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John le Carré
John le Carre talks to Anne McElvoy to mark 50 years of The Spy Who Came in from the Cold.
Author John le Carre talks to Anne McElvoy to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his ground-breaking Cold War espionage novel The Spy Who Came in from the Cold.
In a special event recorded in front of an audience at London's Royal College of Music Anne McElvoy talks to John le Carré to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his groundbreaking Cold War espionage novel, The Spy who Came in from the Cold. It's the book which brought him international fame and which was described by Graham Greene as 'the best spy story I have ever read'. He discusses his extraordinary childhood as well as the state of Britain today, and the revelations of whistleblowers such as Edward Snowden.
Britten 100: Britten Libretti, Young Vic Theatre Uncut
Frances Spalding and Alexandra Harris discuss Myfanwy Piper's libretti for Britten.
With Anne McElvoy. For Radio 3's Britten 100 season, Frances Spalding and Alexandra Harris discuss Myfanwy Piper's libretto writing. Plus the Young Vic's Theatre Uncut season.
As part of Radio 3's Britten 100 - Anne McElvoy discusses Myfanwy Piper's libretto writing with Professor Frances Spalding author of a biography of the Pipers and Alexandra Harris, author of Romantic Moderns and a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Thinker in 2011.
We also report on The Young Vic's Theatre Uncut season which features plays addressing current political issues. This year's playwrights include Neil LaBute, Mark Thomas and Tanika Gupta.
Producer: Neil Trevithick
Image: Lauren Crace and David Hounslow in The Wing by Clara Brennan. Photo by Richard Davenport.
Spying and Surveillance: The Snowden Files
Anne McElvoy with Luke Harding, Sir David Omand, Annette Dittert and Alain de Botton.
Anne McElvoy discusses surveillance and spying with Luke Harding, Sir David Omand, Annette Dittert and Alain de Botton.
Last year The Guardian ran a series of scoops about the extent of mass surveillance by the security services here and in the USA. Anne McElvoy talks to the journalist Luke Harding about the inside story on the whistle-blower Edward Snowden and what motivated him to commit one of the biggest intelligence leaks in history. The former director of GCHQ, Sir David Omand, fears the leaks have done untold damage and endangered state security. Claims that America hacked the phone of the German Chancellor Angela Merkel caused uproar in Germany, and the journalist Annette Dittert argues that the memory of the Stasi's spying machine is still raw. There has been little outcry among the British public and the philosopher Alain de Botton explores the nature of news and the 'noise' it generates.
Producer: Katy Hickman.
France and Algeria, Birds, Augustus
Anne McElvoy discusses France and its former colonies, plus bird mating systems.
Anne McElvoy discusses the relationship between France and its former colonies. Plus research about bird mating systems and the lessons to be learned from Roman emperor Augustus.
Anne McElvoy looks at the relationship between France and its former colonies, talking to David Bellos about his translation of a classic novel depicting the Algerian War - Daniel Anselme's On Leave - to Andrew Hussey, whose new book is called The French Intifada: the Long War Between France and Its Arabs, and to Dr Karima Laachir from SOAS at the University of London.
Professor Tim Birkhead is a Professor of Behavioural Ecology at Sheffield University. In his book Ten Thousand Birds he describes Ornithology Since Darwin. He talks to Anne about his research into bird mating systems.
Charlotte Higgins, author of Under Another Sky about Roman Britain, discusses the lessons we can learn from the reign of the Roman emperor Augustus, who died in AD 14.
Producer: Zahid Warley.
Jane Eyre versus Anne of Green Gables, Parent Power, Georg Baselitz, Flooding in Literature
Anne McElvoy discusses parent power, literary heroines, artist Georg Baselitz and floods.
Presented by Anne McElvoy. With a debate on 'parent power', positive female role models in literarature, artist Georg Baselitz on his career and literary depictions of flooding.
Ed Miliband's speech earlier this week said parents should have more power to oust head teachers. The outgoing Ofsted chair Baroness Sally Morgan and Tim Montgomerie, Editor of the Times comment section debate parent power with Anne McElvoy.
Jane Eyre has been adapted for a stage production at Bristol Old Vic. Which literary heroines provide good role models? We hear from writers Bidisha and Rebecca Mead, whose new book is called The Road to Middlemarch.
German artist Georg Baselitz discusses his artistic career as his work goes on show in two London Galleries.
