Nadifa Mohamed joins James Naughtie and readers to talk about her award-winning novel The Fortune Men. Set in Cardiff in the 1950s, the novel is based on the real-life trial of Mahmood Mattan, a Somali seaman accused of murder. It's a powerful, moving read and a dazzling portrait of a proud, bewildered young man and his life in Cardiff's Tiger Bay.
15 March at 1830 at BBC Broadcasting House, London: Tan Twan Eng will be answering questions about his novel The Garden of Evening Mists.
19 April at 1300 at BBC Broadcasting House, London: Sarah Winman on her novel Tin Man
Email [email protected] to come along.
Cal Flyn: Islands of Abandonment
James Naughtie and a group of readers talk to Cal Flyn about her acclaimed book, Islands of Abandonment, an exploration of places which have been reclaimed by nature. She talks about her travels to Cyprus, the Orkney Islands, First World War battlefields in France, and beyond, chronicling the fightback that plants have staged once humans have left. She reveals why finding hope in even the most desolate places is important to her, and why it's ok to leave lawns unmown.
Our next recordings are both in-person events at BBC Broadcasting House in London.
16 February 2023 at 18.30 Nadifa Mohamed will be answering questions about The Fortune Men.
15 March 2023 at 1830 Tan Twan Eng on The Garden of Evening Mists
To come along and take part, email [email protected]
Ross King: Brunelleschi's Dome
Historian Ross King answers listener questions about his book Brunelleschi's Dome. An incredible story of one man's determination to build an apparently impossible structure, it's a tale of ingenuity, artistic rivalries, and single-minded obsession. Although building had started on Florence's Santa Maria del Fiore in the late thirteenth century, it wasn't until 1418 that local goldsmith Filippo Brunelleschi came up with an audacious way of constructing the magnificent dome, which still dominates the Florence skyline today. But as Brunelleschi's Dome reveals, the architect faced huge obstacles and opposition along the way.
Our next Bookclub recordings:
18/01/23: Cal Flyn will be talking about her book, Islands of Abandonment. 1300 at BBC Broadcasting House, London.
16/02/23: Nadifa Mohamed on The Fortune Men. 1830 at BBC Broadcasting House, London
Email [email protected] to send in a question, or come along.
AJ Pearce: Dear Mrs Bird
James Naughtie is joined by writer A J Pearce and a group of listeners, as she answers their questions about her bestselling novel Dear Mrs Bird. Set in London in the 1940s, it’s the story of Emmy who has ambitions to be an intrepid war reporter, but instead finds herself working as a secretary on the agony aunt pages of an old-fashioned women’s magazine. Her main duty is opening and sorting the post but Emmy just can't resist sharing her opinions...
Dear Mrs Bird is a funny, heart-warming novel which does not shy away from the true horrors of war.
Our next Bookclub recordings:
Ross King, on 8th December. He'll be taking us to Italy with his book Brunelleschi's Dome. To take part, in person or online, email [email protected]
1300 on 18 January at BBC Broadcasting House: Cal Flyn on Islands of Abandonment. email [email protected] to come along
Juan Gabriel Vasquez: The Sound of Things Falling
Juan Gabriel Vasquez answers audience questions about The Sound of Things Falling. Set in Colombia, the novel examines the personal and private impact of the drug wars that ravaged the country during the 1970s, 80s and 90s. It's the story of a strange friendship between two men, Antonio and Ricardo, told through Antonio's eyes. He sets out to investigate his friend's mysterious life, after Ricardo is murdered. The Sound of Things Falling is a powerful read about memory and storytelling, and about the lasting impact of living in a country ruled by violence and criminality.
To take part in Bookclub email [email protected]
24/11/22 A J Pearce answering your questions about her debut Dear Mrs Bird.
08/12/22 Ross King takes us to Italy. He'll be talking about his book Brunelleschi's Dome: The Story of the Great Cathedral in Florence