67. Willa Cather - My Ántonia

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In this episode of Backlisted, Andy and John are joined by the critic and biographer, Hermione Lee to discuss My Ántonia, the pioneering novel by Willa Cather, first  published a hundred years ago in 1918. Hermione Lee was, until last year, President of Wolfson College in Oxford and remains Emeritus Professor of English Literature at Oxford. In 2013 she was made a Dame for her services to literary scholarship. Chief among these services are a series of  acclaimed biographies of some of the most important 20th century women writers: Virginia Woolf (1996), Edith Wharton (2006), Elizabeth Bowen (1981), Penelope Fitzgerald (2013) and the subject of today’s episode, Willa Cather: A Life Saved Up first published by Virago in 1989. This episode also sees Andy revisit an old favourite, The End of the Affair by Grahame Greene and John explores the remarkable story of Knepp Estate in West Sussex, the UK’s largest rewilding project documented in Wilding: The Return of Nature to a British Farm by Isabella Tree.

 

Books mentioned:

Willa Cather - My Ántonia; A Lost Lady (1923); The Professor's House (1925); O Pioneers (1913); The Song of the Lark (1915); My Mortal Enemy (1926); Death Comes for the Archbishop (1927)
Willa Cather - Willa Cather on Writing 
Hermione Lee - Willa Cather: Double Lives / A Life Saved Up (1989); Body Parts: Essays on Life-writingA Very Short Introdcution to Biography
Raymond Chandler - The Long Goodbye
Grahame Greene – The End of the Affair
Grahame Greene – The End of the Affair audiobook (read by Colin Firth)
D.H. Lawrence – The Rainbow
Laura Ingalls Wilder - The Little House of the Prairie
Louisa May Alcott - Little Women
Henry James  - The Portrait of a Lady
Ivan Turgenev - Fathers and Sons
Leo Tolstoy - The Kreutzer Sonata
Virgil - Georgics
Halldor Laxness – Independent People
William Maxwell - Time Will Darken It
Jon McGregor - Reservoir 13
Miguel de Cervantes – Don Quixote

Roger Philips – Wild Cooking (Unbound Project Worth Backing)

Other links:

Rules restaurant
Derek Jarman's Garden in Dungeness
Henry James's House in Rye
The Rutles – All You Need is Cash (1978)
The Rutles – 'All Things Must Pass'
Grace Dent’s Guardian review of The Fordwich Arms
Hermione Lee’s review of The Selcted Letters of Willa Cather in the New Yorker
Winter Reads: My Antonia by Xan Brooks
Yours, Willa – documntary inspired by Cather's Selected Letters  
My Antonia TV movie (1995)

66. Sebastian Faulks - The Fatal Englishman

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In this episode of Backlisted, John and Andy are joined by Rishi Dastidar, a poet and copywriter whose first collection Ticker-tape was recently published by Nine Arches Press. Rishi is also chair of the London writer’s charity, Spread the Word; consultant editor at the independent poetry magazine The Rialto and a fellow of The Complete Works II, a programme that promotes quality and diversity in British poetry. The book Rishi has chosen is The Fatal Englishman: Three Short Lives by Sebastian Faulks, his only work of non-fiction, first published by Hutchinson in 1996. Before that, Andy finally comes to terms with the sequence of Patrick Melrose novels by Edward St Aubyn (just before the first episode in the Sky adaptation was broadcast) and John plunges into the strange and haunting world of Folk by Zoe Gilbert.

Books mentioned:

Other links:

65. Gayl Jones - Corregidora

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Andy and John are joined in her record-equalling third appearance on the Backlisted podcast by Sarah Churchwell, Professor of American Literature and Chair of Public Understanding of the Humanities at the School of Advanced Study in the University of London. The book she has chosen is Gayl Jones' 1975 masterpiece, Corregidora, a novel acquired by a commissioning editor at Random House called Toni Morrison. Before that, Andy enjoys a coming-of-age novel set in 1940s Soho - Rain on the Pavements by Roland Camberton, while John follows the meanderings of Edward Thomas's In Pursuit of Spring, his classic account of a bicycle ride taken from London to Somerset in 1913 (another classic from our friends at Little Toller Books).

Other books mentioned:

Other links:

Thanks to Spoke for sponsoring this episode - Spoke cut trousers in more sizes and custom finish for a flawless fit – delivered in two working days. For £20 off your first purchase, use the code BACKLISTED20 at checkout (valid to early June 2018).

64. Alexander Baron - The Lowlife

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John and Andy are at the dogs for Backlisted 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.

