90. Charles Dickens - Great Expectations


Joining John and Andy for this episode are the writer William Atkins whose first book, The Moor was shortlisted for the Thwaites Wainwright Prize and whose second The Immeasurable World: Jouneys in Desert Places won the Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year  in 2018, both were published by Faber. He is a former editorial director of Macmillan, and his journalism has appeared in the Guardian and Granta. He is joined by Backlisted regular, Lissa Evans, writer, producer, director and author of three children’s book and five novels, including most recently, Old Baggage, published by Doubleday, and a book we can now happily call a no 1 bestseller. This is Lissa’s fouth appearance on Backlisted, a new record (she appeared previously on episodes 1 - J.L. Carr; 36 - Patrick Hamilton and 78 - Edith Wharton).

The book William and Lissa are talking about is Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, first published in Dickens’ own periodical ‘All the Year Round’, from 1st December 1860 to 3rd August 1861, in 35 weekly instalments You also hear about Lanny by former Backlisted guest Max Porter (John’s favourite new novel of the year so far) and an intense and powerful reading by Andy from Ali Smith’s latest Spring.

Books mentioned:

Charles Dickens - Great Expectations (Norton Critical Edition - a rich collection of essays and critical texts)
William Atkins - The Moor; The Immeasurable World: Jouneys in Desert Places
Lissa Evans - Old Baggage
Ali Smith -Spring; Autumn; Winter
Max Porter - Lanny; Grief is the Thing with Feathers
George Saunders - Lincoln in the Bardo
Russell Hoban - Riddley Walker
Angus Wilson - The World of Charles Dickens
Alec Guiness - Blessings in Disguise
John Sutherland - Can Jane Eyre Be Happy?

Other links:

Dodson and Fogg by the Johnny Dankworth Orchestra
Great Expectations - David Lean (DVD)
Charles Dickens by George Orwell
’Charles Dickens’ by Horrible Histories
Howard Jacobson on Great Expectations in the Guardian (Jan, 2012)