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Front Row

Literary Norwich

BBC Radio 4
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30 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

Rose Tremain, Sarah Hall and Sarah Perry on Norwich's thriving literary culture.

In June the National Centre for Writing will open in Norwich which was England's first UNESCO City of Literature. Kirsty Lang takes a literary tour of the city.

Norwich will soon be home to the new National Centre for Writing in the medieval Dragon Hall. Chris Gribble tells Kirsty Lang about the extraordinary building and the role of the Centre. Authors Sarah Perry and Sarah Hall describe the thriving literary culture of the city and Kirsty visits The Book Hive, one of the city's independent bookshops. She goes to the Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library and to the University of East Anglia, home to the MA in Creative Writing that has Ian McEwan, Kazuo Ishiguro and Anne Enright among its famous graduates. There she meets tutor Rebecca Stott, author Imogen Hermes Gowar, whose novel The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock is shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction, and poet and MA student Gboyega Abayomi-Odubanjo.

Credits

Presenter
Kirsty Lang
Interviewed Guest
Chris Gribble
Interviewed Guest
Sarah Perry
Interviewed Guest
Sarah Hall
Interviewed Guest
Rebecca Stott
Interviewed Guest
Imogen Hermes Gowar
Interviewed Guest
Gboyega Abayomi-Odubanjo

Brand

Front Row

Front Row

Westminster Abbey, The culture of the countryside, Gillian Allnutt

BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4 logo
30 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

A visit to the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Galleries at Westminster Abbey.

Tom Dyckhoff assesses the £23m Weston Tower and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Galleries at Westminster Abbey. Plus the appeal of the countryside to writers and poet Gillian Allnutt.

The £23m Weston Tower and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Galleries at Westminster Abbey will be opening to the public next month. Architecture critic and historian Tom Dyckhoff gives his response to these two new additions to the abbey church, the site of all royal coronations since William the Conqueror in 1066.

Why are so many British writers setting their stories in the countryside at the moment? From the second series of the BBC comedy drama This Country, to plays including Barney Norris's Nightfall, Joe White's Mayfly and Simon Longman's Gundog, and novels such as Jon McGregor's Reservoir 13 and Ali Smith's Autumn, writers are turning to a new vision of 'the pastoral' for inspiration. Writer Barney Norris joins novelist Sarah Hall - who was born and raised in the Lake District - to consider whether writing about the countryside has become part of the zeitgeist again and why.

Gillian Allnutt's career as a poet stretches over four decades. In 2016 she was awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry. The poet discusses and reads from her new collection, Wake.

Presenter Samira Ahmed

Producer Jerome Weatherald.

Credits

Presenter
Samira Ahmed
Interviewed Guest
Tom Dyckhoff
Interviewed Guest
Barney Norris
Interviewed Guest
Sarah Hall
Interviewed Guest
Gillian Allnutt
Producer
Jerome Weatherald

Brand

Front Row

Front Row

Sarah Hall, Antony Sher, Fatherhood, Beethoven's 9th Symphony

BBC Radio 4
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30 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

Sarah Hall, Antony Sher's Queer Icon, Fatherhood, Beethoven's 9th Symphony.

Sarah Hall on new short story collection Madame Fox, Sir Antony Sher on his Queer Icon, contemporary depictions of fatherhood, and Beethoven's 9th at G20.

Sarah Hall's short story Mrs Fox won her the BBC National Short Story Award. Now it forms part of her new collection of short stories, Madame Zero, and she talks to John Wilson about depicting extraordinary transformations and where human behaviour meets the animal.

For our Queer Icons series, actor Sir Antony Sher chooses the play and film Torch Song Trilogy by Harvey Fierstein, which tells the story of a New York drag queen's search for love and a family.

As Fatherland, a play exploring relationships between fathers and sons, premieres at the Manchester International Festival, Front Row invites filmmaker Josh Appignanesi and Jeremy Davies of the Fatherhood Institute to discuss contemporary portrayals of fatherhood.