And literary depictions of flooding. What books you might want to avoid reading if you are faced with rising water levels.
Producer: Natalie Steed.
Flora Thompson Biography, Ruins at Tate Britain, Ravel
Richard Mabey discusses his biography of Flora Thompson, author of Lark Rise to Candleford
Presented by Anne McElvoy. With Richard Mabey on his biography of Flora Thompson, our fascination with images of decay and destruction, and choreographer Richard Alston.
As Radio 3 prepares for Ravel Day tomorrow Anne McElvoy talks to the choreographer Richard Alston whose dance piece, 'Shimmer', explored the music of Ravel's 'Sonatine' and 'Miroirs'.
There's a discussion about the ongoing fascination with ruins; whether a picturesque castle ruin glimpsed through the mist or the eerie photographs of an abandoned Detroit. Why do artists, and audiences, continue to seek out images of decay and destruction? Anne talks to the curator of a new exhibition at Tate Britain and the writer, Amanda Hopkinson.
Lark Rise to Candleford has been reinvented by theatre and television, and even Danny Boyle's Olympic opening extravaganza owed a debt to the idea of rural England that Flora Thompson created and recorded in her books. Anne talks to the nature writer Richard Mabey about his latest book 'The Life of Flora Thompson and the creation of Lark Rise to Candleford.'
Producer: Natalie Steed.
Faisal I of Iraq and the making of the modern Middle East
Anne McElvoy with Richard Evans, Malu Halasa, Scott Anderson and Ali Allawi.
Anne McElvoy discusses the making of the modern Middle East and counterfactual history with Richard Evans, Malu Halasa, Scott Anderson and Ali Allawi.
Anne McElvoy explores the roads not taken with the historian Richard Evans. Counterfactual history began as an Enlightenment parlour game and has become a serious academic pursuit, but Evans argues against endless speculation as to what might have been. The final meeting between Lawrence of Arabia and Faisal I of Iraq was an anti-climax which belied their history. The biographers of these two leaders, Scott Anderson and the former Iraqi politician Ali Allawi, place these men at the centre of the making of the modern Middle East. The writer Malu Halasa offers an alternative view of the violent events in Syria as she curates a book of political posters, comic strips, blogs and plays.
Producer: Katy Hickman.
2014 Festival Right Thinking People
David Willetts MP and Roger Scruton discuss how much specialist knowledge politicians need
In a debate held in front of an audience at Sage Gateshead, Anne McElvoy asks how much specialist knowledge politicians need today. With author Roger Scruton and David Willetts MP.
David Willetts MP and the writer and philosopher Roger Scruton discuss the best way to foster knowledge in schools and universities and whether politicians have become too professionalised. In an age when many politicians have never had other jobs, are we better off with representatives who have specialist knowledge from careers forged outside Westminster?
Roger Scruton is the author of books including The Soul Of The World, The Palgrave MacMillan Dictionary of Political Thought and How to Be a Conservative.
The Rt Hon David Willetts MP was Minister for Universities and Science, attending Cabinet from 2010 to 2014. He has held various posts in the Shadow Cabinet and has worked at HM Treasury, and the Number 10 Policy Unit. He is a member of the Council of the Institute for Fiscal Studies and has written widely on economic and social policy including The Pinch: How the Baby Boomers Took Their Children's Future, and Why They Should Give it Back.
The conversation is chaired by Anne McElvoy and was recorded in front of an audience at the Free Thinking Festival at Sage, Gateshead.
All the discussions and essays from the festival are available as Radio 3 Arts and Ideas downloads.
2014 Festival Imagining Turkey: Elif Shafak in Conversation
Turkish writer Elif Shafak joins Anne McElvoy in conversation at Sage Gateshead.
Turkish writer Elif Shafak joins Anne McElvoy in conversation at Sage Gateshead. Elif talks about imagination and storytelling as well as Istanbul past and present.
Turkey's best selling female writer, Elif Shafak, has been published in more than 40 countries. Her books, including The Forty Rules of Love, The Bastard of Istanbul and Black Milk - her memoir of motherhood and depression, reflect her interest in building connections between Western and Eastern traditions. Her cosmopolitan voice is of particular importance in a year when the Middle East has been undergoing enormous shifts, and both nationalism and xenophobia are on the rise around the world.
