and unlock bonus material at https://www.patreon.com/backlisted
Jan 24, 2022
Winter Reading 2022
01:00:00
Happy New Year! We begin 2022 with a stack of books to see us through the winter: poetry, history, fiction and science. Andy, John and Nicky discuss and read from The Kids by Hannah Lowe (Bloodaxe); The Dawn of Everything by David Graeber and David Wengrow (FSG/Allen Lane); Love in Five Acts by Daniela Krien (MacLehose Press); Men Who Feed Pigeons by Selima Hill (Bloodaxe); The Books of Jacob by Olga Tokarczuk (Fitzcarraldo Editions); The Wordhord: Daily Life in Old English by Hana Videen (Profile Books); Eat or We Both Starve by Victoria Kennefick (Carcanet). Plus there's a special quiz to kick things off. For more information visit backlisted.fm. Please support us and unlock bonus material at https://www.patreon.com/backlisted
Jan 10, 2022
The Railway Children by E. Nesbit
01:26:36
Merry Xmas everybody! Our friends Katherine Rundell and Frank Cottrell-Boyce, two wonderful guest authors, join us to celebrate the life and work of Edith Nesbit and perhaps her best-loved novel, The Railway Children (1906). This podcast has it all: cracker jokes and conversation, readings and music, laughter and tears, a forthright debate over whether Daddy is innocent or guilty, and even a special Christmas quiz featuring tenuous links - have a pen and piece of paper to hand (and maybe a box of tissues too). Also in this bumper episode of Backlisted, John revisits another magical childhood favourite, Hobberdy Dick by K.M. Briggs; while Andy bravely attempts to summarise Alan Moore's epic novel Jerusalem and shares just one of its 1296 magickal pages with us. For further information and links visit backlisted.fm. Please donate and unlock bonus material at https://www.patreon.com/backlisted. Wherever in the world this podcast finds you, thank you for your support during another tough year and Merry Christmas from everyone at Backlisted.
Dec 25, 2021
Deadwood by Pete Dexter
01:18:23
Authors Shawn Levy (A Year in the Life of Death, Rat Pack Confidential) and Erica Wagner (Chief Engineer, Gravity) join us to discuss US writer Pete Dexter's second novel Deadwood (1986), described by the Washington Post on publication as 'maybe the best Western ever written'. In addition to enjoying this unpredictable and uproarious historical novel, we investigate the differences - and notable similarities - between Dexter's work and the classic TV series of the same name that followed a decade later. Also this week, John has been reading Katherine May's life-affirming memoir, The Electricity of Every Living Thing, while Andy pays tribute to Nina Simone's Gum by musician Warren Ellis, a book that asks profound questions about what it means to be divine. For more information visit backlisted.fm. Please support us and unlock bonus material at https://www.patreon.com/backlisted
Dec 13, 2021
The Godwits Fly by Robin Hyde
01:14:56
Our guest is author Paula Morris, who joins us from Auckland to discuss the novel The Godwits Fly (1938) and the life of its author Iris Wilkinson AKA Robin Hyde. In recent years, Iris Wilkinson's writing has been rediscovered and restored to the canon of New Zealand literature, where it occupies a place alongside Katherine Mansfield's; The Godwits Fly is her highly autobiographical novel spanning the years 1910-28. Also this week, John has been captivated by Neurotribes, Steve Silberman's fascinating study of neurodiversity, while Andy revels in the forensic detail of Glenn Frankel's new book Shooting Midnight Cowboy: Art, Sex, Loneliness, Liberation, and the Making of a Dark Classic. For more information visit backlisted.fm. Please support us and unlock bonus material at https://www.patreon.com/backlisted. This episode wouldn't have happened without Rachael King or WORD Christchurch Festival: https://wordchristchurch.co.nz. Thanks Rachael!
Nov 29, 2021
Notes from Under the Floorboards AKA Notes from Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky
01:13:21
Welcome to the 150th episode of Backlisted! To mark the occasion we are joined by authors Alex Christofi (Dostoevsky in Love) and Arifa Akbar (Consumed: A Sister's Story) for a discussion of one of Russia's greatest writers Fyodor Dostoevsky, who was born in Moscow on November 11 1821, 200 years ago this month. We concentrate on his pioneering novella Notes From Under the Floorboards AKA Notes From Underground (1864) and consider its impact and continuing relevance to modern life. Also in this episode John enjoys Dark Neighbourhood (Fitzcarraldo), the debut collection of stories by Vanessa Onwuemezi; and, having let it settled for a few months, Andy unveils his favourite novel of the year, Gwendoline Riley's My Phantoms (Granta). For more information visit backlisted.fm Please support us and unlock bonus material at https://www.patreon.com/backlisted
Nov 15, 2021
Treacle Walker by Alan Garner
00:58:00
This is a Backlisted special, recorded at the Bodleian Library in Oxford to celebrate the publication of Treacle Walker the new novel by Alan Garner (Fourth Estate). The panel discussion features Erica Wagner, writer and critic and editor of First Light, an anthology of pieces about Alan Garner’s work; Dr Melanie Giles, archaeologist and the author of Bog Bodies, the definitive account of the phenomenon which plays a significant role in the book’s story; and Professor Bob Cywinski, physicist, whose conversations with Alan Garner about time, landscape and local legend provided the inspiration for the novel.
Nov 08, 2021
Something in Disguise by Elizabeth Jane Howard
01:14:13
For this year's Hallowe'en special we're joined by Backlisted's old fiends Andrew Male and Laura Varnam, following previous guest appearances on episodes dedicated to Beowulf (2020) and Daphne du Maurier's The Breaking Point (2019). Together we explore the work of the novelist Elizabeth Jane Howard, specifically her ghost stories, tales of horror and accounts of psychological terror: Something in Disguise (1969), Odd Girl Out (1972), Mr Wrong (1975), Falling (1999), and We Are For the Dark (1951), the volume of strange stories she co-authored with previous Backlisted subject Robert Aickman. NB. THIS EPISODE IS PACKED WITH SPOILERS and you may wish to read Something in Disguise before you listen to the podcast. Also this week, Andy is gripped by Heike Gessler's Seasonal Associate (Semiotext), the novelist's account of working in Amazon's warehouse in Leipzig, while John enjoys being unsettled by Women's Weird: Strange Stories by Women, 1980-1940, edited by Melissa Edmundson, the first in a series of 'Weird' anthologies published by Handheld Press. For more information visit backlisted.fm. Please support us and unlock bonus material at https://www.patreon.com/backlisted
Oct 30, 2021
Cassandra at the Wedding by Dorothy Baker
01:13:24
Our guests are publisher Alexandra Pringle and Simon Thomas, editor and co-host of the Tea or Books? podcast. They are here to discuss Cassandra at the Wedding, the fourth and final novel by Dorothy Baker, first published in 1962 by Houghton Mifflin in the USA and Victor Gollancz in the UK. What is it about this darkly funny tale of two devoted sisters that continues to appeal to generations of readers? Also in this episode John enjoys Notes from an Island by Tove Jansson and Tuulikki Pietila, newly reissued by Sort Of Books, while Andy returns to early 1980s London via Michael Bracewell's new book Souvenir (White Rabbit). For more information visit backlisted.fm. Please support us and unlock bonus material at https://www.patreon.com/backlisted
Oct 18, 2021
The Dream Songs by John Berryman
01:12:45
Joining us on Backlisted this week is novelist and memoirist Susie Boyt (My Judy Garland Life, Loved and Missed). The book Susie has chosen for us to discuss is The Dream Songs (1969) by John Berryman, the publication of which briefly made its author the most famous poet in America but also, unfortunately, hastened his decline and ruin. But the work shines on. Also in this episode Andy is struck by the contemporary resonance of Vivian Gornick's The Romance of American Communism while John drinks in Public House: A Cultural and Social History of the London Pub edited by David Knight and Cristina Monteiro. Please note, this episode contains references to suicide.
Oct 04, 2021
Elizabeth Costello by J.M. Coetzee
01:02:02
We are joined by novelist Mary Costello for a special episode recorded live at Galway International Arts Festival in Ireland on September 10th 2021. The book we're debating is Elizabeth Costello (2003) by South-African born Nobel Laureate J.M. Coetzee, a novel that politely asks the reader to consider, amongst other matters, animal rights, the power of faith and the limits of fiction itself. Also in this episode, new books by two Irish authors: Sally Rooney's novel Beautiful World, Where Are You and John Moriarty’s The Hut at the Edge of the Village, a collection edited by Martin Shaw and published by the Lilliput Press.
Sep 20, 2021
Summer Reading 2021
01:00:53
It’s time for our annual look at what we’ve been reading over the summer break. John, Andy and Nicky discuss David Keenan’s fourth novel Monument Maker; Open Water, a promising debut novella from Caleb Azumah Nelson; Deborah Levy’s three-volume ‘living autobiography’, Things I Don’t Want to Know, The Cost of Living and Real Estate; a reissue of Percival Everett’s satirical diatribe Erasure; Life With a Capital L, Geoff Dyer’s selection of essays by D.H. Lawrence; and Vivian Gornick’s The End of the Novel of Love and Unfinished Business, in which the author re-reads favourite classic books and comes to fresh conclusions about them. All these titles can be purchased from the Backlisted bookshop at https://uk.bookshop.org/shop/backlisted.
Sep 06, 2021
Fat City by Leonard Gardner
01:06:58
Perhaps the greatest boxing novel ever written, Leonard Gardner's Fat City was first published in 1969; it was shortlisted for the National Book Award; Joan Didion and Denis Johnson are amongst those who have sung its praises. The book was made into a film in 1972 starring Stacy Keach and Jeff Bridges, directed by John Huston from a screenplay by Gardner himself. In this episode Andy, John and Nicky explore both the novel and the film and the ways in which Gardner shows the reader the whole of a society through the prism of sport. We also hear from the author as to why he has never published another novel. Plus in this episode John reignites his love of D.H. Lawrence with Frances Wilson's acclaimed new biography Burning Man, while Andy shares an extract from Leonora Carrington's magical novel The Hearing Trumpet, read by actress Siân Phillips.
