Writers Talk Series

The Roland Collection
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70 videos in this collection

Janice Shinebourne with Beryl Gilroy
Topics Discussed in the Interview: Landscapes in Caribbean literature Writing with no literary precedent Women in Caribbean literature The English language in Caribbean writing Color and race
Chinua Achebe with Nuruddin Farah
Topics Discussed in the Interview: Translation African and Nigerian identity Choosing a language in which to write Nigerian oral tradition
Howard Jacobson with John Walsh
Topics Discussed in the Interview: FR Leavis and the Great Tradition The campus life novel Themes of jealousy and violence Structuralism and Australia Portrayal of women in fiction The history…
Mongane Serote with Edward Blishen
Topics Discussed in the Interview: Black South African writing Poetry versus fiction Childhood reading The English language in African literature South Africa and the short story
Buchi Emecheta with Susheila Nasta
Topics Discussed in the Interview: Experiences as a young mother Position of black women in society Incest Role of women in Nigeria Living in Britain
Fred D'Aguiar with Caryl Phillips
Topics Discussed in the Interview: Childhood in the Caribbean Influence of music Crossing from poetry to play writing Using dialects Caribbean literary tradition Writing about colonies
G Cabrera Infante with Mario Vargas Llosa
Topics Discussed in the Interview: Becoming a writer Influence of film on content and structure Significance of Cuban culture Memory as inspiration Role of nostalgia
Angela Carter with Lisa Appignanesi
Topics Discussed in the Interview: English fiction as playground of the bourgeoisie Subverting stereotypes Using fairy tales to reinterpret history Imagery of the subconscious
Mary Gordon with Margaret Drabble
Topics Discussed in the Interview: Writing about mothers and children First descriptions of breastfeeding in English literature Writing from a child's point of view Books as child substitutes
William Gaddis with Malcolm Bradbury
Topics Discussed in the Interview: Time and place in the novel Political and cultural climate of contemporary America The novel as entertainment and moral text Religion
Penelope Gilliatt with Penelope Lively
Topics Discussed in the Interview: Structure and language across the forms The short story Childhood experiences and memories Writing about places
Allen Ginsberg with RD Laing
Topics Discussed in the Interview: The intimacy of poetry Relationship between poems and dreams Role of meditation
Elizabeth Hardwick with Malcolm Bradbury
Topics Discussed in the Interview: The modern movement Post-war American aestheticism What makes a good writer? America as custodian of European culture Writing styles
George V Higgins with Malcolm Bradbury
Topics Discussed in the Interview: The American detective story tradition The novel as film script Impact of immigration on American culture Creating drama and suspense
Joseph Heller with Michael Kustow
Topics Discussed in the Interview: The American war novel Investigating corporate power Language in the Jewish novel Humor The father/son relationship
Brian Aldiss with Christopher Priest
Topics Discussed in the Interview: The science-fiction genre Sources of stories The writer/reader relationship Movements in magical realism
Kazuo Ishiguro with Clive Sinclair
Topics Discussed in the Interview: Creating authentic fictional worlds Growing up in the shadow of the atom bomb Moral crisis of post-war Japan
Ryszard Kapuscinski with Fred Halliday
Topics Discussed in the Interview: The Ethiopian revolution Themes of revolution Exploration of unstable environments Fiction versus journalism
Lena Kennedy
Topics Discussed in the Interview: How to find a publisher Becoming a best-selling novelist at sixty-five Life in Cockney London
Ellen Kuzwayo with Hilda Bernstein
Topics Discussed in the Interview: Role of social workers and teachers Black women in South Africa The Pass Laws
RD Laing with Anthony Clare
Topics Discussed in the Interview: Politics of the family First desires to become a psychiatrist Schizophrenia
Robert Leeson with Mary Cadogan
Topics Discussed in the Interview: Writing for children from a socialist perspective Stories with 'schools' settings Television's challenge to the book The oral folk tradition
Alison Lurie with Malcolm Bradbury
Topics Discussed in the Interview: Women novelists Socio-realist tradition in American writing Review of current writing
Harold Pinter with Benedict Nightingale
