Episodes

TitleFirst
Broadcast
RepeatedComments
Jessie Burton - The Miniaturist20190106

Jessie Burton discusses The Miniaturist, her debut novel which was the subject of a bidding war between 11 publishers at the 2013 London Book Fair. Set in Amsterdam in 1686–87, the novel was inspired by Petronella Oortman's doll's house which is on display at the Rijksmuseum.

Jessie explains how she created her own fictional version of Nella Oortman for the novel. At the age of 18, Nella marries a rich merchant, Johannes Brandt, hoping for love and prosperity. Instead, she enters a world of tensions, secrets and mystery which soon threatens her future. Johannes gives his new wife an extraordinary wedding gift: a miniature replica of their home. As the enigmatic craftswoman delivers more and more miniatures for the cabinet house, its tiny occupants start to mirror their real-life counterparts in unexpected ways.

Presented by James Naughtie and recorded with a group of invited readers.

Presenter : James Naughtie
Interviewed guest : Jessie Burton
Producer : Dymphna Flynn

February's Bookclub choice : Falling Awake by Alice Oswald

Jessie Burton discusses The Miniaturist with James Naughtie and readers

Led by James Naughtie, readers talk to acclaimed authors about their best-known novels

Jessie Burton - The Miniaturist2019010620190110 (R4)

Jessie Burton discusses The Miniaturist, her debut novel which was the subject of a bidding war between 11 publishers at the 2013 London Book Fair. Set in Amsterdam in 1686–87, the novel was inspired by Petronella Oortman's doll's house which is on display at the Rijksmuseum.

Jessie explains how she created her own fictional version of Nella Oortman for the novel. At the age of 18, Nella marries a rich merchant, Johannes Brandt, hoping for love and prosperity. Instead, she enters a world of tensions, secrets and mystery which soon threatens her future. Johannes gives his new wife an extraordinary wedding gift: a miniature replica of their home. As the enigmatic craftswoman delivers more and more miniatures for the cabinet house, its tiny occupants start to mirror their real-life counterparts in unexpected ways.

Presented by James Naughtie and recorded with a group of invited readers.

Presenter : James Naughtie
Interviewed guest : Jessie Burton
Producer : Dymphna Flynn

February's Bookclub choice : Falling Awake by Alice Oswald

Jessie Burton discusses The Miniaturist with James Naughtie and readers

Led by James Naughtie, readers talk to acclaimed authors about their best-known novels

Meg Wolitzer - The Interestings20181202

American author Meg Wolitzer discusses her novel The Interestings, which follows a group of friends from teenage years through to middle age and marriage and children.

Aged 15, the group first meet at on a warm night at Spirit in the Woods summer camp in 1974. They drink, smoke pot and share their dreams and vow always to be interesting. Although not strictly an autobiographical novel, the idea for the book came from Meg's own experience as a teenager at summer camp in the same era and how the experience can give young people the opportunity to re-invent themselves. What links the six teenagers in The Interestings is their creativity – but how many of them will be successful in their chosen fields?

Decades later, aspiring actress Jules has resigned herself to a more practical occupation, Cathy has stopped dancing, Jonah has laid down his guitar and Goodman (a bit of a misnomer) has disappeared. Only the animator Ethan and theatre director Ash, now married, have remained true to their adolescent dreams and have become shockingly successful.

As the group's fortunes tilt, their friendships are put under strain and Meg Wolitzer explains to Bookclub how the strain of envy and disappointment drives the story.

Meg Wolitzer has been enjoying great success this autumn with the film version of her novel about a Nobel prize winning writer, The Wife.

Presented by James Naughtie and recorded with a group of invited readers.

Presenter : James Naughtie
Interviewed guest : Meg Wolitzer
Producer : Dymphna Flynn

January 2019's Bookclub choice : The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton (2014)

Meg Wolitzer discusses her novel The Interestings with James Naughtie and readers.

Led by James Naughtie, readers talk to acclaimed authors about their best-known novels

Meg Wolitzer - The Interestings2018120220181206 (R4)

American author Meg Wolitzer discusses her novel The Interestings, which follows a group of friends from teenage years through to middle age and marriage and children.

Aged 15, the group first meet at on a warm night at Spirit in the Woods summer camp in 1974. They drink, smoke pot and share their dreams and vow always to be interesting. Although not strictly an autobiographical novel, the idea for the book came from Meg's own experience as a teenager at summer camp in the same era and how the experience can give young people the opportunity to re-invent themselves. What links the six teenagers in The Interestings is their creativity – but how many of them will be successful in their chosen fields?

Decades later, aspiring actress Jules has resigned herself to a more practical occupation, Cathy has stopped dancing, Jonah has laid down his guitar and Goodman (a bit of a misnomer) has disappeared. Only the animator Ethan and theatre director Ash, now married, have remained true to their adolescent dreams and have become shockingly successful.

As the group's fortunes tilt, their friendships are put under strain and Meg Wolitzer explains to Bookclub how the strain of envy and disappointment drives the story.

Meg Wolitzer has been enjoying great success this autumn with the film version of her novel about a Nobel prize winning writer, The Wife.

Presented by James Naughtie and recorded with a group of invited readers.

Presenter : James Naughtie
Interviewed guest : Meg Wolitzer
Producer : Dymphna Flynn

January 2019's Bookclub choice : The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton (2014)

Meg Wolitzer discusses her novel The Interestings with James Naughtie and readers.

Led by James Naughtie, readers talk to acclaimed authors about their best-known novels