Aug 05, 2021
Heart of the Original By Steve Aylett
01:16:26
Joining us on Backlisted this week is writer John Higgs, whose fascinating new book William Blake Vs The World is out now. We were thrilled John chose Steve Aylett's guide to originality, creativity and individuality, Heart of the Original, first published by Unbound in 2015 and as original, creative and individual a book as we have ever featured on this podcast; be prepared to experience a "small-particle tulpa storm" of ideas. Also in this episode, John enjoys the waspish melancholy of Elizabeth Hardwick's Sleepless Nights, while Andy introduces a reading from Black Teacher by Beryl Gilroy, a trailblazing Guyanese woman's memoir of post-war London.
Jul 19, 2021
In a Lonely Place by Dorothy B. Hughes
01:08:05
Returning to Backlisted this week are literary agents Becky Brown and Norah Perkins, joint custodians of the Curtis Brown Heritage list of literary estates and previously our guests on episode #109, Excellent Women by Barbara Pym. This time we are discussing the work of crime novelist Dorothy B. Hughes and in particular her suspenseful and subversive novel In a Lonely Place (1947), freely adapted as a classic film noir by director Nicholas Ray and starring Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Grahame. Also in this episode Norah and Becky pitch titles by Kay Dick, Stella Gibbons and R.C. Sherriff to Andy, John and Nicky. Make sure you have a pen and paper to hand...
Jul 05, 2021
Are You Somebody? by Nuala O'Faolain
01:12:35
Joining John and Andy this week is novelist and host of the books podcast Sentimental Garbage, Caroline O'Donoghue (Promising Young Women, Scenes of a Graphic Nature, All Our Hidden Gifts). We are discussing Nuala O'Faolain's revelatory memoir Are You Somebody? (1996), the original publication of which caused a sensation in her native Ireland. The book went on to top the New York Times bestseller list for six weeks; it still has the power to astonish. Also in this episode Andy has been exploring John Higgs's new book William Blake Vs The World and John is moved by Consumed: A Sister's Tale, the family memoir of Arifa Akbar, a former guest on Backlisted.
Jun 21, 2021
A Goat's Song by Dermot Healy
01:14:43
Joining John and Andy this week are novelist Patrick McCabe (The Butcher Boy, Breakfast on Pluto, Winterwood) and Unbound's editor-at-large Rachael Kerr. We got together to discuss Dermot Healy's remarkable second novel A Goat's Song (1994) and the peripatetic life of its author, one of the great Irish writers of recent times. Patrick, Rachael and John all knew, worked and occasionally drank with Dermot Healy and this special episode reflects their personal connections with a much-loved and much-missed man. Also in this edition Andy considers the most recent novel of another legendary Irish writer, Girl by Edna O'Brien; while John shares his admiration for Shola Von Reinhold's Lote, winner of the Republic of Consciousness Prize for Small Presses 2021.
Jun 07, 2021
The Evenings by Gerard Reve
01:13:08
Joining John and Andy this week are novelist Marie Phillips (Gods Behaving Badly, Oh, I Do Like To Be...) and novelist, screenwriter and poet Joe Dunthorne (Submarine, O Positive). The book we are discussing is Gerard Reve's debut novel De Avonden AKA The Evenings, which caused a sensation when published in the Netherlands in 1947 and is now considered a classic. In the words of Herman Koch, it may be 'the funniest, most exhilarating novel about boredom ever written'. Reve was only 24; he went on to have a long, successful and frequently scandalous career but only a handful of his books have been translated into English. Also in this episode John digs Bella Bathurst's new book Field Work: What Land Does to People & What People Do to Land and Andy surveys Landscapes of Detectorists and discovers prose to treasure.
May 24, 2021
The Plague and I by Betty MacDonald
01:12:35
Joining John and Andy this week are Natasha McEnroe, the Keeper of Medicine at the Science Museum in London, and novelist Lissa Evans, Backlisted's old friend and the show's Original Guest, both of whom are Betty MacDonald superfans. The Plague and I (1948) is the author's unflinching and hilarious memoir of the nine months she spent as a patient at a TB sanatorium in the Pacific North West of America. We discuss this book and the eventful life of its million-selling author (The Egg and I, Anybody Can Do Anything, Onions in the Stew), are exposed to a selection of TB-related public information films and music, and there is even a 'communicable disease in literature' quiz. Also in this episode Andy is grabbed by Mr Bowling Buys a Newspaper (1943) by Donald Henderson, reputedly Raymond Chandler's favourite crime novel; while John has been enjoying Olivette Otele's recently published history African Europeans, which traces a long African European heritage via the lives of individuals both ordinary and extraordinary.
May 10, 2021
The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman by Laurence Sterne
01:15:52
The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman AKA Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne is the subject of this years-in-the-making episode of Backlisted. Published in nine volumes between 1759 and 1767, Sterne's cock and bull story has entertained, baffled, enchanted, infuriated and inspired readers ever since; needless to say, at Backlisted we love it. Joining John and Andy to celebrate this great, hilarious, digressive novel - or is it a series of great, hilarious, digressive novels? - are award-winning children's author Katherine Rundell and our friend Frank Cottrell-Boyce, who adapted Tristram Shandy for the big screen in 2005 as A Cock and Bull Story. As a bonus, you'll hear Steve Coogan, the star of that film, read from the book(s) - exclusively for Backlisted listeners. Also in this episode, Andy enjoys a "relentless excursion into style" with Fun in a Chinese Laundry (1965), the autobiography of film director Josef von Sternberg; while John takes a sounding of Jennifer Lucy Allan's fascinating new book The Foghorn's Lament. 992462
Apr 26, 2021
Água Viva by Clarice Lispector
01:01:16
Clarice Lispector's Água Viva is the subject of this episode of Backlisted. Like several of Lispector's remarkable novels, this slim book caused a sensation when first published in her native Brazil in 1973. Exquisitely written and daringly abstract, it stands as one of its author's masterpieces with Near to the Wild Heart (1943), Family Ties(1960), The Passion According to G.H. (1964) and The Hour of the Star (1977). Joining John and Andy to explore this truly iconic author's life and work are writers Wendy Erskine and David Keenan. Also in this episode, John has been reading Peter Blegvad's recent book Imagine, Observe, Remember, "a way to look at different ways of looking and seeing"; Andy, meanwhile, digs Excavate! The Wonderful and Frightening World of The Fall, a new anthology of essays, artwork and ephemera edited by Tessa Norton and Bob Stanley.
Apr 12, 2021
The Fish Can Sing by Halldór Laxness
00:58:00
The Fish Can Sing by Halldór Laxness is the subject of this episode. The book was first published in Iceland as Brekkukotsannáll in 1957, two years after Laxness was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. Joining John and Andy to discuss this ideosyncratic, unforgettable novel and the remarkable life of its author - spanning nearly all of the twentieth century - is author, poet and podcaster Derek Owusu. Also in this episode, John delves into Brian Dillon's new book Suppose A Sentence, while Andy reads A Chelsea Concerto, Frances Faviell's memoir of life during the London Blitz.
Apr 01, 2021
Daddy's Gone A-Hunting by Penelope Mortimer
01:12:21
Penelope Mortimer's fourth novel Daddy's Gone A-Hunting (1958) is the subject of this episode of Backlisted. Joining John and Andy to discuss Mortimer's fearless and pioneering autobiographical fiction, including this book, Saturday Lunch With The Brownings (1960) and The Pumpkin Eater (1962), plus the latter's subsequent film adaptation, are critic and broadcaster Lucy Scholes and New York Times daily books editor John Williams. Also in this episode John enjoys Brown Baby, the new memoir by Nikesh Shukla; and Andy takes a break with Always A Welcome: The Glove Compartment History Of The Motorway Service Area by David Lawrence.
Mar 15, 2021
Miss Pym Disposes by Josephine Tey
01:05:45
Josephine Tey's classic mystery Miss Pym Disposes (1946) is the subject of this special episode of Backlisted, recorded as part of Aberdeen's Granite Noir festival on February 19th 2021. Joining John and Andy to explore the life and career of Josephine Tey AKA Gordon Daviot AKA Elizabeth MacKintosh (her real name) is Val McDermind, bestselling author and Tey's fellow Queen of Crime. Tey was the author of a series of highly successful novels, and film and TV adaptations, including Brat Farrar, The Franchise Affair and The Daughter of Time, yet she remains something of an enigma. As you'll hear, we thoroughly enjoyed immersing ourselves in her work and learning more about her from Val. Please note: this audio version of the podcast is longer and contains more material than the Granite Noir video webcast. If you would like to watch the original, it's currently available via the Granite Noir website or on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omuqekhpM8A.
Mar 01, 2021
Job: The Story of a Simple Man by Joseph Roth
01:16:36
Joseph Roth's Job: The Story of a Simple Man (1930) is the subject of this episode of Backlisted. Joining John and Andy to explore this austere and powerful novel, first published in German as Hiob: Roman eines einfachen Mannes, are Keiron Pim, whose much-anticipated biography of Joseph Roth will be published in 2022, and a returning Backlisted guest, bibliomemoirist and playwright Samantha Ellis. Roth was a prolific yet enigmatic writer - his other books include The Radetzky March and The Legend of the Holy Drinker - and this episode takes a long, considered look at his (often chaotic) life and work, and where Job fits into both. Also in this episode, Andy shares a reading by Salena Godden from her acclaimed new novel Mrs Death Misses Death, while John is beguiled by the fragmented visions of Max Porter's The Death of Francis Bacon.
Feb 15, 2021
Locklisted: Teenage Books Special
01:03:25
This Locklisted episode is the sequel to our earlier Children's Books Special. It was recorded in August 2020 and was previously available exclusively to supporters of our Patreon at patreon.com/backlisted. This time we cover our teenage years and the tricky transition into ‘adult’ readers. Much of the conversation is dominated by of our re-reading of The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, but you also get John falling for James Joyce at seventeen (via Wilbur Smith), Nicky moving from Puffin Plus to Douglas Coupland, a digression on the horror novels of Stephen King and James Herbert and a haunting reading by Andy from Graham Greene. Backlisted is entirely funded by the contributions of our Patreons - many thanks to them! If you would like to hear all past episodes of Locklisted and support Backlisted in the process, please sign up as a Locklistener or Master Storyteller at patreon.com/backlisted.
