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Backlisted

Backlisted

The literary podcast presented by John Mitchinson and Andy Miller. Brought to you by Unbound. Visit www.backlisted.fm

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Deadwood by Pete Dexter

Authors Shawn Levy (A Year in the Life of Death, Rat Pack Confidential) and Erica Wagner (Chief Engineer, Gravity) join us to discuss US writer Pete Dexter's second novel Deadwood (1986), described by the Washington Post on publication as 'maybe the best Western ever written'. In addition to enjoying this unpredictable and uproarious historical novel, we investigate the differences - and notable similarities - between Dexter's work and the classic TV series of the same name that followed a decade later. Also this week, John has been reading Katherine May's life-affirming memoir, The Electricity of Every Living Thing, while Andy pays tribute to Nina Simone's Gum by musician Warren Ellis, a book that asks profound questions about what it means to be divine. For more information visit backlisted.fm. Please support us and unlock bonus material at https://www.patreon.com/backlisted.
2021-12-13
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The Godwits Fly by Robin Hyde

Our guest is author Paula Morris, who joins us from Auckland to discuss the novel The Godwits Fly (1938) and the life of its author Iris Wilkinson AKA Robin Hyde. In recent years, Iris Wilkinson's writing has been rediscovered and restored to the canon of New Zealand literature, where it occupies a place alongside Katherine Mansfield's; The Godwits Fly is her highly autobiographical novel spanning the years 1910-28. Also this week, John has been captivated by Neurotribes, Steve Silberman's fascinating study of neurodiversity, while Andy revels in the forensic detail of Glenn Frankel's new book Shooting Midnight Cowboy: Art, Sex, Loneliness, Liberation, and the Making of a Dark Classic. For more information visit backlisted.fm. Please support us and unlock bonus material at https://www.patreon.com/backlisted. This episode wouldn't have happened without Rachael King or WORD Christchurch Festival: https://wordchristchurch.co.nz. Thanks Rachael!
2021-11-29
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Notes from Under the Floorboards AKA Notes from Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Welcome to the 150th episode of Backlisted! To mark the occasion we are joined by authors Alex Christofi (Dostoevsky in Love) and Arifa Akbar (Consumed: A Sister's Story) for a discussion of one of Russia's greatest writers Fyodor Dostoevsky, who was born in Moscow on November 11 1821, 200 years ago this month. We concentrate on his pioneering novella Notes From Under the Floorboards AKA Notes From Underground (1864) and consider its impact and continuing relevance to modern life. Also in this episode John enjoys Dark Neighbourhood (Fitzcarraldo), the debut collection of stories by Vanessa Onwuemezi; and, having let it settled for a few months, Andy unveils his favourite novel of the year, Gwendoline Riley's My Phantoms (Granta). For more information visit backlisted.fm Please support us and unlock bonus material at https://www.patreon.com/backlisted.
2021-11-15
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Treacle Walker by Alan Garner

This is a Backlisted special, recorded at the Bodleian Library in Oxford to celebrate the publication of Treacle Walker the new novel by Alan Garner (Fourth Estate). The panel discussion features Erica Wagner, writer and critic and editor of First Light, an anthology of pieces about Alan Garner?s work; Dr Melanie Giles, archaeologist and the author of Bog Bodies, the definitive account of the phenomenon which plays a significant role in the book?s story; and Professor Bob Cywinski, physicist, whose conversations with Alan Garner about time, landscape and local legend provided the inspiration for the novel.
2021-11-08
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Something in Disguise by Elizabeth Jane Howard

For this year's Hallowe'en special we're joined by Backlisted's old fiends Andrew Male and Laura Varnam, following previous guest appearances on episodes dedicated to Beowulf (2020) and Daphne du Maurier's The Breaking Point (2019). Together we explore the work of the novelist Elizabeth Jane Howard, specifically her ghost stories, tales of horror and accounts of psychological terror: Something in Disguise (1969), Odd Girl Out (1972), Mr Wrong (1975), Falling (1999), and We Are For the Dark (1951), the volume of strange stories she co-authored with previous Backlisted subject Robert Aickman. NB. THIS EPISODE IS PACKED WITH SPOILERS and you may wish to read Something in Disguise before you listen to the podcast. Also this week, Andy is gripped by Heike Gessler's Seasonal Associate (Semiotext), the novelist's account of working in Amazon's warehouse in Leipzig, while John enjoys being unsettled by Women's Weird: Strange Stories by Women, 1980-1940, edited by Melissa Edmundson, the first in a series of 'Weird' anthologies published by Handheld Press. For more information visit backlisted.fm. Please support us and unlock bonus material at https://www.patreon.com/backlisted.
2021-10-31
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Cassandra at the Wedding by Dorothy Baker