And as world leaders at G20 settle down to a performance of Beethoven's 9th Symphony conducted by Kent Nagano in Hamburg tonight, Tom Service talks about what he thinks is the most dangerous piece of music ever composed.

Presenter: John Wilson

Producer: Sarah Johnson.

Credits

Presenter
John Wilson
Interviewed Guest
Sarah Hall
Interviewed Guest
Antony Sher
Interviewed Guest
Josh Appignanesi
Interviewed Guest
Jeremy Davies
Interviewed Guest
Tom Service
Producer
Sarah Johnson

Brand

Front Row

Open Book

Sarah Hall and Peter Hobbs on Sex and Death, A guide to Hans Fallada, Mark Billingham on Dashiell Hammett, Riad Sattouf

BBC Radio 4
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28 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

Sarah Hall and Peter Hobbs on their new collection of short stories Sex and Death.

News and features from the world of books, presented by Mariella Frostrup.

Writers Sarah Hall and Peter Hobbs join Mariella to discuss their new anthology of short stories about the fundamentals of life: Sex and Death. As his novel Nightmare in Berlin is published in English for the first time, we discuss the life and work of German novelist Hans Fallada; graphic novelist Riad Sattouf talks about his memoir of his schooldays in Syria and crime writer Mark Billingham reveals the book he'd never lend, and how it has influenced his own work.

Credits

Presenter
Mariella Frostrup
Interviewed Guest
Sarah Hall
Interviewed Guest
Peter Hobbs
Interviewed Guest
Riad Sattouf

Brand

Open Book

Start the Week

The Amazons

BBC Radio 4
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43 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

Tom Sutcliffe with Sarah Hall, Adrienne Mayor and John Gray.

Tom Sutcliffe discusses wilderness and freedom with Sarah Hall, Adrienne Mayor and John Gray.

On Start the Week Tom Sutcliffe talks to Adrienne Mayor about the Amazons, the legendary warrior women who glorified in fighting, hunting and sexual freedom. The Greeks described these wild barbarian archers, and Mayor reveals new archaeological discoveries which prove these women were not merely figments of their imagination. Five hundred years ago wolves roamed throughout Britain's wilderness and in her latest novel, The Wolf Border, Sarah Hall considers the possibility of re-wilding the countryside. Such freedom would have its limits and the wolves' movements would have to be managed and contained, a condition which John Gray considers in his book on human freedom: The Soul of the Marionette.

Producer: Katy Hickman.

Credits

Presenter
Tom Sutcliffe
Interviewed Guest
Adrienne Mayor
Interviewed Guest
Sarah Hall
Interviewed Guest
John Gray
Producer
Katy Hickman

Open Book

Year of the Women Writers

BBC Radio 4
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28 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

Sally Gardner, Sarah Hall and Lennie Goodings discuss the 'Year of the Women Writers'.

Books and literary news. Ellah Allfrey, Sally Gardner, Sarah Hall and Lennie Goodings discuss with Mariella Frostrup why 2013 has been the 'Year of the Women Writers'.

In a special programme Ellah Allfrey, Sally Gardner, Sarah Hall, Lennie Goodings and James Runcie discuss with Mariella Frostrup why 2013 has been the Year of the Women Writers

Producer: Andrea Kidd.

Credits

Presenter
Mariella Frostrup
Interviewed Guest
Ellah Allfrey
Interviewed Guest
Sally Gardner
Interviewed Guest
Sarah Hall
Interviewed Guest
James Runcie
Interviewed Guest
Lennie Goodings
Producer
Andrea Kidd

Brand

Open Book

Front Row

Anne-Marie Duff, Women's Prize for Fiction, RA Summer Exhibition, Sarah Hall

BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4 logo
30 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:

Anne-Marie Duff, Women's Prize for Fiction, Royal Academy's Summer Exhibition, Sarah Hall.