Feb 08, 2021
Karoo by Steve Tesich
01:14:06
Karoo (1998), a posthumously-published cult novel by screenwriter and playwright Steve Tesich is the subject of this episode of Backlisted. Joining John and Andy to analyse this dark and hilarious tale of a Hollywood script doctor's apocalyptic decline and fall are journalist and podcaster Sali Hughes and novelist John Niven (who previously guested on Backlisted ep. 09 discussing Martin Amis's The Information). Also in this episode, John enjoys This Sporting Life: Sport and Liberty in England, 1760-1960 by Robert Colls, a social history of the English and their relationship to sport. Andy, meanwhile, has been reading Unquiet Landscape, Christopher Neve's recently-republished study of the English imagination in 20th-century landscape painting.
Feb 01, 2021
The Bloater by Rosemary Tonks
01:16:13
Rosemary Tonks is the subject of this episode of Backlisted. Our starting point is her fascinating third novel The Bloater (1968) - which is long out of print, unfortunately - but we also discuss her remarkable poetry, her friendship with Delia Derbyshire of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, her eccentric career in fiction, radio and theatre, and her gradual retreat from the world. Joining John and Andy to discover more about this unique and enigmatic writer are two of Tonks's admirers, author and critic Jennifer Hodgson and the comedian Stewart Lee. Also in this episode Andy replenishes his enthusiasm for Elizabeth Taylor with her (bizarrely underrated) novel The Wedding Group (1968), while John shines a light on Andy Charman's Crow Court, a new novel of short stories set in Wimborne Minster, Dorset, in the 19th century, published by Unbound.
Jan 18, 2021
Locklisted: Children's Books Special, Part One
00:55:56
This Locklisted special on children's books was recorded in August 2020 and was previously available exclusively to supporters of our Patreon at patreon.com/backlisted. Join us on a journey through time and space as John, Andy and Nicky discuss the books they loved as children (so actually no pubs were involved or even mentioned on this occasion). The discussion covers the importance of libraries, the Proustian aroma of parquet flooring, the challenges of the display spinner, the significance of the Puffin Club, the utility of book tokens and the joys of early audio books. The books mentioned make for an eclectic mix and include Emil and the Detectives by Erich Kästner, The Eighteenth Emergency by Betsy Byars, the Hitchhikers series by Douglas Adams, I-Spy books, the epic sweep of Sweet Valley High, Great Northern by Arthur Ransome, The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne, the audiobook of The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (as read by Glenda Jackson), the audiobook of Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild, The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper, comics such as Mandy and Look-in, the sublime Peanuts collections by Charles M. Schulz and last but definitely not least, Doctor Who and the Cave Monsters by Malcolm Hulke. We so enjoyed making this episode that we recorded a sequel on our favourite teenage reading, which will be shared here soon. Backlisted is entirely funded by the contributions of our Patreons - many thanks to them! If you would like to hear all past episodes of Locklisted and support Backlisted in the process, please sign up as a Locklistener or Master Storyteller at patreon.com/backlisted.
Jan 11, 2021
The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper
01:16:54
Susan Cooper's magical novel The Dark Is Rising (1973) is the subject of a bumper Christmas special episode of Backlisted. Joining John and Andy to discuss this classic winter solstice read, and the four other books that make up the Dark Is Rising sequence, are writer Robert Macfarlane and writer and illustrator Jackie Morris, co-authors of The Lost Words and The Lost Spells and fellow Susan Cooper devotees. And because it is Christmas, John also talks about a beautiful ice-and-snow bound story from the Chuckchi people of the Bering Sea, When the Whales Leave by Yuri Rytkheu, and Andy reads The Tree Room, a poem from Caroline Bird's new collection The Air Year that seems to sum up the spirit of Christmas 2020. Wherever this podcast finds you in the world, Merry Christmas from us all. When the dark comes rising, six shall turn it back...
Dec 25, 2020
The Victorian Chaise-longue by Marghanita Laski
01:14:41
The Victorian Chaise-longue (1953) is a terrifying short novel by the writer, broadcaster and lexicographer Marghanita Laski. Joining Andy and John is the novelist Eley Williams, author of the awarding winning Attrib. and Other Stories and this year’s wonderful novel of mendacious lexicography, The Liar’s Dictionary. The episode also features Andy’s report back from the summit of Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain and John excavates an old Puffin anthology called Authors’ Choice which contains ‘The Tower’ (1955), another deeply unsettling story by Marghanita Laski story, chosen and introduced by Alan Garner.
Dec 07, 2020
The Compleet Molesworth by Geoffrey Willans & Ronald Searle
01:09:26
The Compleet Molesworth (1958) by Geoffrey Willans and Ronald Searle is the beloved book we're celebrating in this special fifth birthday episode of Backlisted cheers cheers. Joining John and Andy to discuss some of the funniest and most influential fictional creations of the 20th century - Nigel Molesworth, Basil Fotherington-Thomas ect ect ect - are satirical cartoonist and writer Martin Rowson and the novelist Lissa Evans, who as any fule kno was our guest on the very first episode of Backlisted in 2015. Also in this episode John contemplates The Sea View Has Me Again: Uwe Johnson in Sheerness by Patrick Wright and Andy is enchanted by Piranesi, Susanna Clarke's long-delayed second novel, her first being the bestselling Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell.
Nov 23, 2020
Doctor Who and the Brain of Morbius by Terrance Dicks
01:05:30
Doctor Who and the Brain of Morbius (1977) by Terrance Dicks is the much-loved book featured in this episode of Backlisted. Joining John and Andy to discuss the life and career of a hugely influential and prolific author - and the history of the Target novelisations of Doctor Who stories, which between them are estimated to have sold over 13m copies - are two writers who are both enthusiastic fans and bona fide experts: broadcaster Matthew Sweet and returning guest Una McCormack. We also take a look at The Gifts of Reading, the recently-published anthology to which Andy has contributed a memoir (on Terrance Dicks), alongside new essays from Philip Pullman, Robert Macfarlane, Candice Carty-Williams, S.F. Said and more, proceeds from which go to the international literacy charity Room To Read.
Nov 09, 2020
Beowulf
01:22:57
It's our Hallowe'en special ! For this year’s Hallowe’en episode our subject is the Old English poem, Beowulf, composed somewhere in England more than a thousand years ago. The atmospheric tale of supernatural monsters and human heroes has inspired scores of translations over the centuries and we will discuss several, including versions by Seamus Heaney, J.R.R. Tolkien, Michael Morpurgo and the powerful new translation by Maria Dahvana Headley (the 2007 computer-animated film adaptation by Robert Zemeckis and Neil Gaiman also makes an appearance). Andy and John are joined by regular Backlisted Hallowe’en guest Andrew Male, the senior associate editor of MOJO magazine, and Dr Laura Varnam, who first appeared on our last Hallowe’en episode to discuss Daphne Du Maurier’s collection, The Breaking Point. As well as being a Du Maurier expert, Laura is also the Lecturer in Old and Middle English Literature at University College, Oxford and teaches Beowulf to undergraduates. Before that, to put everyone in a suitably spooky mood, we all discuss stories taken from Robert Shearman’s remarkable experiment in storytelling, We All Hear Stories in the Dark.
Oct 26, 2020
Silence by Shūsaku Endō
01:04:29
Silence (1966) is Shūsaku Endō’s masterpiece, a novel set in 17th Japan, following two Portuguese Jesuits posted there to search for their former teacher, who is feared to have abandoned his faith. Joining John and Andy to discuss this intense and powerful exploration of religious belief and its limits is the novelist Sarah Perry, author of The Essex Serpent, Melmoth and, most recently, Essex Girls. Also in this episode John enjoys The Appointment, a mordantly funny debut novel by literary agent, Katharina Volckmer and Andy wallows in the profound comedic achievement that is From the Oasthouse: The Alan Partridge Podcast.
Oct 12, 2020
The Odd Women By George Gissing
01:10:41
George Gissing's The Odd Women (1893) is the groundbreaking book featured in this episode of Backlisted. Joining John and Andy to discuss this fascinating, proto-feminist novel - and the incident-packed life of its prolific author - are novelist and biographer Janet Todd and the professor of Victorian literature at the University of Durham, Simon James. Also in this episode Andy has been reading The Shapeless Unease: A Year of Not Sleeping by Samantha Harvey; and John enjoys A Musical Offering, a suite of stories about music by the Argentine writer Luis Sagasti.
Sep 28, 2020
Thérèse Raquin by Émile Zola
01:13:32
Thérèse Raquin (1868), the third novel by French writer Émile Zola, is the book featured in this episode of Backlisted. Joining John and Andy to discuss the sensational and still shocking founding text of Naturalism are the novelists Rachel Joyce and Andrew O'Hagan. Also in this episode John has been reading Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano’s Memory of Fire trilogy, while Andy takes a tour of the National Portrait Gallery's cancelled Cecil Beaton exhibition with Cecil Beaton's Bright Young Things by Robin Muir.
Sep 14, 2020
I, Lalla: The Poems of Lal Dĕd
01:00:54
I, Lalla: The Poems of Lal Dĕd, translated by Ranjit Hoskote, is the subject of this episode of Backlisted. Joining John and Andy to discuss this modern rendering of the poetry (or 'vakhs') of the 14th-century Kashmiri saint and mystic poet Lal Dĕd (Mother Lalla), also known as Lalla or Lalleshwari, is the writer, dancer and poet Tishani Doshi. In addition John has been reading Hurricane Season, the acclaimed novel by the Mexican author Fernanda Melchor, while Andy discusses Summer by Ali Smith, the final instalment of her seasonal quartet.
Aug 31, 2020
Summer Reading 2020
00:57:43
It's a summer reading episode of Backlisted. We are showcasing books John, Andy and the show's producer Nicky have been reading during lockdown. These include A Helping Hand by Celia Dale; A Small Place by Jamaica Kincaid; A Boy in the Water by Tom Gregory; The Anthill by Julianne Pachico; That Reminds Me by Derek Owusu; The Ice Palace by Tarjei Vesaas; and English Climate: Wartime Stories by Sylvia Townsend Warner. This episode features both newly recorded material and also excerpts from Locklisted, the bonus podcast available exclusively to our Patreon supporters. Please visit patreon.com/backlisted for further details.