Our guests are publisher Alexandra Pringle and Simon Thomas, editor and co-host of the Tea or Books? podcast. They are here to discuss Cassandra at the Wedding, the fourth and final novel by Dorothy Baker, first published in 1962 by Houghton Mifflin in the USA and Victor Gollancz in the UK. What is it about this darkly funny tale of two devoted sisters that continues to appeal to generations of readers? Also in this episode John enjoys Notes from an Island by Tove Jansson and Tuulikki Pietila, newly reissued by Sort Of Books, while Andy returns to early 1980s London via Michael Bracewell's new book Souvenir (White Rabbit). For more information visit backlisted.fm. Please support us and unlock bonus material at https://www.patreon.com/backlisted.
2021-10-18
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The Dream Songs by John Berryman

Joining us on Backlisted this week is novelist and memoirist Susie Boyt (My Judy Garland Life, Loved and Missed). The book Susie has chosen for us to discuss is The Dream Songs (1969) by John Berryman, the publication of which briefly made its author the most famous poet in America but also, unfortunately, hastened his decline and ruin. But the work shines on. Also in this episode Andy is struck by the contemporary resonance of Vivian Gornick's The Romance of American Communism while John drinks in Public House: A Cultural and Social History of the London Pub edited by David Knight and Cristina Monteiro. Please note, this episode contains references to suicide.
2021-10-04
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Elizabeth Costello by J.M. Coetzee

We are joined by novelist Mary Costello for a special episode recorded live at Galway International Arts Festival in Ireland on September 10th 2021. The book we're debating is Elizabeth Costello (2003) by South-African born Nobel Laureate J.M. Coetzee, a novel that politely asks the reader to consider, amongst other matters, animal rights, the power of faith and the limits of fiction itself. Also in this episode, new books by two Irish authors: Sally Rooney's novel Beautiful World, Where Are You and John Moriarty?s The Hut at the Edge of the Village, a collection edited by Martin Shaw and published by the Lilliput Press.
2021-09-20
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Summer Reading 2021

It?s time for our annual look at what we?ve been reading over the summer break. John, Andy and Nicky discuss David Keenan?s fourth novel Monument Maker; Open Water, a promising debut novella from Caleb Azumah Nelson; Deborah Levy?s three-volume ?living autobiography?, Things I Don?t Want to Know, The Cost of Living and Real Estate; a reissue of Percival Everett?s satirical diatribe Erasure; Life With a Capital L, Geoff Dyer?s selection of essays by D.H. Lawrence; and Vivian Gornick?s The End of the Novel of Love and Unfinished Business, in which the author re-reads favourite classic books and comes to fresh conclusions about them. All these titles can be purchased from the Backlisted bookshop at https://uk.bookshop.org/shop/backlisted.
2021-09-06
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Fat City by Leonard Gardner

Perhaps the greatest boxing novel ever written, Leonard Gardner's Fat City was first published in 1969; it was shortlisted for the National Book Award; Joan Didion and Denis Johnson are amongst those who have sung its praises. The book was made into a film in 1972 starring Stacy Keach and Jeff Bridges, directed by John Huston from a screenplay by Gardner himself. In this episode Andy, John and Nicky explore both the novel and the film and the ways in which Gardner shows the reader the whole of a society through the prism of sport. We also hear from the author as to why he has never published another novel. Plus in this episode John reignites his love of D.H. Lawrence with Frances Wilson's acclaimed new biography Burning Man, while Andy shares an extract from Leonora Carrington's magical novel The Hearing Trumpet, read by actress Siân Phillips.
2021-08-05
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Heart of the Original By Steve Aylett

Joining us on Backlisted this week is writer John Higgs, whose fascinating new book William Blake Vs The World is out now. We were thrilled John chose Steve Aylett's guide to originality, creativity and individuality, Heart of the Original, first published by Unbound in 2015 and as original, creative and individual a book as we have ever featured on this podcast; be prepared to experience a "small-particle tulpa storm" of ideas. Also in this episode, John enjoys the waspish melancholy of Elizabeth Hardwick's Sleepless Nights, while Andy introduces a reading from Black Teacher by Beryl Gilroy, a trailblazing Guyanese woman's memoir of post-war London.
2021-07-19
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In a Lonely Place by Dorothy B. Hughes

