Open Endings [The Essay]

Episodes

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01Ian Rankin on The Lord of the Flies20191223

This Christmas for Radio 3, five leading writers have picked a novel they love, and have written an original piece of fiction imagining what happened to the characters after the story ends.

In the first essay of the series, the crime writer Ian Rankin picks William Golding's The Lord of the Flies. Like many students, Ian first encountered the novel at school but certain scenes and moments have stayed with him for the past forty years. In this essay, Ian explores his relationship with the work as a teenager of the 1970s and imagines what might have happened to two of the shipwrecked boys, Ralph and Jack, once they reach adulthood.

Producer: Camellia Sinclair

Ian Rankin chooses William Golding's The Lord of the Flies.

Essays from leading writers on arts, history, philosophy, science, religion and beyond.

01Ian Rankin on The Lord of the Flies20191223

This Christmas for Radio 3, five leading writers have picked a novel they love, and have written an original piece of fiction imagining what happened to the characters after the story ends.

In the first essay of the series, the crime writer Ian Rankin picks William Golding's The Lord of the Flies. Like many students, Ian first encountered the novel at school but certain scenes and moments have stayed with him for the past forty years. In this essay, Ian explores his relationship with the work as a teenager of the 1970s and imagines what might have happened to two of the shipwrecked boys, Ralph and Jack, once they reach adulthood.

Producer: Camellia Sinclair

Ian Rankin chooses The Lord of the Flies.

Essays from leading writers on arts, history, philosophy, science, religion and beyond.

02Bernardine Evaristo on Mrs Dalloway20191224

This Christmas for Radio 3 five leading writers have picked a novel they love, and written an original piece of fiction imagining what happened to the characters after the story ends.

In this Christmas Eve edition, Booker Prize winner Bernardine Evaristo chooses Virginia Woolf's Mrs Dalloway.

Producer: Camellia Sinclair

Bernardine Evaristo chooses Mrs Dalloway.

Essays from leading writers on arts, history, philosophy, science, religion and beyond.

02Bernardine Evaristo on Mrs Dalloway20191224

This Christmas for Radio 3 five leading writers have picked a novel they love, and written an original piece of fiction imagining what happened to the characters after the story ends.

Man Booker Prize winner Bernardine Evaristo first encountered Virginia Woolf's writing as a teenager, reading To the Lighthouse for her English Literature A Level. She loathed the book.

But a few years ago, she gave Woolf another go, reading Mrs Dalloway. As a writer who experiments with language and form, she marvelled at the inventiveness, how Woolf's characters float in and out of the prose.

In this Christmas Eve edition of Open Endings, Bernardine reveals her admiration for Woolf's work and imagines a different end for Clarissa Dalloway's extravagant party.

Producer: Camellia Sinclair

Man Booker Prize winner Bernardine Evaristo chooses Virginia Woolf's Mrs Dalloway.

Essays from leading writers on arts, history, philosophy, science, religion and beyond.

03AL Kennedy on The Wind in the Willows20191225

This Christmas for Radio 3 five leading writers have picked a novel they love, and written an original piece of fiction imagining what happened to the characters after the story ends.

For the six-year-old AL Kennedy, Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows provided firelight calm and comfort. She still has her childhood copy, bound up in green cloth with gold lettering, the only hardback in her possession at that age. This Christmas Day, she imagines what might have happened to Mole, Rat and Badger years after the Battle of Toad Hall.

Producer: Camellia Sinclair

AL Kennedy chooses The Wind in the Willows.

Essays from leading writers on arts, history, philosophy, science, religion and beyond.

03AL Kennedy on The Wind in the Willows20191225

This Christmas for Radio 3 five leading writers have picked a novel they love, and written an original piece of fiction imagining what happened to the characters after the story ends.

For the six-year-old AL Kennedy, Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows provided firelight calm and comfort. She still has her childhood copy, bound up in green cloth with gold lettering, the only hardback she possessed at that age. This Christmas Day, she imagines what might have happened to Mole, Rat and Badger years after the Battle of Toad Hall.

Producer: Camellia Sinclair

AL Kennedy chooses Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows

Essays from leading writers on arts, history, philosophy, science, religion and beyond.

04Elif Shafak on Anna Karenina20191226

This Christmas for Radio 3 five leading writers have picked a novel they love, and written an original piece of fiction imagining what happened to the characters after the story ends.

Award-winning British-Turkish novelist Elif Shafak first glimpsed Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina on a bookshelf at school. It was only years later that she managed to get her hands on a copy. The experience stirred her soul. The romance was raw, wrong and real. But the book's ending came as a surprise.

For this Boxing Day edition, Elif imagines what would happen if Anna were able to meet her creator, Tolstoy himself, after the novel's final page.

Producer: Camellia Sinclair

Elif Shafak chooses Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina.

Essays from leading writers on arts, history, philosophy, science, religion and beyond.

04Elif Shafak on Anna Karenina20191226

This Christmas for Radio 3 five leading writers have picked a novel they love, and written an original piece of fiction imagining what happened to the characters after the story ends.

In this Boxing Day edition, award-winning British-Turkish novelist Elif Shafak chooses Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina.

Producer: Camellia Sinclair

Elif Shafak chooses Anna Karenina.

Essays from leading writers on arts, history, philosophy, science, religion and beyond.

05Philippa Gregory on Jane Eyre20191227

This Christmas for Radio 3 five leading writers have picked a novel they love, and written an original piece of fiction imagining what happened to the characters after the story ends.

In the final edition of the series, award-winning historical author Philippa Gregory chooses Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre.

Producer: Camellia Sinclair

Philippa Gregory chooses Jane Eyre.

Essays from leading writers on arts, history, philosophy, science, religion and beyond.

05Philippa Gregory on Jane Eyre20191227

This Christmas for Radio 3 five leading writers have picked a novel they love, and written an original piece of fiction imagining what happened to the characters after the story ends.

When she first encountered Jane Eyre in the classroom, Philippa Gregory was looking for a love story - between Jane Eyre and the brooding Mr Rochester. Years later, she reads the book very differently.

Join Philippa as she explores the nuances within Charlotte Brontë's classic and writes an original scene, a new ending, for the book.

Producer: Camellia Sinclair

Historical author Philippa Gregory writes a new end for Charlotte Bront\u00eb's Jane Eyre.

Essays from leading writers on arts, history, philosophy, science, religion and beyond.