Topics Discussed in the Interview: Beginning a play without knowing its end Torture as subject Characteristics of the English playwright The challenges of political writing The function of drama
Maurice Sendak with Paul Vaughan
Topics Discussed in the Interview: Ingredients of successful children's stories The role of monsters Writing and illustrating for children Drawing upon family as inspiration Adapting books for opera
Wole Soyinka
Topics Discussed in the Interview: The erosion of moral rights in climates of fear Artists working within societies in which they are banned Impact of African sculpture on Western art…
Martin Amis with Ian McEwan
Topics Discussed in the Interview: Money in literature, folklore and history Threat of annihilation Changing characteristics of the hero in literature
Stephen Spender with Al Alvarez
Topics Discussed in the Interview: The role of creative-writing courses Twentieth-century English poetry The poet with a sacred mission Characteristics of the American poet Friendship with WH Auden
Ralph Steadman with Peter Fuller
Topics Discussed in the Interview: Motives for writing 'Sigmund Freud' Extending the parameters of cartooning Drawing caricatures Using satire in pictures
D M Thomas with Wendy Perriam and Clare Boylan
Topics Discussed in the Interview: Sex in literature The issue of pornography Style and vocabulary
John Updike with Claire Tomalin
Topics Discussed in the Interview: Personal and domestic themes Updike as chronicler of the New World Writing about sex Small-town life as the site of drama God
Mario Vargas Llosa with John King
Topics Discussed in the Interview: Mass culture and modernism Satire and farce The Latin American novelist's role in politics Latin American romanticism Role of intellectuals
Gore Vidal with Lorna Sage
Topics Discussed in the Interview: Americans and their history Impact of the televisual culture Ambition and power in the United States 'Lincoln'
Fay Weldon with Deborah Moggach
Topics Discussed in the Interview: How to write for television Creating tension and drama Essential ingredients for successful screenplays The role of actors and directors
David Edgar with Arnold Wesker
Topics Discussed in the Interview: Writing from a working-class perspective Changing role of drama English playwrights of the fifties Political drama
Raymond Williams with Michael Ignatieff
Topics Discussed in the Interview: Being a socialist novelist Using a historical canvas Cultural influence on consciousness History's entanglement with the psyche Themes of betrayal
Writing for Children
Topics Discussed in the Interview: Experimental children's writing Writing within a moral context The relationship between fantasy and realism Functions of children's books
Gillian Avery with Penelope Farmer and Jill Paton Walsh
Topics Discussed in the Interview: 'Literary' writing for children Death, grief, torment in children's books Fantasy and magic The child as reader
Dannie Abse with Elaine Feinstein
Topics Discussed in the Interview: Influence of Dylan Thomas Fifties' English poetry Sixties' American poetry Development of metaphor Political responsibility Welsh and Jewish heritage
Kathy Acker with Angela McRobbie
Topics Discussed in the Interview: Post-structuralist and post-modern writing Influence of William Burroughs Seventies' American punk culture The cut-up method
Aharon Appelfeld with Clive Sinclair
Topics Discussed in the Interview: Writing in Hebrew Writing to expunge memory Finding a language to express tragedy The Jews and assimilation
Margaret Atwood with Hermione Lee
Topics Discussed in the Interview: Themes of women 'breaking out' Visual imagery as inspiration Literature informed by fairy tales Writing as a woman from the male point of view Mythology…
Paul Bailey with Margaret Walters
Topics Discussed in the Interview: Writing about old people Using humor to write about tragedy Charles Dickens as inspiration Homosexuality in twentieth-century literature Impact of First World War on contemporary…
Nina Bawden with Edward Blishen
Topics Discussed in the Interview: Finding subject matter in domestic settings Writing about hypocrisy and dishonesty Comparisons between painting and writing First impulses to write Writing for adults and children
Quentin Blake with Heather Neill
Topics Discussed in the Interview: Working with collaborators Comparisons between illustrating and writing Choosing rhyme or prose Humor in illustration Drawing monsters without being frightening Dressing a character
William Boyd with Susan Richards
Topics Discussed in the Interview: Heroes and anti-heroes Impact of First World War on contemporary culture The war and the anti-war novel The realist tradition versus the modern Comic writing
