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Women's Prize for Fiction Shortlist, The Shires, Poet Sean O'Brien
Women's Prize for Fiction shortlist, The Shires play live in studio plus poet Sean O'Brien
The Women's Prize for Fiction shortlist, country band The Shires play live in studio plus a look at poet Sean O'Brien's new collection, Europa.
The shortlist for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2018 has been announced today, critics Alex Clark and Toby Lichtig comment on the six novels that made it through from the longlist of 16.
Country band The Shires perform live and discuss their new album, Accidentally on Purpose, working with Ed Sheeran and why country music is having a resurgence in popularity in the UK.
Sean O'Brien is a man of letters, writing essays, plays and novels; as well as his celebrated poetry. He talks about and reads from Europa, his latest collection - and his ninth. The tenet is that Europe is not a place we can choose to leave and the poems explore how our culture, language, history and identity are inextricably entwined with mainland Europe.
Presenter : Samira Ahmed
Producer : Dymphna Flynn.
Authors' better, but not-so-famous, books; Kathryn Bigelow; Eric Ravilious; a Shakespeare Sonnet in Pidgin
Not-so-famous but better books; Kathryn Bigelow; Eric Ravilious; a great sonnet in Pidgin.
A discussion of books better than their authors' best known; Kathryn Bigelow on why her new film, set in 1967, is urgent now; the English artist Eric Ravilious; a poem in Pidgin.
Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow's new film is set during the five days of unrest that took place in Detroit in 1967. The drama is based on first hand recollections, police records and eye-witness accounts of the race-riots. Bigelow talks to Front Row about why these 50-year-old events feel as contemporary and urgent as ever.
75 years ago the English painter, war artist, designer, book illustrator and wood engraver Eric William Ravilious was killed aged 39 when the aircraft he was in was lost off the coast of Iceland. Many of his works are seen as capturing a sense of Englishness that existed between the wars. He also designed many popular pieces for Wedgwood including a commemorative mug for the abortive Coronation of Edward VIII and the Alphabet Mug of 1937. Art critic Richard Cork explains the significance of his work and the artist design movement he was part of.
Famous for the wrong book. It's 170 years since Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre was published, 160 years since Flaubert published Madam Bovary and 50 since Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude but are they their writer's best book? Critics Kevin Jackson and Alex Clark show off their literary knowledge of the famous writers whose "other" books we may have never heard of - and certainly not read - but possibly should have done.
The BBC has just opened a service broadcasting to the 75 million people of West Africa who speak Pidgin. Stig Abell talks to one of the reporters, Helen Oyibo, about the language and its literature, and hears Shakespeare's Sonnet 18, 'Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day' translated into Pidgin by Oyibo especially for Front Row.
Presenter: Stig Abell
Producer: Julian May.
Roddy Doyle, Heroes in TV dramas, Stephen King's IT
Roddy Doyle, Stephen King's IT film, heroes in TV dramas and the art of sports commentary.
Roddy Doyle on his latest novel Smile, Stephen King's IT film reviewed, heroes in TV dramas and the art of sports commentary.
Roddy Doyle talks to John Wilson about his new novel, Smile. 30 years since he wrote The Commitments, Smile is his 11th novel, in which a middle-aged man looks back over his unfulfilled life, as dark and disturbing memories of being taught by the Christian Brothers begin to surface.
Head of BBC Drama Piers Wenger has said he would like to see fewer dark dramas on TV and more inspiring stories, specifically programmes that examine heroism. We ask TV critics Chris Dunkley and Caroline Frost whether the golden age of television has left viewers swamped in anti-heroes and whether they would like to see more heroes on screens.
Matt Thorne reviews IT, the latest film to be adapted from a Stephen King horror novel. It stars Bill Skarsgård as the demonic entity of evil which shapeshifts into Pennywise the clown. Matt also describes his own relationship with the story - and Pennywise - since first reading King's novel aged 12.
Plus, as veteran football commentator John Motson announces his retirement, Alex Clark examines the art of sports commentary.
Presenter John Wilson
Producer Dymphna Flynn.