Aug 17, 2020
The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James
01:10:04
William James's The Varieties of Religious Experience (1902) is the groundbreaking book featured in this episode of Backlisted. Joining John and Andy to discuss this influential study of philosophy, psychology and faith - and the life and beliefs of its author, whose younger brother was the novelist Henry James - is John Williams, daily books editor and a staff writer at the New York Times.
Aug 03, 2020
How to Cook a Wolf by M.F.K. Fisher
01:10:48
How to Cook a Wolf (1942) by the inimitable M.F.K. Fisher is the book featured in this episode of Backlisted. Joining John and Andy to heed this call to culinary arms, written at a time of national crisis and thus exceptionally relevant to 2020, are journalist and food writer Felicity Cloake and author and adventurer Dan Richards. Also in this episode John has been delving into the backlist of Booker-winning novelist Bernardine Evaristo with The Emperor's Babe (2001), while Andy enjoys Barry England's existential thriller Figures in a Landscape, shortlisted for the very first Booker Prize in 1969.
Jul 20, 2020
The Diary of a Nobody by George and Weedon Grossmith
01:11:27
The Diary of a Nobody (1892) by George and Weedon Grossmith is the book featured in this episode of Backlisted. Joining John and Andy to celebrate this touching and funny classic of suburban manners, first published in 1892 and never out of print since, are writer and critic Laura Cumming and novelist and Grossmith expert E.O. Higgins. Also in this episode Andy has been on an imaginary pub crawl round The Local by Maurice Gorham and Edward Ardizzone, while John has been enjoying Percival Everett's 2009 novel I Am Not Sidney Poitier, newly published in the UK by Influx Press.
Jul 06, 2020
The Inheritors by William Golding
01:19:02
William Golding's second novel The Inheritors (1955) is the book featured in this episode of Backlisted. Joining John and Andy to explore this intense, visionary account of the fall of Neanderthal man, published just a year after Lord of the Flies, are two returning Backlisted guests, SF novelist Una McCormack and writer and critic Andrew Male. Also in this episode Andy has been reading Square Haunting by Francesca Wade, while John talks about Staying Human, a forthcoming poetry anthology from Bloodaxe Books.
Jun 22, 2020
The Constant Nymph by Margaret Kennedy
01:13:25
Margaret Kennedy's bestselling novel The Constant Nymph (1924) is the book featured in this episode of Backlisted. Joining John and Andy to discuss this tale of romance, passion and bohemianism - and the chequered career of its author - is publisher Alexandra Pringle. Please note: some aspects of this novel will be shocking to modern readers; meaningful discussion would be both difficult and limited without reference to them. Also in this episode Andy has been enjoying Romantic Moderns by Alexandra Harris, while John explores The Order of Time by Carlo Rovelli.
Jun 08, 2020
Frost in May by Antonia White
01:04:29
Antonia White's debut novel Frost in May(1933) is the book under discussion in this episode of Backlisted. Joining John and Andy to discuss this powerful story of religion and adolescence - and the troubled life of its author - are writer Laura Thompson and critic and novelist Erica Wagner. Also in this episode Andy has been enjoying the book John Piper's Brighton Aquatints, while John is captivated by photographic anthology Once a Year by Homer Sykes.
May 25, 2020
The World According to Garp by John Irving
01:23:44
John Irving's fourth novel The World According to Garp (1978) is the subject of this episode of Backlisted. Joining John and Andy to explore this unlikely bestseller and discuss its contemporary relevance are author Nikita Lalwani (You People) and novelist and screenwriter Matt Thorne (8 Minutes Idle), both returning to the podcast after their joint appearance on episode #63, Something Happened by Joseph Heller. This week John has also been reading Stones of Aran: Pilgrimage by the late Tim Robinson. And with so many Bob Dylan fans gathered together for the show, it was inevitable talk would turn to the Nobel Prize winner's first new songs for eight years, 'Murder Most Foul' and 'I Contain Multitudes'.
May 11, 2020
The Journal of a Disappointed Man by W.N.P. Barbellion
01:07:10
W.N.P Barbellion's The Journal of a Disappointed Man, first published in 1919, is the subject of this episode of Backlisted. Joining John and Andy to discuss this remarkable book are novelist Claire Fuller and nature writer Will Atkins. In addition, John has been reading The Oxford Companion to Food by Alan Davidson while Andy talks about Nikita Lalwani's new novel You People.
Apr 26, 2020
Excellent Women by Barbara Pym
01:12:02
We're back! Barbara Pym's second novel Excellent Women, first published in 1952, is the subject of this episode of Backlisted. Joining John and Andy to discuss it are Pym aficionados and literary agents Becky Brown and Norah Perkins from Curtis Brown Heritage. In addition, John has been reading The Mabinogi by Matthew Francis while Andy and guests rave about two novels, Troy Chimneys by Margaret Kennedy and A Wreath for the Enemy by Pamela Frankau.
Apr 12, 2020
Locklisted - March 27th 2020
01:00:33
Locklisted is John Mitchinson and Andy Miller, the hosts of Backlisted, and their producer Nicky Birch, chatting about books, films, TV, music etc. and generally giving new life to old pubs. It was recorded on March 27th 2020. For obvious reasons we weren't actually in the pub this time and used the Internet and various laptops HOPE THAT'S OK WITH YOU. NB. This is not an episode of Backlisted; think of it as a spin-off or a bootleg. Backlisted returns in April 2020.
Mar 31, 2020
Locklisted - March 20th 2020
00:58:42
Locklisted is John Mitchinson and Andy Miller, the hosts of Backlisted, and their producer Nicky Birch, chatting about books, films, TV, music etc. and generally giving new life to old pubs. It was recorded on March 20th 2020. For obvious reasons we weren't actually in the pub this time and used the Internet and various laptops HOPE THAT'S OK WITH YOU. NB. This is not an episode of Backlisted; think of it as a spin-off or a bootleg. Backlisted returns in April 2020.
Mar 23, 2020
Locklisted - Feb 28th 2020
00:44:28
Locklisted is John Mitchinson and Andy Miller, the hosts of Backlisted, and their producer Nicky Birch, chatting about books, films, TV, music etc. and generally giving new life to old pubs. It was recorded round the corner from The Wenlock Arms, a pub in North London, on February 28th 2020, rather than actually in the pub this time HOPE THAT'S OK WITH YOU. NB. This is not an episode of Backlisted; think of it as a spin-off or a bootleg. Backlisted returns in spring 2020.
Mar 02, 2020
Locklisted - Jan 17th 2020
00:33:29
Locklisted is John Mitchinson and Andy Miller, the hosts of Backlisted, and their producer Nicky Birch, chatting about books, films, TV, music etc. and generally giving new life to old pubs. It was recorded at The Wenlock Arms, a pub in North London, on January 17th 2020. NB. This is not an episode of Backlisted; think of it as a spin-off or a bootleg. Backlisted returns in spring 2020.
Jan 27, 2020
A La Recherche du Temps Perdu by Marcel Proust
01:18:32
Marcel Proust's A La Recherche du Temps Perdu AKA In Search of Lost Time is the subject of this bumper Christmas special episode, which was recorded live at the London Library on December 11th 2019. Joining John and Andy are novelist Lissa Evans plus a couple of surprise guests along the way. Other books discussed include Cooking In Ten Minutes by Edouard de Pomiane and Ulysses by James Joyce. Please note: this is the last episode of Backlisted until spring 2020.
Dec 25, 2019
Riceyman Steps by Arnold Bennett
01:02:18
Arnold Bennett's 1923 novel Riceyman Steps is the subject of this episode. Joining John and Andy to discuss it are journalist Charlotte Higgins and novelist Kit De Waal. In addition, John has been reading The Northumbrians by Dan Jackson while Andy talks about Never Let Me Go - and other books - by Nobel laureate Kazuo Ishiguro.
Dec 09, 2019
Edith's Diary by Patricia Highsmith
01:03:41
Patricia Highsmith's novel Edith's Diary (1977) is the book under discussion. John and Andy are joined by writers Karen McLeod and John Grindrod. Plus Andy has been reading Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators in The Mystery of the Stuttering Parrot and John talks about Daily Rituals: Women at Work by Mason Currey. This episode was recorded live at Bookseller Crow (https://booksellercrow.co.uk) in South London on Nov 13th 2019.
Nov 25, 2019
The Rings of Saturn by W.G. Sebald
01:06:59
W.G. Sebald's book The Rings of Saturn, first published in Germany in 1995, is the subject of this episode. Joining John and Andy to walk around this enigmatic masterpiece are the writer and swimmer Philip Hoare and the novelist Jessie Greengrass. Other books under discussion are The Years by Annie Ernaux and Fiona Benson's award-winning poetry collection Vertigo & Ghost.
Nov 11, 2019
The Breaking Point by Daphne du Maurier
01:02:21
It's Halloween! Daphne du Maurier's The Breaking Point AKA The Blue Lenses is a collection of psychological horror stories that was first published in 1959. Joining John and Andy to discuss it are academic and du Maurier expert Dr Laura Varnam and, returning for Halloween, writer and critic Andrew Male. We also talk about the haunting books Andy and John have been reading this week: Copsford by Walter J.C. Murray (Little Toller) and The World of the Unknown: All About Ghosts by Christopher Maynard (Usborne).
Oct 28, 2019
Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner
01:03:16
Absalom, Absalom! is the subject of this episode and William Faukner's ninth novel first published in 1936. Returning to Backlisted as our guest is Professor Sarah Churchwell. Also under discussion are Sweet Home, a book of short stories by Wendy Erskine, and Thomas Bernhard's classic Old Masters.
Oct 14, 2019
The Soul of Kindness by Elizabeth Taylor
01:09:28
Novelist Elizabeth Taylor is the subject of this episode of Backlisted. Joining Andy and John to discuss The Soul of Kindness (1964) - and much more besides - are author and founder of Virago Press Carmen Callil and journalist and critic Rachel Cooke, plus occasional contributions from Carmen's Border Terrier, Effie. John has been reading Surfacing, a new collection of essays by Kathleen Jamie, while Andy has been enjoying Richard King's The Lark Ascending: The Music of the British Landscape.