Returning to Backlisted this week are literary agents Becky Brown and Norah Perkins, joint custodians of the Curtis Brown Heritage list of literary estates and previously our guests on episode #109, Excellent Women by Barbara Pym. This time we are discussing the work of crime novelist Dorothy B. Hughes and in particular her suspenseful and subversive novel In a Lonely Place (1947), freely adapted as a classic film noir by director Nicholas Ray and starring Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Grahame. Also in this episode Norah and Becky pitch titles by Kay Dick, Stella Gibbons and R.C. Sherriff to Andy, John and Nicky. Make sure you have a pen and paper to hand...
2021-07-05
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Are You Somebody? by Nuala O'Faolain

Joining John and Andy this week is novelist and host of the books podcast Sentimental Garbage, Caroline O'Donoghue (Promising Young Women, Scenes of a Graphic Nature, All Our Hidden Gifts). We are discussing Nuala O'Faolain's revelatory memoir Are You Somebody? (1996), the original publication of which caused a sensation in her native Ireland. The book went on to top the New York Times bestseller list for six weeks; it still has the power to astonish. Also in this episode Andy has been exploring John Higgs's new book William Blake Vs The World and John is moved by Consumed: A Sister's Tale, the family memoir of Arifa Akbar, a former guest on Backlisted.
2021-06-21
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A Goat's Song by Dermot Healy

Joining John and Andy this week are novelist Patrick McCabe (The Butcher Boy, Breakfast on Pluto, Winterwood) and Unbound's editor-at-large Rachael Kerr. We got together to discuss Dermot Healy's remarkable second novel A Goat's Song (1994) and the peripatetic life of its author, one of the great Irish writers of recent times. Patrick, Rachael and John all knew, worked and occasionally drank with Dermot Healy and this special episode reflects their personal connections with a much-loved and much-missed man. Also in this edition Andy considers the most recent novel of another legendary Irish writer, Girl by Edna O'Brien; while John shares his admiration for Shola Von Reinhold's Lote, winner of the Republic of Consciousness Prize for Small Presses 2021.
2021-06-07
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The Evenings by Gerard Reve

Joining John and Andy this week are novelist Marie Phillips (Gods Behaving Badly, Oh, I Do Like To Be...) and novelist, screenwriter and poet Joe Dunthorne (Submarine, O Positive). The book we are discussing is Gerard Reve's debut novel De Avonden AKA The Evenings, which caused a sensation when published in the Netherlands in 1947 and is now considered a classic. In the words of Herman Koch, it may be 'the funniest, most exhilarating novel about boredom ever written'. Reve was only 24; he went on to have a long, successful and frequently scandalous career but only a handful of his books have been translated into English. Also in this episode John digs Bella Bathurst's new book Field Work: What Land Does to People & What People Do to Land and Andy surveys Landscapes of Detectorists and discovers prose to treasure.
2021-05-24
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The Plague and I by Betty MacDonald

Joining John and Andy this week are Natasha McEnroe, the Keeper of Medicine at the Science Museum in London, and novelist Lissa Evans, Backlisted's old friend and the show's Original Guest, both of whom are Betty MacDonald superfans. The Plague and I (1948) is the author's unflinching and hilarious memoir of the nine months she spent as a patient at a TB sanatorium in the Pacific North West of America. We discuss this book and the eventful life of its million-selling author (The Egg and I, Anybody Can Do Anything, Onions in the Stew), are exposed to a selection of TB-related public information films and music, and there is even a 'communicable disease in literature' quiz. Also in this episode Andy is grabbed by Mr Bowling Buys a Newspaper (1943) by Donald Henderson, reputedly Raymond Chandler's favourite crime novel; while John has been enjoying Olivette Otele's recently published history African Europeans, which traces a long African European heritage via the lives of individuals both ordinary and extraordinary.
2021-05-10
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The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman by Laurence Sterne