Sara Pascoe, Man Booker Prize shortlist, Robert Lindsay
Comedian Sara Pascoe on Pride and Prejudice, Man Booker shortlist, actor Robert Lindsay.
Sara Pascoe on her stage version of Pride and Prejudice, Alex Clark and Toby Lichtig discuss the Man Booker Prize shortlist, Robert Lindsay on playing cinematographer Jack Cardiff.
The comedian and writer Sara Pascoe explains to Kirsty Lang why Pride and Prejudice, great as the book is, was in need of a comic stage adaptation. Her play based on Jane Austen's novel is about to open at the Nottingham Playhouse. It includes scenes with modern commentary, original music from Emmy the Great, and jokes.
The Man Booker Prize shortlist, announced today, includes some surprises - omissions as well as inclusions. Critics Alex Clark and Toby Lichtig deliver their verdicts and nominate their favourite to win.
Actor Robert Lindsay talks to Kirsty about playing Jack Cardiff in Prism, a play about the cinematographer's life. Prism looks back at Cardiff's career which includes working on the film sets of The Red Shoes, The African Queen and Sons and Lovers.
Presenter: Kirsty Lang
Producer: Kate Bullivant.
Kazuo Ishiguro wins the Nobel Prize, Latonia Moore, Loving Vincent
Kazuo Ishiguro wins the Nobel Prize in Literature, Alex Clark assesses his contribution.
Kazuo Ishiguro is awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. Plus soprano Latonia Moore on Aida and the couple behind the first fully painted feature film Loving Vincent.
Kazuo Ishiguro wins the Nobel Prize in Literature. The literary critic, Alex Clark, assesses his contribution to the literary canon.
Latonia Moore has just made her debut at the English National Opera in a visually spectacular new production of Aida. The soprano, from Houston, Texas, hit the headlines in 2012 when she made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York, stepping into the title role of Aida at 36 hours' notice, a performance broadcast around the world.
Loving Vincent is the first fully painted feature film. 94 of Van Gogh's originals were re-created by 125 professional oil painters for the 65,000 frames. Set in Arles, it focuses on the mystery surrounding the death of the artist. Kirsty speaks to the couple who are the film's co-directors and writers, Dorota Kobiela & Hugh Welchman.
Presented by Kirsty Lang
Produced by Sarah Johnson.
The Man Booker Prize. Mike Bartlett. Is Small Beautiful?
Alex Clark talks to Philip Dodd from The Booker Prize ceremony at London's Guildhall.
Alex Clark talks to Philip Dodd from the Man Booker Prize ceremony at London's Guildhall. Plus Mike Bartlett on moving from TV's Dr Foster to a play depicting a future UK.
Dr Foster writer Mike Bartlett on his new play Albion. Alex Clark reports from the Man Booker prize ceremony. And former SNP MP George Kerevan, David Goodhart and Marián Arribas-Tomé from UEA discuss whether the 21st century is set to be a century of small nations.
The Man Booker Prize shortlist 2017 is :
4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster
History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
Elmet by Fiona Mozley
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
Autumn by Ali Smith
Mike Bartlett's play Albion runs at the Almeida Theatre in London from October 10th to November 24th.
David Goodhart is Head of Demography, Immigration & Integration at Policy Exchange and author of The Road to Somewhere: The Populist Revolt and the Future of Politics
Producer: Torquil MacLeod.
Graeme Macrae Burnet
Graeme Macrae Burnet joins Alex Clark to discuss his novel The Accident on the A35.
Graeme Macrae Burnet joins Alex Clark to discuss his novel The Accident on the A35, a new literary crime thriller. He describes the book as 'a fiction within a fiction', claiming to be not the author but the translator.
Also on the programme, the life and work of South African writer Olive Schreiner, literary news from Chile and Lucy Hughes-Hallett, one of this year's judges, discusses the Sunday Times/PFD Young Writer Award of the Year Award.
Benedict Cumberbatch, Tasmin Little, Elena Ferrante
Superhero film Doctor Strange, Tasmin Little on Vivaldi, Elena Ferrante's new book.