She talks to Anne McElvoy about imagination and storytelling as she publishes her new novel The Architect's Apprentice.
The conversation was recorded in front of an audience at BBC Radio 3's Free Thinking Festival of Ideas at Sage Gateshead in 2014
All the discussions and essays from the Free Thinking festival are available as Radio 3 Arts and Ideas downloads.
TS Eliot Prize winner David Harsent, Robert Crawford, Allan Ropper on healing the brain
Anne McElvoy celebrates TS Eliot and discusses the human brain with Allan Ropper.
Anne McElvoy presents. With 2014 TS Eliot Prize winner David Harsent, Robert Crawford and Lyndall Gordon on TS Eliot, and Allan Ropper on the dilemmas of treating brain disease.
The Scottish poet Robert Crawford has written Young Eliot: A biography which explores T S Eliot's life from his childhood in St Louis to publication of 'The Wasteland. He and fellow-Eliot biographer, Lyndall Gordon join Anne McElvoy to work out Eliot's enduring power and appeal while the winner of this year's TS Eliot prize David Harsent reads from his collection Fire Songs.
Allan Ropper is a US neurologist who has written a book called Reaching Down The Rabbit Hole -- his description of what it's like to make a diagnosis where minds and lives hang in the balance. He talks to Anne McElvoy about the mixture of intuition and medical knowledge that every brain doctor needs. They are joined by Brian Hurwitz, Professor of Medicine and the Arts at King's College London to discuss the role of case histories over time and new importance being attached to narrative medicine.
Producer: Jacqueline Smith.
Anne Enright, The Economics of Psychological Therapy, Christopher Hampton
Anne McElvoy is joined by novelist Anne Enright and playwright Christopher Hampton.
Anne Enright, Ireland's first laureate for fiction, discusses her new novel The Green Road with Anne McElvoy. Plus Christopher Hampton on translating the plays of Florian Zeller.
Anne Enright, Ireland's first Laureate for Fiction, discusses her new novel The Green Road with Anne McElvoy. In 2007 she won the Man Booker Prize for The Gathering.
The labour economist Richard Layard and David M. Clark, Professor of Psychology at Oxford and leading expert on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, discuss the economics of psychological therapy - the subject of their book Thrive: The Power of Psychological Therapy. The authors are giving a talk at The Royal Institution in London, on Wednesday 13 May at 7pm.
Playwright and screenwriter Christopher Hampton explains his approach to translating the plays of contemporary French dramatist Florian Zeller whose play The Mother won the Moliere prize in 2011.
The Theatre Royal Bath stages the UK premiere of The Mother from May 21st to June 20th. And the Theatre Royal production of The Father is being performed at The Tricycle Theatre in London from May 7th to June 13th.
Virginia Woolf Portraits, Richard Flanagan, Medical History, The Security Services in Fiction
With Anne McElvoy. Virginia Woolf portraits, Richard Flanagan's new book and spy novels.
With Anne McElvoy. Including portraits of Virginia Woolf at the National Portrait Gallery, Richard Flanagan's new novel, the security services in fiction and medical history.
Curator Frances Spalding and Dr Alexandra Harris discuss what portaits of Virginia Woolf convey of her character as a new exhibition opens at the National Portrait Gallery.
Richard Flanagan's father was a Japanese POW on the "Death Railway". The Australian novelist's new book The Narrow Road to the Deep North was inspired by this.
New Generation Thinker Alun Withey looks back at medical history.
Stella Rimington, former director general of MI5 and diplomat Alan Judd discuss turning their experiences of the security services into fiction.
Hillary Clinton, Patricia Duncker
Jane Garvey discusses Hillary Clinton's potential run for presidency in the USA.
Discussion on Hillary Clinton, the general election and women, Patricia Duncker's latest novel, and why some women say they choose sex work. Presented by Jane Garvey.
The 2016 US Election and the possibilities for a much anticipated Hillary Clinton run for the presidency.
Zoe Williams and Anne McElvoy on how the 2015 General Election campaign is shaping up as the parties battle to win over women voters. And are we getting the politics we deserve?
Patricia Dunker talks about her love of George Eliot and why she features in her latest novel.
And, we discuss research into why some women say they choose sex work.
Presenter: Jane Garvey
Producer: Ruth Watts.
Chalke Valley History Festival: Heroism v Failure
David Starkey, Amanda Foreman and Saul David debate heroism and failure in history.