Sep 30, 2019
Of Walking in Ice by Werner Herzog
01:02:52
Filmmaker Werner Herzog's journal Of Walking in Ice is the subject of this episode, recorded at the End of the Road festival at Larmer Tree Gardens in Dorset on September 1st 2019. Joining John and Andy is writer and critic Luke Turner (Out of the Woods). Other books under discussion are Time Lived, Without Its Flow by Denise Riley and March of the Lemmings: Brexit in Print and Performance 2016-2019 by Stewart Lee.
Sep 16, 2019
The Anatomy of Melancholy by Robert Burton
01:01:42
Philip Pullman is our guest on the 100th episode of Backlisted. John, Andy and Nicky travelled to Oxford for this special episode devoted to Robert Burton's extraordinary 1400-page The Anatomy of Melancholy, first published in 1621 and described by Sir Philip as 'a glorious and intoxicating and endlessly refreshing reward for reading ... Nor would we wish the book to be a sentence shorter, or be without one of the thousands of anecdotes and quotations. This is one of the indispensable books; for my money, it is the best of all'.
Sep 02, 2019
Books about The Beatles
01:00:21
Books about the Beatles are the subject of this special episode recorded at Cornwall's Port Eliot festival on July 27th 2019. Joining John and Andy for this celebration of all things fab are lifelong Beatles fans, journalists and authors David Hepworth and Mark Ellen. Titles discussed include '"Love Me Do!": The Beatles' Progress' by Michael Braun; 'The Beatles Anthology'; 'Revolution in the Head' by Ian MacDonald; 'Up Against It' by Joe Orton, and more.
Aug 19, 2019
Riddley Walker by Russell Hoban
00:54:04
Russell Hoban's extraordinary novel Riddley Walker (1980) is the subject of this episode recorded live at the Port Eliot Festival in Cornwall on Friday July 26th 2019. Joining John and Andy to discuss the book are Max Porter, author of Grief is the Thing With Feathers and Lanny, and New York Times best-selling sci-fi novelist Una McCormack. (Apologies for the sound on this episode, which is muffled at points, we had a few technical hiccoughs. And read the book!)
Aug 05, 2019
The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury
01:02:55
Ray Bradbury's uncanny tales are the subject of this episode of Backlisted. John and Andy are joined by author and literary editor of The Spectator Sam Leith and writer and radio presenter Jennifer Lucy Allan. Also under discussion are Jay Bernard's poetry collection Surge and On Chapel Sands, the new memoir by art critic Laura Cumming.
Jul 22, 2019
Miss Buncle's Book by D.E. Stevenson
00:58:23
Miss Buncle's Book by D.E. Stevenson, a bestseller when first published in the 1930s, is the novel under discussion. Joining John and Andy is novelist and teacher of creative writing Shelley Harris. Also featured in this episode, Marc Hamer's memoir How To Catch a Mole and Sam Riviere's debut poetry collection 81 Austerities.
Jul 08, 2019
The Baron in the Trees by Italo Calvino
01:03:15
Italo Calvino's third novel The Baron in the Trees (Il barone rampante) is the subject of this episode. Joining John and Andy to discuss the book is writer and fabulist Caspar Henderson. Elsewhere, John is captivated by Some Kids I Taught and What They Taught Me by Kate Clanchy and Andy talks about and reads from W.H. Auden's late collection of poetry About the House.
Jun 24, 2019
The Prince of West End Avenue by Alan Isler
01:04:28
Alan Isler's debut novel The Prince of West End Avenue (1994) is the subject of this episode of Backlisted. Joining Andy and John to discuss it are novelist William Sutcliffe and playwright and bibliomemoirist Samantha Ellis. Other books talked about in this episode: Fireflies by Luis Sagasti and Love & Trouble: A Mid-Life Reckoning by Claire Dederer.
Jun 10, 2019
Beloved by Toni Morrison
01:01:21
Award-winning novelist Preti Taneja (We That Are Young) joins John and Andy to discuss Beloved by Toni Morrison, one of the greatest American novels of the last half century. Other books featured on this episode are It's Gone Dark Over Bill's Mother's by Lisa Blower and The House on Vesper Sands by Paraic O'Donnell.
May 27, 2019
The Book of Ebenezer Le Page by G.B. Edwards
00:50:26
John and Andy are joined by writer and actor Will Smith for a special episode recorded live at the Guernsey Literary Festival on Sunday May 5th 2019. The novel under discussion is G.B. Edwards's unique The Book of Ebenezer Le Page, set on Guernsey, published posthumously in 1981 and of which William Golding wrote: 'To read it is not like reading, but living.'
May 13, 2019
A Journal of the Plague Year by Daniel Defoe
01:02:32
Daniel Defoe's A Journal of the Plague Year (1722) is the subject of this episode of Backlisted, recorded in the week of the 300th anniversary of the publication of Robinson Crusoe. Joining John and Andy to discuss the book - and Defoe's extraordinary life and careers - are novelist James Hannah and Dr Jo Waugh, senior lecturer at York St John University and an expert on literature and disease. Plus Andy talks about Jane Gardam's Defoe-inspired novel Crusoe's Daughter and John has been reading Small Days and Nights by Tishani Doshi.
Apr 29, 2019
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
01:00:46
Charles Dickens's late masterpiece Great Expectations is the subject of this episode of Backlisted. Joining John and Andy to discuss the book (and its celebrated author) are journalist and editor William Atkins and returning guest, novelist Lissa Evans. Also in this episode, Andy has been reading Spring by Ali Smith while John has been enjoying Max Porter's new novel Lanny.
Apr 15, 2019
Last Train to Memphis/Careless Love by Peter Guralnick
01:08:30
Elvis Presley is the subject of this episode of Backlisted, care of Peter Guralnick's twin biographies Last Train to Memphis (1994) and Careless Love (1999). Joining John and Andy to discuss these remarkable books are novelists David Keenan and Bethan Roberts. In addition, John talks about Nancy Sandars's poetry collections Grandmother's Steps; while Andy learns to stop worrying and enjoy Anthony Trollope and his classic novel The Way We Live Now.
Apr 01, 2019
Human Voices by Penelope Fitzgerald
01:05:22
Penelope Fitzgerald's fourth novel Human Voices (1980) is set at the BBC during the early months of the Second World War. Joining John and Andy to discuss the book, and Penelope Fitzgerald's life and work, are publisher and editor George Morley and writer and critic Lucy Scholes. Other books under discussion include Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss and The Good Immigrant USA edited by Nikesh Shukla and Chimene Suleyman.
Mar 18, 2019
Utz by Bruce Chatwin
01:00:24
This episode is about Utz, Bruce Chatwin's final novel, shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1988. John and Andy are joined by writer and journalist Jonathan Wilson and Unbound's editor-at-large Rachael Kerr, who worked for Chatwin's publisher Jonathan Cape and knew him well. Other books discussed include Valerie Luiselli's Tell Me How It Ends and Elizabeth Smart's By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept.
Mar 04, 2019
The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West
01:00:07
On this episode John and Andy are joined by novelist and critic Amanda Craig and novelist and memoirist Alice Jolly to discuss Rebecca West's debut novel The Return of the Soldier, published in 1918 when West was still in her mid-twenties. In addition John talks about Julia Blackburn's new book Time Song, while Andy shares his thoughts on Strip Jack Naked, Alexander Baron's little-read and extremely rare sequel to The Lowlife, itself the subject of an episode of Backlisted from 2018.
Feb 18, 2019
Hemlock and After by Angus Wilson
01:02:38
John and Andy are joined by writer, dandy and erstwhile musician Dickon Edwards to discuss Hemlock and After, Angus Wilson's debut novel, originally published in 1952. Wilson was considered one of the preeminent writers of his days but both his books and reputation have fallen into neglect - we consider why this happened and also what his work offers the contemporary reader. Also discussed in this episode are Suite for Barbara Loden by Nathalie Léger and Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey ("her early funny one").
Feb 04, 2019
Imogen by Jilly Cooper
01:00:55
John and Andy are joined by author and podcaster Daisy Buchanan and poet and lecturer Dr Ian Patterson to discuss Imogen, Jilly Cooper's 1978 novel of a young librarian finding romance - and all that goes with it - amongst the jet set in the south of France. Also discussed in this episode are the late children's illustrator John Burningham and J.L. Carr's idiosyncratic football yarn How Steeple Sinderby Wanderers Won The F.A. Cup.
Jan 21, 2019
The Rainbow by D.H. Lawrence
00:58:49
In our first podcast of 2019 we tackle D.H. Lawrence's The Rainbow, a novel that has divided opinion since it was first published (and banned) in 1915 - and sure enough opinion was divided between John and Andy on this one. To discuss the book they are joined by writer and critic Catherine Taylor and Unbound editor-at-large Rachael Kerr. Also on this episode Backlisted listeners' favourite 'old' books of 2018.
Jan 07, 2019
Books Do Furnish a Room by Anthony Powell
01:05:28
John and Andy are joined by novelist Philip Hensher and biographer Hilary Spurling for a discussion of Books Do Furnish a Room by Anthony Powell, first published in 1971, the tenth instalment of A Dance to the Music of Time. This special Christmas episode was recorded live at the LRB Bookshop in London on December 6th 2018.
Dec 25, 2018
Harpo Speaks! by Harpo Marx with Rowland Barber
00:56:11
John and Andy are joined by Dan Schreiber, writer, producer and co-host of the No Such Thing As A Fish podcast, to discuss Harpo Marx's autobiography Harpo Speaks! (1961). Also discussed are titles by Neil Tennant, Alice Jolly, Penelope Fitzgerald and Max Wall, amongst others.
Dec 10, 2018
The Tortoise and the Hare by Elizabeth Jenkins
01:03:23
Andy and John are joined by Carmen Callil, publisher, writer and critic and founder of Virago Press, to discuss The Tortoise and the Hare by Elizabeth Jenkins, a novel first published in 1954 and then republished by Carmen in the 1980s as a Virago Modern Classic. Producer Nicky Birch also talks about her work on a new interactive adaptation of B.S. Johnson's novel The Unfortunates for BBC and Amazon Alexa.