Benedict Cumberbatch explains how he prepared to be superhero Doctor Strange, Tasmin Little and composer Roxanna Panufnik are inspired by Vivaldi, and Elena Ferrante's new book.
Benedict Cumberbatch takes the lead role in Doctor Strange, the latest blockbuster from Marvel studios. He discusses playing one of their less well-known superheroes; the former surgeon who protects the earth with his two mystical objects - the Cloak of Levitation and Eye of Agamotto - and explains how his preparation for this physically demanding film coincided with his performing Hamlet on stage at the Barbican in London.
Elena Ferrante, the author of the Neapolitan Quartet, has always insisted that nothing should come between a reader and her books, and regards public interest in her as an unnecessary distraction. Her new book - Frantumaglia: A Writer's Journey - is a collection of her correspondence and prompted a media storm when it was used as the justification for investigating and revealing her identity. Critic Alex Clark reviews Ferrante's latest literary offering.
Violinist Tasmin Little has, for the first time, recorded Vivaldi's Four Seasons, along with a complementary contemporary piece, Four World Seasons by Roxanna Panufnik. In this new composition each season is evoked by a different country and its music, including autumn in Albania and summer in India. Musician and composer discuss their collaboration.
One glance at the UK album charts reveals that alongside the Drakes, the Two Door Cinema Clubs and the Craig Davids, there is one musical category that refuses to go away. Writer Ben Wardle tries to fathom the enduring appeal of 'Middle of the Road' music.
Presenter: Clemency Burton-Hill
Producer: Angie Nehring.
Richard Hakluyt, Man Booker Prize, Chickens in the Anthropocene, Shirley Jackson
Includes Richard Hakluyt's legacy, chickens and the 2016 Man Booker Prize.
Matthew Sweet explores the legacy of traveller Richard Hakluyt as well as the significance of chickens in the anthropocene era. Plus the 2016 Man Booker Prize winner announced.
Richard Hakluyt who died on 23 November 1616 was an English writer whose writings promoted the British colonisation of North America by the English. Nandini Das talks to Matthew Sweet about Hakluyt's travels and his legacy. Alex Clark reports live from the prize ceremony for this year's Man Booker Prize. We discuss new research into the signficance of chickens in the Anthropocene and ahead of Halloween we look at the haunting writing of Shirley Jackson as a new biography of her life is published.
Hakluyt@400 events include two exhibitions: Hakluyt and Geography in Oxford 1550-1650 at Christ Church, Oxford, and The World in a Book: Hakluyt and Renaissance Discovery, at the Bodleian Library, Oxford. A two-day international conference Richard Hakluyt and the Renaissance Discovery of the World, taking place in Oxford on 24-25 November. In addition, on Sunday 27 November there will be a commemorative service in his parish at All Saints Church, Wetheringsett, Suffolk.
Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life by Ruth Frank is out now. You can find more haunting fiction over on BBC Radio 4 and 4Extra as part of Fright Night. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03328l0.
A Pacifist's Guide to the War on Cancer, Sali Hughes, Autism, Power List
Nura Aabe, mother of son with autism; eyeliner; musical about cancer patients; culture.
Writing a show that demystifies cancer; Culture for Power List; Somali mother whose son has autism; beauty writers Sali Hughes and Sam Chapman on why eyeliner is a beauty staple.
Set in the oncology department of a hospital, a new musical that demystifies cancer is playing at the National Theatre. Writer and director Bryony Kimmings and producer Judith Dimant discuss turning such a difficult subject into a show.
Eyeliner is the next item in our series looking at five beauty staples. Jenni speaks to beauty writer and author of Pretty Iconic, Sali Hughes and beauty blogger, Sam Chapman, otherwise known as one half of the sister duo, Pixiwoo, about why eyeliner is a beauty must-have.
Nura Aabe is a British Somali woman whose son Zackie has autism. There's no word for autism in the Somali community. Nura's family wanted her to hide Zackie away and not talk about him. Despite that she went on to set up an organisation called Autism Independence and is now researching the condition as a PHD student at Bristol Uni.
