In this episode John and Andy are joined by Philip Hoare, a broadcaster, curator, filmmaker and writer whose books include biographies of Stephen Tennant and Noel Coward, the historical studies, Wilde’s Last Stand; Spike Island: The Memory of a Military Hospital, and England’s Lost Eden. His book Leviathan or, The Whale won the 2009 BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction. His most recent book, RISINGTIDEFALLINGSTAR, is published by Fourth Estate. Philip presented the BBC Arena film The Hunt for Moby-Dick, and directed three films for BBC’s Whale Night. He is Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Southampton, and co-curator of the Moby-Dick Big Read, www.mobydickbigread.com.
The second guest is the writer, Jessie Greengrass, the author of two books. Her first, the short story collection, An Account of the Decline of the Great Auk, According to One Who Saw It won the Edge Hill Prize and a Somerset Maugham award (and was enthuiastically praised by John in the episode of Backlisted devoted to Husymans). Her novel, Sight, was published in 2018, and was shortlisted for the Women's Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and longlisted for the Wellcome Prize. Jessie lives in Northumberland with her partner and their two children.
The main book under discussion is The Rings of Saturn by W.G. Sebald, first published in German by Eichborn Verlag in 1995 and in an English translation by Michael Hulse by the Harvill Press in 1998. Before that, John ventures back in timed space with The Years by Annie Ernaux and Andy is blown away by Vertigo & Ghost by Fiona Benson.
W.G. Sebald - The Rings of Saturn; The Emigrants; The Natural History of Destruction; Austerlitz
Philip Hoare - Spike Island; Leviathan, or The Whale; RISINGTIDEFALLINGSTAR
Jessie Greengrass - An Account of the Decline of the Great Auk, According to One Who Saw It ; Sight
Annie Ernaux - The Years
Fiona Benson - Vertigo & Ghost
Brian Eno - Dunwich Beach, 1960 (2004)
W.G Sebald on photographs and lichen
W.G. Sebald interviewed by Bookworm on KCRW, 2001
W.G Sebald reading at the 93 Street Y , NYC, in 2001
Backlisted Live at the London Library