David Starkey, Amanda Foreman and Saul David join Anne McElvoy for a debate about what teaches us most: heroism or failure. Recorded at the Chalke Valley History Festival.
Should we spend more time studying the failures of history, and less time on the heroes? David Starkey, Amanda Foreman and Saul David join Anne McElvoy for a debate recorded in front of an audience at the Chalke Valley History Festival.
Saul David is the author of Operation Thunderbolt. It looks at the Entebbe Raid which took place on 4th July 1976.
David Starkey has written Magna Carta: The True Story Behind the Charter - a book exploring the history and relevance of the document drafted 800 years ago.
Amanda Foreman is the author of A World on Fire: The Epic History of the British in the American Civil War and will be presenting a BBC TV series exploring women's history from the Paleolithic to modern Britain.
Libertarianism, Trevor Paglen and Surveillance, Civil War Ranters
Anne McElvoy presents. Including Ranters, libertarianism, Trevor Paglen and Naomi Paxton.
Anne McElvoy presents. With a debate about Ranter writings from the English Civil War, libertarianism today, artist Trevor Paglen and an essay on the Actresses' Franchise League.
A new collection of Ranter writings from the English Civil War sheds light on their extreme libertarian views. Anne McElvoy is joined by the book's editor Nigel Smith, Professor of Ancient and Modern Literature at Princeton to talk about how they became the enemy of seventeenth century orthodoxy, whilst cultivating an array of lively literary prose styles.
Libertarianism has long left the contrarian political fringes it occupied during Britain's revolutionary period and seems to be on the ascendance. Journalist Rod Liddle and Conservative Party politician Douglas Carswell join Anne to discuss the ideology today.
A 62 metre photographic installation unveiled at London's Gloucester Road Tube station depicts the US reconnaissance base in North Yorkshire. Anne speaks to the image's creator Trevor Paglen about how much - or little - we understand of global surveillance.
New Generation Thinker Naomi Paxton reflects on the Actresses' Franchise League.
Producer: Georgia Catt.
Naomi Klein on climate change and growth
Anne McElvoy with Naomi Klein, Tahmima Anam, Jeremy Oppenheim and Dieter Helm.
Anne McElvoy discusses climate change with the writer Naomi Klein, economist Dieter Helm, McKinsey director Jeremy Oppenheim and Bangladeshi author Tahmima Anam.
Naomi Klein argues that the greatest contributor to global warming is not carbon and climate change, but capitalism. She tells Anne McElvoy that the market's addiction to growth and profit is killing the planet. But the economist Dieter Helm questions whether capitalism is really at war with the environment and looks to the world's innovators to invent our way out of crisis. Climate change is a global issue, but the author Tahmima Anam looks at what it means for her home country Bangladesh. Jeremy Oppenheim argues that economic growth and action on climate change can be achieved together, with global cooperation.
Producer: Simon Tillotson.
Sara Khan, The power of Angela Merkel, Dorothy Bohm
Power Lister Sara Khan discusses empowering women to tackle extremism and inequality.
Woman's Hour Power List influencer Sara Khan discusses tackling extremism and gender inequality. Plus a look at Angela Merkel's role in crisis talks with Greece. With Jane Garvey.
Sara Khan, number 10 on the Woman's Hour Power List of influencers for 2015, talks to Jane about her work empowering women to challenge extremism and gender inequality.
We discuss Europe's most powerful women - how has Angela Merkel handled the Greek financial crisis and what does Europe make of her?
According to a recent international study the UK is one of the happiest countries for family relationships. We look at how family life has evolved and what makes a happy family?
Jane hears about the working lives of two women bank managers.
And, we hear about the life and work of photographer Dorothy Bohm.
Presenter: Jane Garvey
Producer: Ruth Watts.
Scotland, Wales and the Ukraine, Lidudumalingani
Anne McElvoy discusses Welsh links to Ukraine, plus Welsh fiction since devolution.
Presented by Anne McElvoy. With Victoria Donovan exploring the links between Wales and Ukraine, and Emma Schofield on Welsh fiction since devolution. Plus writer Lidudumalingani.
New Generation Thinker Victoria Donovan explores the links between Wales and Ukraine. Later this month the Wales Book of the Year Awards take place. We hear from Dr Emma Schofield about the way Welsh fiction has reflected debates since devolution. And talk to Lidudumalingani - winner of this year's Caine Prize for African Writing.