This year's Power List will celebrate seven women who've made the biggest impact on women's lives over the past seventy years. Judges will decide who's on the list but who should they be considering? Jude Kelly, artistic director of the South Bank Centre, Julia Raeside, TV critic for the Guardian, and literary critic Alex Clark look back over seven decades of the arts, popular culture, and writing. Who will they suggest and what has been their influence?
Presenter: Jenni Murray.
Michael Fassbender, Love to Read, The Goldfinch, Artists who tour
Actor Michael Fassbender on his new film, Neel Mukherjee reads Twain's Huckleberry Finn.
Actor Michael Fassbender on The Light Between Oceans, Neel Mukherjee on Twain's Huckleberry Finn, and why Carel Fabritius' The Goldfinch inspired Donna Tartt's novel.
In his new film The Light Between Oceans, Michael Fassbender takes on the role of a man who becomes a lighthouse keeper in order to escape the atrocities he witnessed in World War One. He talks about playing a decent man struggling to overcome his past and what it was like to work on a remote location in New Zealand.
As part of the BBC's celebration of reading, Love to Read, Front Row has challenged five authors to confess to a classic book they've never read - and then read it. Today Neel Mukherjee, best known for his Booker Prize-shortlisted The Lives of Others, reads Mark Twain's tale of a rebel boy and a runaway slave, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
Comedian Nish Kumar, singer Sarah McQuaid and The Pitmen Poets discuss the tricky logistics of putting together a busy touring schedule, visiting every corner of the UK in just a few weeks. How do they choose where to appear, how many miles does it involve, and what happens when it doesn't go according to plan?
The Goldfinch, the 17th-century painting of a chained bird that inspired Donna Tartt's Pulitzer prize winning novel, is on display at the National Galleries of Scotland in Edinburgh from today. Art critic Charlotte Mullins and literary critic Alex Clark discuss how this painting and others have sparked writers' imaginations.
Presenter: Clemency Burton-Hill
Producer: Angie Nehring.
Kanya King, Claire Foy, Angel Olsen
Kanya King on the Mobo Awards. Claire Foy on The Crown. Flatulence. The power of lipstick.
Kanya King on 21 years of the Mobo Awards. Claire Foy on her role in the Crown playing the young Queen Elizabeth ll. The power of lipstick. Angel Olsen on her new album My Woman.
The Mobo Awards are now in their 21st year. We hear from founder Kanya King about what they have achieved and why she believes they're still relevant today.
We hear from Josie Bevan whose husband is in prison for fraud. She describes the impact his prison sentence has had on her and her daughter's lives and why she's decided to write a blog about her experiences of the Justice system.
We hear about the influential women in the world of culture and arts who may be on this year's Woman's Hour Powerlist. The TV critic for the Guardian Julia Raeside, the literary critic Alex Clark and the artistic director of the South Bank Jude Kelly discuss who they would suggest and why.
Dr Anton Emmanuel, Consultant Gastroenterologist at University College Hospital, tells us why women may experience increased flatulence as they get older.
Acclaimed US folk and indie rock singer and guitarist Angel Olsen talks about her music and her new album, My Woman, and performs a unique solo performance, live in the Woman's Hour studio.
Plus the actor Claire Foy tells us about her latest role playing the young Queen Elizabeth ll in the new Netflix series 'The Crown'.
Presented by Jane Garvey
Produced by Rabeka Nurmahomed
Edited by Jane Thurlow.
- Jane Garvey
- Rabeka Nurmahomed
- Jane Thurlow
- Interviewed Guest
- Kanya King
- Interviewed Guest
- Josie Bevan
- Interviewed Guest
- Julia Raeside
- Interviewed Guest
- Alex Clark
- Interviewed Guest
- Jude Kelly
- Interviewed Guest
- Anton Emmanuel
- Interviewed Guest
- Angel Olsen
- Interviewed Guest
- Claire Foy
Adam Driver, Costa Book Awards shortlist announced, Gilmore Girls
Adam Driver; the Costa Book Awards shortlists are announced for the five categories.
Adam Driver on Jim Jarmusch's film Paterson; the announcement of the Costa Book Awards category shortlists; the return of Gilmore Girls.