Books mentioned:

Unbound project of the week:

Other Links:

Thanks to Spoke for sponsoring this episode - Spoke cut our trousers in more sizes and custom finish for a flawless fit – delivered in two working days. For £20 off your first purchase, use the code BACKLISTED20 at checkout (valid to early June 2018)

63. Joseph Heller - Something Happened

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Authors Matt Thorne and Nikita Lalwani join John and Andy on the Backlisted podcast 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.

Books mentioned:

Unbound project of the week

  • Lucien Young - #Sonnets- get free postage by using the code HELLER at checkout

Other Links:


Thanks to Bloom & Wild for sponsoring this episode - fresh, seasonal flowers sent through the letterbox. For 20% off your first order, use the code BACKLISTED at checkout. 

62. Norah Lofts - The Town House

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This episode's guest on the Backlisted podcast is the writer and columnist Lucy Mangan, author of a new memoir about her childhood reading, Bookworm (Penguin). She's chosen the now very under-read historical novel by Norah Lofts - The Town House and the discussion covers historical fiction (and how its marketed), the depth and quality of Lofts research and the brilliant idea of writing a trilogy that covers 600 years in one Suffolk house. Before that Andy is enchanted by Lee Stuart Evans novel Words Best Sung (Faber) and John allows the swagger of Emmanuel Carrère's The Kingdom (a histrico-philosophical memoir-cum-novel about the Gospels) carry him away (Penguin).

Books mentioned:

Other Links:

Thanks to Bloom & Wild for sponsoring this episode. They are the UK's top rated flower delivery company  - they send fresh, seasonal flowers through the letterbox and they’re sent in bud which means they last 7 days or more. Plus they offer free next day delivery across the UK (and to Ireland, France and Germany). For 20% off your first purchase, use the code BACKLISTED at checkout (valid to early June 2018)

61. Ann Quin - Berg

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John and Andy are joined on the Backlisted podcast by writer and critic Jennifer Hodgson to discuss Berg the ground-breaking first novel by British experimental pioneer Ann Quin, first published in 1964. As well as Berg the trio discuss The Unmapped Country, a collection of lost stories and fragments, edited by Jennifer, and just published by the excellent indie publisher, And Other Stories. There's also Andy giving a spellbinding reading from Your Could Do Something Amazing With Your Life (You Are Raoul Moat) by Andrew Hankinson (Scribe) and John battling past the title to find hidden treasure in Yorkshire: A Lyrical History by archaeologist and polymath, Richard Morris (Weidenfeld & Nicholson).

Books mentioned:

Other links:

 

55. Diana Wynne Jones - Fire and Hemlock

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Author and illustrator Alice Stevenson and her childhood friend, playwright Elinor Cook join John and Andy on the Backlisted podcast to talk about Diana Wynne Jones's novel of memory, childhood and friendship.

Books Mentioned:

Other Links:

 

54. Gordon Burn - Alma Cogan

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In a special edition of the Backlisted podcast recorded earlier this year live at the Durham Book Festival, John and Andy are joined by writers Adelle 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.

Books Mentioned:

Other Links:

53. R. F. Delderfield - To Serve Them All My Days

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The novelist Jenny Colgan joins John and Andy on the Backlisted podcast 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.

Books Mentioned:

Other Links:

52. Shirley Jackson - We Have always lived in the castle

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For our annual Halloween episode John and Andy are joined on the Backlisted podcast by Fiona Wilson and Andrew Male to discuss Shirley Jackson's final novel We Have Always Lived In The Castle, originally published in 1962. 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 instalment of Danny Baker's memoirs.

Books Mentioned:

Other Links:

51. Virginia Woolf - Jacob's Room

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In a special live edition of the Backlisted podcast, 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 by Virginia Woolf, first published in 1922.

Books Mentioned:

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50. William Goldman - Adventures in the Screen Trade

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Simon Garfield, author of The Wrestling, The Nation's Favourite and A Notable Woman, amongst others joins John and Andy on the Backlisted podcast to discuss William Goldman's groundbreaking account of his life as a Hollywood screenwriter.

Books Mentioned:

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49. Anita Brookner - Look At Me

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In a long awaited episode of the Backlisted podcast John and Andy are joined by Una McCormack and Lucy Scholes to discuss Anita Brookner's third novel Look At Me (1982), 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.

Books Mentioned:

Other Links:

48. Malcolm Lowry - Under the Volcano

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John and Andy are joined on the Backlisted podcast by poet, radio presenter, playwright and genuine Tyke Ian McMillan to discuss Malcolm Lowry's 1947 masterwork, Under The Volcano. Also, The Factory of Light by Michael Jacobs, and more Rosemary Tonks. Do you have a problem with that?

Books Mentioned:

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