Nov 26, 2018
Moominvalley in November by Tove Jansson
01:03:01
This week John and Andy are joined by award-winning children's author and screenwriter Frank Cottrell-Boyce and publisher and co-founder of Sort Of Books Natania Jansz to discuss Tove Jansson's final Moomin book, Moominvalley in November. Other books under discussion are Zora Neale Hurston's Barracoon and Time Regained, the final volume of Marcel Proust's In Search of Lost Time. Plus a visit to Somerset House in London, for a new exhibition of the work of Peanuts creator, cartoonist Charles M. Schulz.
Nov 12, 2018
Ghosts by Edith Wharton
01:00:29
It's Halloween and John and Andy are joined by novelist Lissa Evans and Backlisted's resident revenant, critic Andrew Male, to discuss Ghosts, Edith Wharton's selection of her best supernatural tales, first published in 1937. John also talks about Alan Garner's new memoir Where Shall We Run To? while Andy has been reading Daphne du Maurier's prophetic final novel Rule Britannia.
Oct 29, 2018
Autumn Journal by Louis MacNeice
01:06:20
This week John and Andy are joined by actor and director Sam West and writer and academic Sophie Ratcliffe to talk about Louis MacNeice's Autumn Journal. The poem was composed in the autumn of 1938 while Britain awaited the declaration of the Second World War. Other books under discussion are Katharine Kilalea's OK, Mr Field and Francis Plug: Writer in Residence by Paul Ewen.
Oct 15, 2018
The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy
00:59:21
This week John and Andy are joined by novelist and literary journalist Sarra Manning (author of The Rise and Fall of Becky Sharp) to discuss Elaine Dundy's sparkling debut The Dud Avocado and its follow-up The Old Man and Me. Other books under discussion are Anna Burns's Man Booker-shortlisted Milkman and Daniel Deronda by George Eliot, published 150 years ago and still startlingly relevant.
Oct 01, 2018
Ulverton by Adam Thorpe
00:58:07
For a special episode recorded at the End of the Road festival in Dorset, John and Andy are joined by author and critic Tom Cox to talk about Adam Thorpe's 1992 debut novel Ulverton. Other books discussed include Sally Rooney's new novel Normal People and Mott the Hoople singer Ian Hunter's recently reissued Diary of a Rock'n'Roll Star. Further details can be found via our website at backlisted.fm.
Sep 17, 2018
A Girl in Winter by Philip Larkin
00:53:11
For the final episode recorded at this year's Port Eliot festival in Cornwall, John and Andy are joined by authors Nina Stibbe and returning guest Simon Garfield to discuss Philip Larkin's second and final novel A Girl In Winter, and Larkin's place in the national psyche. Warning: this episode contains poetry readings, dentistry and a hip-hop remix of This Be The Verse.
Sep 03, 2018
The Lion and the Unicorn by George Orwell
00:57:25
For the second of three episodes recorded at the Port Eliot festival in Cornwall, John and Andy are joined by songwriter and activist Billy Bragg and journalist and critic Suzi Feay to talk about George Orwell's The Lion and the Unicorn: Socialism and the English Genius. This special episode features audience participation on a scale never before heard on Backlisted - make sure you keep listening until the very end of the Q&A session...
Aug 20, 2018
How to Talk About Books You Haven't Read by Pierre Bayard
00:51:42
For the first of three episodes recorded at this year's Port Eliot festival in Cornwall, John and Andy are joined by author Cathy Rentzenbrink and actor and writer Ben Moor to talk about Pierre Bayard's How To Talk About Books You Haven't Read. Three members of the panel have read the book and one hasn't - join the audience in trying to work out who is dissembling (and whether it matters).
Aug 06, 2018
The Return of the King by J. R. R. Tolkien
01:05:11
John and Andy are joined by Unbound co-founder and co-author of Crap Towns Dan Kieran and returning guest Dr Una McCormack, NYT bestselling novelist and co-director of the Anglia Ruskin University Centre for Science Fiction and Fantasy, to discuss J.R.R. Tolkien's The Return of the King, the third part of The Lord of the Rings. Andy also talks about Russell Hoban's classic Riddley Walker, while John has been reading Crudo, the acclaimed new novel by Olivia Laing.
Jul 23, 2018
Drinking Coffee Elsewhere by ZZ Packer
00:58:31
John and Andy are joined by writer and editor Nikesh Shukla to discuss Drinking Coffee Elsewhere, ZZ Packer's groundbreaking collection of stories, first published in 2003. Andy also talks about Lissa Evans's new novel Old Baggage, while John has been reading Problems by Jade Sharma.
Jul 09, 2018
Told by an Idiot by Rose Macaulay
01:07:14
This week John and Andy are joined by super-librarian Nancy Pearl, possibly the only librarian in the world to have their own action figure, to discuss Rose Macaulay's gloriously eccentric family saga Told by an Idiot. John has been reading Sally Bayley's acclaimed bibliomemoir Girl With Dove, while Andy waxes lyrical over Andrew Sean Greer's Pulitzer-winning novel Less (and has a surprise in store...) This episode was recorded in the library at the recent Stoke Newington literary festival.
Jun 25, 2018
The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter
00:54:38
For a special episode recorded at the Bath Festival, we discuss Angela Carter's astonishing collection The Bloody Chamber (1979), much of which was conceived while Carter lived in Bath. Andy and John are joined by novelist Rachel Heath, Boundless editor and critic Arifa Akbar, and journalist and artistic director of words and literature at the Bath Festival, Alex Clark. This episode also includes the panel's thoughts on Philip Roth, whose death had been announced that morning.
Jun 10, 2018
My Ántonia by Willa Cather
01:06:51
Hermione Lee joins John and Andy to discuss the work of American novelist Willa Cather and, in its centenary year, her pioneering novel My Ántonia. John also talks about Wilding by Isabella Tree and Andy revisits one his favourite books, Graham Greene's The End of the Affair.
May 28, 2018
The Fatal Englishman by Sebastian Faulks
01:02:53
The poet Rishi Dastidar joins John and Andy to talk about Sebastian Faulks' least known and first non-fiction title, The Fatal Englishman: Three Short Lives. Also in this episode Andy talks about the Patrick Melrose novels by Edward St Aubyn while John has been enjoying Folk by Zoe Gilbert. For full show notes, links, further reading and tasteful merchandise visit www.backlisted.fm
May 13, 2018
Corregidora by Gayl Jones
01:08:09
Professor Sarah Churchwell introduces Andy and John to the phenomenal Corregidora by Gayl Jones, a book steeped in the blues and the American slavery legacy. Other books they've read are Rain on the Pavements by Roland Camberton and In Pursuit of Spring by Edward Thomas.
Apr 30, 2018
The Lowlife by Alexander Baron
00:59:43
John and Andy are at the dogs this week, discussing the 1963 cult novel The Lowlife by Alexander Baron. They are joined by London enthusiast Peter Watts(the first person to write a biography of Battersea Power Station) and Gary Budden, author and director of ground-breaking indie Influx Press.
Apr 15, 2018
Something Happened by Joseph Heller
01:15:06
Authors Matt Thorne and Nikita Lalwani join John and Andy to discuss the ‘other’ masterpiece by Joseph Heller, Something Happened, first published in 1974. Also in this episode John talks about Brother, a new novel by David Chariandy, while Andy has been reading Ursula Bentley's 1983 debut The Natural Order.
Apr 02, 2018
The Town House by Norah Lofts
00:58:21
This week John and Andy are joined by journalist and author Lucy Mangan, whose new memoir of childhood reading Bookworm has just been published by Square Peg. They discuss Norah Lofts' novel The Town House (1959), the first of her 'Suffolk house' trilogy. Andy also talks about Words Best Sung by Lee Stuart Evans, and John has been reading Emmanuel Carrère's The Kingdom.
Mar 19, 2018
Berg by Ann Quin
00:57:12
This week Andy and John are joined by Jennifer Hodgson, editor of 'The Unmapped Country', a collection of British experimental writer Ann Quin's lost work. They discuss Quin's debut novel, Berg, with its opening sentence: 'A man called Berg, who changed his name to Greb, came to a seaside town intending to kill his father. . . '. John also talks about Yorkshire: A Lyrical History of England's Greatest County by Richard Morris, and Andy has been reading Andrew Hankinson's You Could Do Something Amazing With Your Life [You Are Raoul Moat].
Mar 02, 2018
Jesus' Son by Denis Johnson
01:02:18
John and Andy welcome authors Chris Power and Erica Wagner to discuss the multiple interlocking stories in Jesus' Son by Denis Johnson, including the phantasmagoric 'Car Crash While Hitchhiking'. In addition Andy has been reading Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke and John takes a look at Fen by Daisy Johnson.
Feb 19, 2018
Beyond Black by Hilary Mantel
01:00:35
Critic and editor of Boundless Arifa Akbar joins John and Andy to discuss Hilary Mantel's tale of mediums and malevolence in the M25 corridor, Beyond Black. Tony White's 'The Fountain in the Forest' and 'Mothers' by Chris Power are the books we've been reading this week.
Jan 28, 2018
Lost Horizon by James Hilton
01:03:18
Music producer, gallery owner and now novelist Tot Taylor joins John and Andy to discuss James Hilton's 1933 novel about an earthly paradise in the far Himalayas. And the various iterations of the story that came after.
Jan 22, 2018
À Rebours by J.-K. Huysmans
01:07:14
In a special edition of the show recorded at Shakespeare & Co. in Paris, John and Andy are joined by the bookstore's owner Sylvia Whitman and author Adam Biles to discuss Huysmans' novel of aesthetic isolation A Rebours.
Jan 08, 2018
On Her Majesty's Secret Service by Ian Fleming
01:06:34
In a special Christmas edition (which of course can be listened to at any time of year) John & Andy welcome Jude and James Cook to discuss Ian Fleming's most festive Bond novel, On Her Majesty's Secret Service. There's discussion of the films, the music, and the sometimes questionable attitude to women, the French and drinking. Also talked about in the 'What We've Been Reading' slot; Kindred by Octavia Butler and Alys Fowler's Hidden Nature.