Adam Driver played Lena Dunham's love interest in Girls, and Han Solo and Princess Leia's evil son in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The actor discusses his latest role as a poetry-writing bus driver in Jim Jarmusch's new film Paterson.
Front Row reveals this year's Costa Book Awards shortlists. Critics Alex Clark and Toby Lichtig comment on the writers chosen in the five categories: novel, first novel, poetry, biography and children's fiction.
Nearly a decade after the finale of the popular family TV series Gilmore Girls, Netflix has revived the drama in four extended 90-minute episodes. Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life reunites the cast with the show's creator and original writer Amy Sherman-Palladino, who had been absent for its final season. Rachel Cooke of The Guardian gives her verdict.
Presenter Samira Ahmed
Producer Jerome Weatherald.
Modigliani, Costa Book Awards shortlists, John Lithgow
The announcement of the Costa Book Awards shortlists and Modigliani reviewed.
The announcement of the Costa Book Awards shortlists, actor John Lithgow who stars in Daddy's Home 2, and a review of the new exhibition by Amedeo Modigliani at Tate Modern.
A new Modigliani exhibition at Tate Modern shows the most extensive display of the Italian Jewish painter and sculptor's work yet seen in the UK, including 12 of his famous nudes. Sarah Crompton reviews.
Front Row reveals this year's Costa Book Awards shortlists. Critics Alex Clark and Toby Lichtig comment on the writers chosen in the five categories: novel, first novel, poetry, biography and children's fiction. The overall prize-winner will be announced on Front Row on 30 January 2018.
Actor John Lithgow discusses his latest film Daddy's Home 2, and talks more broadly about his wide-ranging career and why he's as happy playing an alien as he is a serial killer or Winston Churchill.
Presenter Samira Ahmed
Producer Jerome Weatherald.
Last Flag Flying director, literary fiction in decline, poet Danez Smith
Film director Richard Linklater on Last Flag Flying, Why literary fiction is in decline.
Film director Richard Linklater on Last Flag Flying, plus why literary fiction is in decline and what can be done to reverse the trend.
Director Richard Linklater discusses his new film Last Flag Flying, starring Bryan Cranston, Laurence Fishburne and Steve Carell, about three former US servicemen who re-unite in 2003 for a road trip to bury the son of one of the men, killed in the Iraq War.
A recent Arts Council England report into literary fiction shows that sales, advances and prices have slumped over the last 15 years with the average writer earning around £11,000 a year - less than the minimum wage. The Arts Council have responded by pledging more support for authors including possible tax breaks for small publishers. The co-editor of the online magazine Books Brunch Neil Denny, critic Alex Clark and publisher Sharmaine Lovegrove discuss the report's implications for the future of literary fiction.
In a new collection Don't Call Us Dead, young American poet Danez Smith muses on their experiences as a black HIV positive and genderqueer person living in America today.
Presenter: Stig Abell
Producer: Hannah Robins.
Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Ursula K Le Guin remembered, Charles I: King and Collector
Cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason and Ursula K Le Guin remembered.
Cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Ursula K Le Guin remembered, Charles I: King and Collector at the Royal Academy in London and arts funding issues in Northern Ireland.
Now just 18, cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason won the title of BBC Young Musician of the Year in 2016. His choice of repertoire ranges from Shostakovich to Bob Marley and he plays live in the studio on the release of his debut album, Inspiration.
Following the announcement of the death of Ursula K. Le Guin, the Earthsea writer's literary agent Ginger Clark and fantasy novelist Vic James discuss her legacy.
Charles I (1600-1649) acquired and commissioned an extensive collection of art, including works by Rubens, Van Dyck, Holbein and Titian. Jerry Brotton, author of The Sale of the Late King's Goods, assesses the new Royal Academy exhibition Charles I: King and Collector, which includes works reunited for the first time since the 17th century.
As two Belfast-based arts institutions - the arts complex The MAC and the Ulster Orchestra - receive emergency funding after financial problems put them at risk, the BBC's Northern Ireland Arts Correspondent, Robbie Meredith, discusses the current state of arts funding in Northern Ireland.
Presenter: Alex Clark
Producer: Jerome Weatherald.