Dr Victoria Donovan researches Russian history and culture at the University of St Andrews.
The New Generation Thinkers prize is an initiative launched by BBC Radio 3 and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to find the brightest minds from across the UK who have the potential to transform their research into engaging broadcast programmes. You can hear more about the research topics of all 10 2016 New Generation Thinkers on our website.
You can read the Caine Prize story here http://caineprize.com/2016-shortlist/
The Wales Book of the Year Awards are announced on Thursday 21 July. The shortlists are:
The Roland Mathias Poetry Award: Love Songs of Carbon, Philip Gross /Boy Running, Paul Henry /Pattern beyond Chance, Stephen Payne
The Rhys Davies Fiction Award: The Girl in the Red Coat, Kate Hamer/ We Don't Know What We're Doing, Thomas Morris / I Saw a Man, Owen Sheers
The Open University in Wales Creative Non-Fiction Award:
Losing Israel, Jasmine Donahaye / Woman Who Brings the Rain, Eluned Gramich / Wales Unchained, Daniel G. Williams
Aberystwyth University Welsh-language Poetry Award: Nes Draw, Mererid Hopwood / Hel llus yn y glaw, Gruffudd Owen / Eiliadau Tragwyddol, Cen Williams
Welsh-language Fiction Award: Norte, Jon Gower / Y Bwthyn, Caryl Lewis / Rifiera Reu, Dewi Prysor
The Open University in Wales Welsh-language Creative Non-Fiction Award: Pam Na Fu Cymru, Simon Brooks / Dyddiau Olaf Owain Glyndwr, Gruffydd Aled Williams / Is-deitla'n Unig, Emyr Glyn Williams
Producer: Ruth Watts
(Image: Lidudumalingani, Credit: The Caine Prize for African Writing).
Aphra Behn, 1066 and the South Coast, Mark Thompson
Anne McElvoy discusses Aphra Behn at the RSC and a festival marking 1066.
Anne McElvoy discusses Aphra Behn's play The Rover. Plus New York Times CEO Mark Thompson on political language and Iain Sinclair talking about the Norman Conquest.
Playwright, poet, spy. Anne McElvoy discusses Aphra Behn with Professor Elaine Hobby and director Loveday Ingram who has given Behn's play The Rover a South American carnival setting at the RSC. Plus Iain Sinclair and Professor David Bates on the events of 1066 which changed the course of English history. And an interview with Mark Thompson, former Director General of the BBC and current Chief Executive Officer of The New York Times Company.
The Rover runs in rep at The Swan Theatre, Stratford-Upon-Avon from September 8th until February 11th 2017.
The Root 1066 festival runs until October 16th at a variety of venues. http://www.1066contemporary.com/
Mark Thompson is the author of Enough Said: What's Gone Wrong with the Language of Politics
Producer: Torquil MacLeod.
Russian Art and Revolution
Anne McElvoy and her guests assess the role and legacy of art in the Russian Revolution.
Dolya Gavanski, Stephen Smith, Victor Sebestyen and Charlotte Hobson join Anne McElvoy to assess the Royal Academy's Russian art show and the role of the arts in the Revolution.
As the Royal Academy unveils its huge new show of work produced in Russia between 1917 and 1932, Anne McElvoy and her guests - the film maker and actor, Dolya Gavanski, novelist Charlotte Hobson and the historians Stephen Smith and Victor Sebestyen - assess the role played by artists in the revolution and the relevance of their paintings, sculptures, films, books and music today.
Revolution: Russian Art 1917-1932 runs from February 11th to April 17th at the Royal Academy of Arts in London.
Charlotte Hobson's novel is called The Vanishing Futurist.
Dolya Gavanski is currently working on her second feature film, Soviet Woman: Work, Build and Don't Whine.
Professor Stephen Smith from All Souls College, Oxford is the author of books including The Oxford Handbook of the History of Communism and Russia in Revolution.
Victor Sebestyen's Lenin the Dictator is published later this month.
Producer: Zahid Warley
Image: Kazimir Malevich, Peasants, c. 1930
Oil on canvas, 53 x 70 cm
State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg
Photo (c) 2016, State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg
(courtesy of the Royal Academy of Arts, London - from the exhibition: Revolution: Russian Art 1917 - 1932).