Anne-Marie Duff on O'Neill's play Strange Interlude, the winner of the Women's Prize for Fiction, the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition, and Sarah Hall on Blade Runner.

With Mark Lawson

As actress Anne-Marie Duff (The Virgin Queen, Shameless) takes to the stage as Nina in Eugene O'Neill's 1923 play Strange Interlude, she talks to Mark about the soliloquy technique, madness, shyness, and Doctor Who.

Formerly known as the Orange Prize, this year's Women's Prize for Fiction will be awarded this evening. The shortlist includes Hilary Mantel, Barbara Kingsolver, Zadie Smith, A.M. Homes, Kate Atkinson and Maria Semple. Mark speaks to the winner live from the ceremony at the Royal Festival Hall.

Now in its 245th year, the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy in London is about to open. It is the world's largest open-submission exhibition, displaying more than 1,000 works in all styles and media, including painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture, architectural models and film. Curators Eva Jiricna and Norman Ackroyd discuss the range of works chosen by the Academicians.

And for this evening's Cultural Exchange, novelist and poet Sarah Hall chooses the 1992 Director's Cut of Blade Runner - Ridley Scott's dystopian science fiction film.

Producer Ella-mai Robey.

Credits

Presenter
Mark Lawson
Interviewed Guest
Anne-Marie Duff
Interviewed Guest
Eva Jiricna
Interviewed Guest
Norman Ackroyd
Interviewed Guest
Sarah Hall
Producer
Ella-mai Robey

Brand

Front Row

A Good Read

Sarah Hall and Owen Jones

BBC Radio 4
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30 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

Owen Jones and Sarah Hall talk about their favourite books with Harriett Gilbert.

A children's book featuring nuclear war, a killer on the run in Dorset, and a brilliant evocation of flight. Owen Jones and Sarah Hall share favourite books with Harriett Gilbert.

Journalist and writer Owen Jones and novelist Sarah Hall discuss their favourite books with Harriett Gilbert.

Owen Jones picks the book which gave him nightmares in his teenage years: Brother in the Land, by Robert Swindells, a post-apocalyptic novel set in the North of England.

The thrill of flying, grief and the consolations of fiction are rendered in beautiful style in Sarah Hall's choice: American writer James Salter's memoir Burning the Days.

And Owen and Sarah are transported across Europe into the dark heart of the English countryside in Harriett Gilbert's pick - the page-turning Rogue Male, by Geoffrey Household, a prototype for Bond, Bourne, and many others.

Credits

Presenter
Harriett Gilbert
Interviewed Guest
Owen Jones
Interviewed Guest
Sarah Hall
Producer
Melvin Rickarby

Brand

A Good Read

Open Book

Literary Landscapes - The Lake District with Sarah Hall

BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4 logo
28 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

Sarah Hall takes Mariella Frostrup around the places that have inspired her novels.

Sarah Hall takes Mariella Frostrup around the Lake District landscape that has inspired and informed her novels.

Literary Landscapes - The Lake District

Open Book's summer series on Literary Landscapes begins at the Haweswater Dam, with only a waist high wall separating presenter Mariella Frostrup from 80 billion litres of water, which is what Haweswater Reservoir holds when full, and surrounded by beautiful and majestic mountains on all sides. It's a charged, vital, visceral landscape - immortalised by writers since Wordsworth first wrote about daffodils.

Open Book's literary guide to this "carnal realm of water and earth" is award winning writer Sarah Hall - who this year was on Granta's coveted list of the best 20 British writers under 40.

Sarah was born in a cottage in a mountain range just to the east of Haweswater, and her award winning eponymous first novel, Haweswater, provides a fictional account of the construction of the dam. Sarah talks about a brutal landscape made beautiful by the Romantic poets, and how it's been a challenging legacy for a writer to inherit.

Producer: Hilary Dunn.

Credits

Presenter
Mariella Frostrup
Interviewed Guest
Sarah Hall
Producer
Hilary Dunn

Brand

Open Book
Results 1 to 9 of 9
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