Dec 25, 2017
Fire & Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones
01:00:56
Author and illustrator Alice Stevenson and her childhood friend, playwright Elinor Cook join John and Andy to talk about Diana Wynne Jones's novel of memory, childhood and friendship.
Dec 10, 2017
Alma Cogan by Gordon Burn
00:58:01
In a special edition recorded earlier this year live at the Durham Book Festival, John and Andy are joined by writers Adele Stripe and Ben Myers to discuss Gordon Burn's debut novel Alma Cogan. The 'WHWBR?' slots are occupied by Pevsner's guide to Durham and The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro
Nov 27, 2017
To Serve Them All My Days by R.F. Delderfield
00:59:53
Writer and author Jenny Colgan joins John and Andy to discuss R.F. Delderfield's epic of life in an English boarding school between the wars. Craig Brown's 'Ma'am Darling' and 'Priestdaddy' by Patricia Lockwood are the books we've been reading this week.
Nov 10, 2017
We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
00:59:31
For our annual Halloween episode John Mitchinson and Andy Miller are joined by Fiona Wilson and Andrew Male to discuss Shirley jackson's final novel 'We Have Always Lived in the Castle'. In this show's 'What We Have Been Reading' slot John discusses 'True Ghost Stories of Our Own Time' by Vivienne Rae-Ellis, while Andy puts forward 'Going on the Turn', the third memoir from Danny Baker.
Oct 30, 2017
Jacob's Room by Virginia Woolf
00:54:56
In a special live edition of Backlisted, recorded in front of an audience at Blackwell's Bookshop in Oxford, John and Andy are joined by Mark Haddon, author of 'The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time' and Sally Bayley, author and tutor in English at Balliol and St. Hugh's Colleges, Oxford. The panel discuss Jacob's Room, the third novel from Virginia Woolf.
Oct 16, 2017
Adventures in the Screen Trade by William Goldman
01:11:24
Simon Garfield, author of The Wrestling, The Nation's Favourite and A Notable Woman, amongst others joins John and Andy to discuss William Goldman's groundbreaking account of his life as a Hollywood screenwriter.
Oct 02, 2017
Look At Me by Anita Brookner
01:04:06
In a long awaited episode John Mitchinson and Andy Miller are joined by Una McCormack and Lucy Scholes to discuss Anita Brookner's third novel 'Look At Me', a tale of intergalactic piracy in a far off star syste... No, not really. 'The Cake And The Rain', Jimmy Webb's memoir of life in the 60's music industry, and 'We That Are Young' a reworking of King Lear set in India by Preti Taneja, are the books John & Andy have been reading. If you want to come and see us record an edition of the show, we're going to be at Blackwell's Oxford on the 2nd of October, and at the Durham Book Festival on October 15th. Come and join us. Oxford details here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/backlisted-podcast-live-mark-haddon-on-virginia-woolfs-jacobs-room-tickets-37422244942 Durham Book Festival details here; http://durhambookfestival.com/programme/event/backlisted-podcast-special-alma-cogan-by-gordon-burn/
Sep 17, 2017
Under the Volcano by Malcolm Lowry
01:00:35
John and Andy are joined by poet, radio presenter, playwright and genuine Tyke Ian McMillan to discuss Malcolm Lowry's unique work Under the Volcano. Also; The Factory of Light by Michael Jacobs, and more Rosemary Tonks. Do you have a problem with that?
Sep 04, 2017
Some Bits To Listen To While We Go On Our Holidays
00:36:47
Even your favourite podcasts need to take a holiday... but hopefully this collection of off cuts, tall tales, terrible name dropping and the occasional bit of literary chat will help tide you over until we return at the beginning of September
Aug 21, 2017
Desperate Characters by Paula Fox
01:12:15
Author William Fiennes joins Andy and John for a bumper edition to talk about 'Desperate Characters', Paula Fox's New York set novel of relationships and feral cats. Also; William's First Story charity, Adam Scovell's Folk Horror and Sarah Hall's story collection Madame Zero, plus more on the mysterious Rosemary Tonks.
Aug 07, 2017
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes by Anita Loos
00:57:56
In this edition of the podcast that gives new life to old books novelist Joanna Walsh and critic and academic Sarah Churchwell join John & Andy to talk about Anita Loos' Jazz Age novel. Also discussed: The Fact of a Body by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich, and Bedouin of the London Evening, an anthology of poems by Rosemary Tonks.
Jul 24, 2017
Haunts of the Black Masseur by Charles Sprawson
01:03:33
Author and critic Alex Preston and Rachael Kerr, Unbound's Editor at large, join John and Andy around the table to discuss Charles Sprawson's ground breaking 'Haunts Of The Black Masseur', together with all things aquatic. The subtitle of the book is 'The Swimmer As Hero' and Sprawson's book tells the tale of literary swimmers from Byron to Cheever. Also discussed; Outskirts by John Grindrod and Bleaker House by Nell Stevens.
Jul 09, 2017
Father and Son by Edmund Gosse
00:59:43
Sarah Perry, bestselling author of The Essex Serpent, joins John and Andy to discuss Edmund Gosse's account of growing up the son of a widowed Victorian fundementalist preacher. The trio also talk about Attrib. and Other Stories by Eley Williams, and Spanish Crossings, the second novel by John Simmons.
Jun 24, 2017
I'll Sleep When I'm Dead by Crystal Zevon
01:02:04
Author and editor Richard T. Kelly joins John and Andy in the studio to discuss 'I'll Sleep When I'm Dead' The Dirty Life And Times of Warren Zevon' by Crystal Zevon. They also discuss the art of the oral history, and run through some of their favourites, including Simon Garfield's The Wrestling and Edie - An Americna Biography by Jean Stein.
Jun 12, 2017
Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone by James Baldwin
01:02:16
Novelist Niven Govinden joins John and Andy to discuss James Baldwin's 1968 novel 'Tell Me How Long The Train's Been Gone'. Also discussed: 'The World My Wilderness' by Rose Macaulay, and 'The Gallows Pole' by Ben Myers. Oh, and Lissa Evans' scene stealing turn in 'The Finest', the film adaptation of her WWII set novel.
May 29, 2017
The Gift - Vladimir Nabokov
00:55:00
Writer and critic Catherine Taylor joins John and Andy to discuss Vladimir Nabokov's parting love letter to Russia and it's literature, The Gift. Also; singing with nightingales and reading Richard Mabey's book about the same bird, David Storey's Booker Prize winning 'Saville', and Bob Dylan's song and dance routine.
May 15, 2017
Honeymoon by Patrick Modiano
00:59:10
Novelist Rupert Thomson joins John & Andy to talk about the work of French author Patrick Modiano, who's work explores the effect of the German occupation of his homeland during the Second World War. There's also a special edition of 'What I've Read This Week', where John talks about 'Identity of England' by Robert Colls, while Andy sets a bit of a puzzle...
May 01, 2017
The Weather in the Streets by Rosamond Lehmann
00:58:27
Novelist and writer Elizabeth Day joins John & Andy to discuss Rosamond Lehmann's 1936 novel of a young woman's affair with a married man. Also featured: Magnus Mills record store day novel 'The Forensic Record Society' and Clover Stroud's memoir 'The Wild Other'.
Apr 17, 2017
Patrick Hamilton Extra Episode
00:26:53
Following on from the Slaves Of Solitude episode, here is an extra half hour of conversation about Patrick Hamilton. Please listen the the main episode before this one.
Apr 03, 2017
The Slaves of Solitude by Patrick Hamilton
00:59:21
Novelists Lissa Evans and Stuart Evers join Andy & John to discuss Patrick Hamilton's 1947 tale of boarding-house life in wartime. Also, this week Andy has been reading Keith Waterhouse, while John talks about Padgett Powell's 'The Interrogative Mood'. If you like this episode, the 'Hamilton Extra' edition continues the discussion, with even more gin & it...
Apr 03, 2017
Lincoln in the Bardo minicast
00:13:42
A little something extra for you, the lovely Backlisted listeners, and a departure from our usual subject matter - a new(ish) book! After recording the upcoming show on Patrick Hamilton's 'Slaves Of Solitude' with guests authors Lissa Evans and Stuart Evers, John & Andy took the opportunity to ask them what they thought of George Saunders' debut novel. Normal service will be resumed next week.
Mar 27, 2017
A Sport and a Pastime by James Salter
01:00:47
Andy & John are joined by literary agent Claire Conville and writer and author Rowan Pelling to discuss James Salter's 1967 novel of lust and imagination. The book, a description of an affair between an American college drop out and a French shop girl, has been acclaimed by critics as 'nearly perfect' and 'extraordinary'.
Mar 20, 2017
The Snow Ball by Brigid Brophy
00:59:36
Novelist, critic & lecturer Jonathan Gibbs (a/k/a @Tiny_Camels) joins John & Andy to discuss The Snow Ball, Brigid Brophy's novel of seduction, aging and Mozart.
Mar 06, 2017
The Horse's Mouth by Joyce Cary
00:58:34
Max Porter, author of 'Grief Is The Thing With Feathers', joins John and Andy to talk about The Horse's Mouth, Joyce Cary's story of the life of the itinerant artist. Also discussed are Dark Money, Jane Mayer's account of the nexus of politics & wealth in the US, and Doreen by Barbara Noble, reissued by Persephone.
Feb 20, 2017
Red Shift by Alan Garner
00:59:07
Critic and author Erica Wagner and novelist S.F. Said join John and Andy to discuss 'Red Shift', the fifth novel by Alan Garner. Also discussed: 'Brave New Weed' by Joe Dolce (no, not that one) and 'Nomad' by Alan Partridge (yes, that one).
Feb 06, 2017
Venetia by Georgette Heyer
00:57:57
This show sees John and Andy joined by Una McCormack and Cathy Rentzenbrink to discuss Venetia, one of the Regency Romance novels by Georgette Heyer. Includes mild language and various Georgian terms for drunkeness.
Jan 23, 2017
Memento Mori by Muriel Spark
00:58:15
John Grindrod, author of Concretopia, joins John Mitchinson and Andy Miller to discuss Memento Mori, the third novel by Muriel Spark. They also pay tribute to the author and agent David Miller, who passed away recently, and read a short story in his memory.