Eduardo Paolozzi, Self-publishing, Neil Gaiman
John Wilson explores the work of the artist Eduardo Paolozzi.
John Wilson explores the work of the artist Eduardo Paolozzi, known as the godfather of Pop Art. Neil Gaiman discusses his new book Norse Mythology.
As a major new retrospective of the British artist Eduardo Paolozzi opens, John Wilson explores 'the godfather of Pop Art', with reflections from Paolozzi's friend and collaborator Sir Terence Conran, and the artist himself, from a Front Row interview recorded before his death in 2005.
Neil Gaiman talks about his new book Norse Mythology, as he returns to the original sources to create his own version of the great northern tales.
The Pros and Cons of self-publishing, with literary critic Alex Clark and author Mark Dawson, who left a traditional publishing company to self publish and now regularly tops the best-seller lists.
Presenter: John Wilson
Producer: Timothy Prosser.
David Tennant, second novels, Brits and Oscars - who are they for?
David Tennant on Broadchurch, Britain's favourite second novel and are awards irrelevant?
David Tennant on the final series of Broadchurch. Plus finding the nation's favourite second novel and at Brits and Oscars time, we ask who cares about awards?
David Tennant discusses his return to the Dorset coast in the final series of the ITV crime drama Broadchurch which begins next week. The actor also gives his response to the secrecy surrounding the script of the new series and the challenge he faced not being allowed to know the full storyline before shooting began.
The Royal Society of Literature has launched a vote to find the Nation's Favourite second novel. Chair of Judges Alex Clark explains the challenges of writing a second novel and talks through the list, which ranges from Pride and Prejudice to David Walliams's Mr Stink.
In the middle of awards season, and following controversies around race at both last year's Brits and Oscars, we ask if awards are still relevant and who they're actually for. Film journalist and President of the Critic Circle Anna Smith gives us an insight into the role of a judge, and music commentator Jacqueline Springer discusses whether a wake-up call has been heeded.
Presented by: John Wilson
Produced by: Rebecca Armstrong.
Age gap relationships; Dorthe Nors
Clark talks to award-winning Danish novelist Dorthe Nors.
Alex Clark talks to Karl Geary and Gwendoline Riley, who have both written about a love affair across the generations in their new books, and to Danish writer Dorte Nors.
Alex Clark talks to two novelists - Karl Geary and Gwendoline Riley - who have both written about a love affair across the generations in their new books.
Acclaimed Danish writer Dorthe Nors discusses her new novel Mirror Shoulder Signal, the story of forty-something Sonja who is looking for new directions in life while longing for the wild landscapes of her childhood.
Star baker turned writer Nadiya Hussain on her love of Edward Lear's poetry in The Book I'd Never Lend.
And we explore the mystery of the Icelandic Dracula - Makt Myranna or Powers of Darkness - with the novelist Sjon.
Jo Swinson, Gingerbread, Equal pay, Menopause
Equal power, Single mothers, Pay inequality, the Menopause in literature.
How can women achieve equal power? 100 years of Gingerbread, gender equality in the workplace and why do so few women in novels experience the menopause?
Lib Dem deputy party leader Jo Swinson discusses her take on gender inequality - why it is so stubbornly persistent, why she thinks power still remains in the hands of men across society, and what you can do to bring about change.
How has being a single parent changed over the last 100 years? In 1918 The National Council for the Unmarried Mother and her Child was created and now in 2018, under the name Gingerbread, they still provide support for single parent families in England and Wales. Jenni talks to Gingerbread's Chief Executive Rosie Ferguson and two single mothers, Sacha Corcoran and Ayse Inal, about their experiences.
Maria Miller Chair of the Women and Equalities Select Committee and Sam Smethers the Chief Executive of the Fawcett Society talk to Jane Martinson about equal pay and gender equality in the workplace.
Literary critic Alex Clark has been hunting for the menopause in fiction. Where are hot flushes, brain fogs and anxiety in literature? The mid-life crisis is a staple in novels but why is the menopause missing and does it matter?
Presenter: Jenni Murray
Producer: Rebecca Myatt.