Malcolm Bradbury with AS Byatt
Topics Discussed in the Interview: Life as both writer and academic Structuralist and deconstructionist criticism Modern movement in literature American literature of the fifties The comic in twentieth-century fiction Background…
Melvyn Bragg with Frank Delaney
Topics Discussed in the Interview: Political views informing the novel Comparing the visual media with the written word Writing an historical novel Role of the arts in society
Maya Angelou
Topics Discussed in the Interview: Writing through the black experience The human spirit in adversity Prose and poetry readings
Anthony Burgess with AS Byatt
Topics Discussed in the Interview: Quarreling with the Catholic God Influence of music on structure Role of language in 'A Clockwork Orange' 'Evil' as a theological reality Choosing a title…
William Burroughs with Kathy Acker
Topics Discussed in the Interview: Early connection with the beats Verbal and visual thinking Political ramifications of the cut-up method Background to 'Junkie', 'Queer', and 'The Naked Lunch'
Marina Warner with Lisa Appignanesi
Topics Discussed in the Interview: The history contained in ephemera Women and virginity Influences of Catholicism Women's history within fairy tales Gender and separation
Farrukh Dhondy with HO Nazareth
Topics Discussed in the Interview: Working in television Politics and writing Black writing and European writing Critics
Monica Dickens with David Cook
Topics Discussed in the Interview: Legacy of Charles Dickens Writing about happiness Cruelty to animals and children Writing to a deadline
Colin Thubron with Malise Ruthven
Topics Discussed in the Interview: The impossibility of writing about one's own society The 'grand' tradition of English travel writing Motives for being a travel writer Use of notebooks and…
Nirmal Verma with Gita Sahgal
Topics Discussed in the Interview: Writing from a child's perspective Themes of human deprivation Impact of history on the individual Using soliloquy
Robertson Davies with Edward Blishen
Topics Discussed in the Interview: Theatrical qualities of books Immigrants' impact of culture Illusion and deception in art Being Canadian The nature of compassion
Salman Rushdie with Charlotte Cornwall
Topics Discussed in the Interview: The city as metaphor Background to 'The Satanic Verses' T hemes of divided selves The duality of uprootedness Writing dialog
Andr Brink with Christopher Hope
Topics Discussed in the Interview: Apocalyptic literature Writing a tool for change Oppression The future of Afrikaans literature The use of violence
Joyce Carol Oates with Hermione Lee
Topics Discussed in the Interview: Style and rhythm in writing Distinction between body and soul Craving fame Feminist movement in American fiction Conflict as the basis for art Destiny
Isabel Allende with Marina Warner
Topics Discussed in the Interview: Women as storytellers Soap operas Goodness outweighing evil in Chile Magical realism
John Irving with Liz Calder
Topics Discussed in the Interview: Imperfect families Obsession with violence Method of writing Passivity of American citizens Anxiety
Howard Brenton with Donna Soto-Morettini
Topics Discussed in the Interview: The theatre in Britain under Thatcher Differences between writing novels and plays Portraying a Utopia
Writing Biography
Topics Discussed in the Interview: Biographies of friends Biographies of writers Research
First Novels
An interview with novelists Geoff Dyer and Deborah Levy.Topics Discussed in the Interview: Publishing a first novel The city and the dispossessedFrom non-fiction to fictionExile from South Africa
Christopher Hope with Penelope Fitzgerald
Topics Discussed in the Interview: Catholicism Childhood in South Africa Writing about apartheid New black writers Developing a style
EL Doctorow with Margaret Walters
Topics Discussed in the Interview: Appeal of the gangster hero Childhood in the Bronx Writing about murder Writing to change people's opinions Using real people in fiction
Eliseo Diego with Ana De Skalon
Topics Discussed in the Interview: Relationship between life and work Becoming a writer-poet Life in Cuba in the forties Love of British literature
AS Byatt with Iris Murdoch
Topics Discussed in the Interview: Influence of the nineteenth-century novel Realism versus the novel of ideas Writing about sex Power and accuracy of language Belief, religion and ritual
Toni Morrison with A.S.Byatt
Writer Toni Morrison talks to A.S. Byatt about her work.

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