Jan 09, 2017
A State of Denmark by Derek Raymond
00:58:07
In a bid to get our fear and creeping dread about the state of the world in early for 2017, author Travis Elborough (A Walk in The Park, The Bus We Loved, and The Long Player Goodbye) joins us to discuss A State of Denmark, the dystopian vision of England by Derek Raymond (a/k/a Robin Cook). Worst. Happy New Year. Programme. Ever. Enjoy!
Dec 27, 2016
A Long Way from Verona by Jane Gardam
00:58:17
John and Andy are joined by Laura Cumming, the art critic for The Observer and author of 'The Vanishing Man: In Pursuit of Velázquez', and Hilary Murray Hill, CEO at Hachette Children's Books, to talk bout Jane Gardam's debut novel 'A Long Way from Verona'.
Dec 13, 2016
So Long, See You Tomorrow by William Maxwell
00:59:51
Costa First Book nominee for My Name Is Leon, Kit de Waal joins John & Andy to discuss So Long, See You Tomorrow, the final novel by author and New Yorker literary editor William Maxwell.
Nov 28, 2016
Cocaine Nights by J.G. Ballard
00:59:52
Monocle culture editor Robert Bound joins John and Andy to discuss JG Ballard's Spanish set thriller Cocaine Nights. Also, The Ballard-Bond connection, Colson Whitehead's Underground Railroad, and the phrase you never want to hear John Mitchinson say in person...
Nov 07, 2016
Cold Hand in Mine by Robert Aickman
00:59:41
In a special Halloween edition, John Mitchinson and Andy Miller are joined by Andrew Male to discuss Cold Hand In Mine, a book of 'strange stories' by British writer Robert Aickman
Oct 26, 2016
The Holiday by Stevie Smith
00:51:24
Recorded live at the Durham Book Festival 2016, John and Andy are joined by Sally Bayley (author, The Private Life Of The Diary) to discuss Stevie Smith's third and final novel The Holiday.
Oct 10, 2016
The Animal Family by Randall Jarrell
00:58:56
Novelist, editor and critic Erica Wagner joins the Backlisted team to discuss one of her favourite books - The Animal Family by Randall Jarrell. Revolt Into Style, George Melly's groundbreaking discourse on pop culture, and Exmoor Village, a Mass Observation publication from 1947.
Sep 24, 2016
Summer Reading Special - What We Read On Our Holidays
00:59:06
In a special edition of the podcast Andy, John, Mathew and Matt discuss amongst other things which festivals work, why books win prizes, and why changing the name of a certain Swallows And Amazons character is a shame. HP Lovecraft, Greek philosophers and Calvin & Hobbes are also touched upon.
Sep 12, 2016
Absolute Beginners by Colin MacInnes
00:59:20
Slang lexicographer extraordinaire Jonathon Green joins John and Andy in this episode to discuss Absolute Beginners, the classic novel of London teenage life set around Soho and Notting Hill.
Aug 22, 2016
The Crack Up by F. Scott Fitzgerald
00:35:17
In a special edition recorded at Port Eliot Festival, the Backlisted team welcome comedy writer Jesse Armstrong (Peep Show, Fresh Meat, The Thick Of It, Four Lions)to discuss F. Scott Fitzgerald's posthumously published collection of essays 'The Crack-Up'.
Aug 08, 2016
Last Exit to Brooklyn by Hubert Selby Jr
00:58:21
Author and poet Saleena Godden joins John Mitchinson, Andy Miller and Mathew Clayton to discuss Hubert Selby Jr's legendary transgressive novel of dead end life in working class 50's Brooklyn. WARNING: contains obligatory reference the The Fall.
Jul 25, 2016
Maiden Voyage by Denton Welch
00:58:25
Richard King, author of 'How Soon Is Now' and 'Original Rockers', visits Backlisted to talk about Maiden Voyage, an extraordinarily vivid memoir by Denton Welch of his early life in England and China.
Jul 11, 2016
Letters from a Fainthearted Feminist by Jill Tweedie
00:57:31
Writer and journalist Alex Clark joins John Mitchinson and Andy Miller in a stormy (and then hammery) podcast to discuss 'Letters from a Fainthearted Feminist', a collection of very funny columns by Jill Tweedie, originally published in The Guardian.
Jun 27, 2016
The Riddle of the Sands by Erskine Childers
00:59:13
Author Lloyd Shepherd joins the Backlisted crew in their small but functional vessel to discuss what some regard as the first ever spy novel 'The Riddle of the Sands' and the extraordinary life of its author Erskine Childers. You can read more about Lloyd's plans to recreate the books journey at The Riddle of the Sands Adventure Club page here: https://unbound.co.uk/books/riddle-of-the-sands
Jun 13, 2016
The Vet's Daughter by Barbara Comyns
00:57:31
Writer, academic and contributing editor of Bookanista Lucy Scholes joins Andy, John and Mathew on the pod to talk 'The Vet's Daughter', the extraordinary novel of an extraordinary girl in late Victorian South London. Also, how some books just shouldn't be turned into musicals, and the best name for a dog ever.
May 30, 2016
Bert Fegg's Nasty Book for Boys & Girls by Terry Jones and Michael Palin
00:58:08
Jason Hazeley and Joel Morris, the creators of the Grown Up Ladybird series of picture books, join Andy Miller and Mathew Clayton to discuss Bert Fegg's Nasty Book for Boys and Girls by Michael Palin and Terry Jones
May 16, 2016
Darkness Falls from the Air by Nigel Balchin
00:58:07
Journalist, broadcaster and former editrice of The Erotic Review Rowan Pelling joins John, Andy and Mathew on the show to explain her love of Nigel Balchin's novel of the London Blitz, Darkness Falls From The Air.
May 02, 2016
All the Devils Are Here by David Seabrook
00:58:42
Rachel Cooke, Observer writer, New Statesman TV critic and author joins John, Andy & Mathew to discuss 'All the Devils Are Here', the astounding travelogue through Kent and the depths of human behaviour from David Seabrook. Plus, the drinking habits of Carry On stars, and what to read in Iceland.
Apr 17, 2016
The High Window by Raymond Chandler
00:56:37
Raymond Chandler's 'The High Window', his third book featuring world weary detective Philip Marlowe, is introduced to Backlisted by Mojo magazine's Andrew Male. Plus the joys of walking in the rain in England, remembering Anita Brookner, and JG Ballard's unintentional mind games...
Apr 04, 2016
The Information by Martin Amis
00:54:26
Kill Your Friends author John Niven joins John, Andy & Mathew in the pod to discuss The information by Martin Amis, on the way answering the question 'if this book were a Britpop album, which Britpop album would it be?' This may or may not become a regular feature. There's also talk on how writers write, and the epoch defining moment when Andy met a punk rock legend.
Mar 21, 2016
Lolly Willowes by Sylvia Townsend Warner
00:59:45
Sylvia Townsend Warner's debut novel 'Lolly Willowes' is the main book under discussion in this episode. It's nominated by journalist, author & playwright Samantha Ellis, and she discusses witchcraft, spinsters and the Chilterns with John, Andy and Mathew. Also touched on: epic poetry on Dartmoor in the rain, and J.B. Priestley's influence on David Bowie.
Mar 06, 2016
The Great Fire by Shirley Hazzard
00:57:34
Author and playwright Alice Jolly joins the Backlisted crew to discuss The Great Fire by Australian author Shirley Hazzard. Also, AA Gill and Spike Milligan have been Read This Week, and why it might be too late to start listening to jazz in your 50's.
Feb 22, 2016
Passing by Nella Larsen
00:55:50
In episode 6 of the Backlisted Podcast we're joined by Sarah Churchwell, professorial fellow in American literature and chair of public understanding of the humanities at the School of Advanced Study, the University of London (phew) to discuss 'Passing' by Nella Larsen. Also, John and Andy discuss the book they've both been reading this week, Breakdown by John Bratby.
Feb 08, 2016
Christie Malry's Own Double-Entry by B.S. Johnson
00:54:37
Emmy award winning writer and broadcaster David Quantick (Veep, The Thick of It, TV Burp) joins John and Andy in the Unbound offices to discuss his favourite novel, Christie Malry's Own Double-Entry by B.S. Johnson. Plus how to pronounce Velasquez, Silbury Hill, the death of the possessive apostrophe in retail, and Mathew Clayton's tenuous link. Join in the conversation on Twitter: twitter.com/BacklistedPod And Facebook: www.facebook.com/backlistedpod/
Jan 25, 2016
The Blessing by Nancy Mitford
00:50:41
John, Andy and Mathew Clayton discuss Nancy Mitford's novel 'The Blessing' with Nancy's biographer Laura Thompson. Plus, what it feels like to finish 'Finnegans Wake', 'bloke's books', and the rudest word in the Gloucestershire dialect. Join in the conversation on Twitter: twitter.com/BacklistedPod And Facebook: www.facebook.com/backlistedpod/
Jan 11, 2016
It Had To Be You by David Nobbs
00:51:20
Andy Miller and John Mitchinson, a/k/a/ Leavis & Butthead, return with another episode of the podcast which gives new life to old books. In this episode they're joined by Jonathan Coe, author of The Rotter's Club and Oh! What A Carve Up amongst others, to discuss the life and work of David Nobbs, best known as the creator of Reginald Perrin. Join in the conversation on Twitter: twitter.com/BacklistedPod And Facebook: www.facebook.com/backlistedpod/
Dec 28, 2015
Good Morning, Midnight by Jean Rhys
00:49:37
John Mitchinson and Andy Miller are joined by author Linda Grant and Unbound's Mathew Clayton to discuss 'Good Morning, Midnight' by 'Wide Sargasso Sea' author Jean Rhys. Plus perfume, the previously unheard of genre of Scandinavian magic realism, and a mistake in the best selling science book of all time. Join in the conversation on Twitter: https://twitter.com/BacklistedPod And Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/backlistedpod/
Dec 14, 2015
A Month in the Country by J.L. Carr
00:42:21
in the first episode of a new podcast about books, John Mitchinson and Andy Miller are joined by novelist Lissa Evans and Unbound's Mathew Clayton discuss JL Carr's 'A Month in the Country'. If you've got any comments on the show, be sure to join in the conversation at our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Backlisted-Podcast-1936293209928238/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel
Nov 30, 2015