The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman AKA Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne is the subject of this years-in-the-making episode of Backlisted. Published in nine volumes between 1759 and 1767, Sterne's cock and bull story has entertained, baffled, enchanted, infuriated and inspired readers ever since; needless to say, at Backlisted we love it. Joining John and Andy to celebrate this great, hilarious, digressive novel - or is it a series of great, hilarious, digressive novels? - are award-winning children's author Katherine Rundell and our friend Frank Cottrell-Boyce, who adapted Tristram Shandy for the big screen in 2005 as A Cock and Bull Story. As a bonus, you'll hear Steve Coogan, the star of that film, read from the book(s) - exclusively for Backlisted listeners. Also in this episode, Andy enjoys a "relentless excursion into style" with Fun in a Chinese Laundry (1965), the autobiography of film director Josef von Sternberg; while John takes a sounding of Jennifer Lucy Allan's fascinating new book The Foghorn's Lament. 992462
2021-04-26
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Água Viva by Clarice Lispector

Clarice Lispector's Água Viva is the subject of this episode of Backlisted. Like several of Lispector's remarkable novels, this slim book caused a sensation when first published in her native Brazil in 1973. Exquisitely written and daringly abstract, it stands as one of its author's masterpieces with Near to the Wild Heart (1943), Family Ties(1960), The Passion According to G.H. (1964) and The Hour of the Star (1977). Joining John and Andy to explore this truly iconic author's life and work are writers Wendy Erskine and David Keenan. Also in this episode, John has been reading Peter Blegvad's recent book Imagine, Observe, Remember, "a way to look at different ways of looking and seeing"; Andy, meanwhile, digs Excavate! The Wonderful and Frightening World of The Fall, a new anthology of essays, artwork and ephemera edited by Tessa Norton and Bob Stanley.
2021-04-12
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The Fish Can Sing by Halldór Laxness

The Fish Can Sing by Halldór Laxness is the subject of this episode. The book was first published in Iceland as Brekkukotsannáll in 1957, two years after Laxness was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. Joining John and Andy to discuss this ideosyncratic, unforgettable novel and the remarkable life of its author - spanning nearly all of the twentieth century - is author, poet and podcaster Derek Owusu. Also in this episode, John delves into Brian Dillon's new book Suppose A Sentence, while Andy reads A Chelsea Concerto, Frances Faviell's memoir of life during the London Blitz.
2021-04-01
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Daddy's Gone A-Hunting by Penelope Mortimer

Penelope Mortimer's fourth novel Daddy's Gone A-Hunting (1958) is the subject of this episode of Backlisted. Joining John and Andy to discuss Mortimer's fearless and pioneering autobiographical fiction, including this book, Saturday Lunch With The Brownings (1960) and The Pumpkin Eater (1962), plus the latter's subsequent film adaptation, are critic and broadcaster Lucy Scholes and New York Times daily books editor John Williams. Also in this episode John enjoys Brown Baby, the new memoir by Nikesh Shukla; and Andy takes a break with Always A Welcome: The Glove Compartment History Of The Motorway Service Area by David Lawrence.
2021-03-15
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Miss Pym Disposes by Josephine Tey

Josephine Tey's classic mystery Miss Pym Disposes (1946) is the subject of this special episode of Backlisted, recorded as part of Aberdeen's Granite Noir festival on February 19th 2021. Joining John and Andy to explore the life and career of Josephine Tey AKA Gordon Daviot AKA Elizabeth MacKintosh (her real name) is Val McDermind, bestselling author and Tey's fellow Queen of Crime. Tey was the author of a series of highly successful novels, and film and TV adaptations, including Brat Farrar, The Franchise Affair and The Daughter of Time, yet she remains something of an enigma. As you'll hear, we thoroughly enjoyed immersing ourselves in her work and learning more about her from Val. Please note: this audio version of the podcast is longer and contains more material than the Granite Noir video webcast. If you would like to watch the original, it's currently available via the Granite Noir website or on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omuqekhpM8A.
2021-03-01
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Job: The Story of a Simple Man by Joseph Roth

Joseph Roth's Job: The Story of a Simple Man (1930) is the subject of this episode of Backlisted. Joining John and Andy to explore this austere and powerful novel, first published in German as Hiob: Roman eines einfachen Mannes, are Keiron Pim, whose much-anticipated biography of Joseph Roth will be published in 2022, and a returning Backlisted guest, bibliomemoirist and playwright Samantha Ellis. Roth was a prolific yet enigmatic writer - his other books include The Radetzky March and The Legend of the Holy Drinker - and this episode takes a long, considered look at his (often chaotic) life and work, and where Job fits into both. Also in this episode, Andy shares a reading by Salena Godden from her acclaimed new novel Mrs Death Misses Death, while John is beguiled by the fragmented visions of Max Porter's The Death of Francis Bacon.
2021-02-15
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Locklisted: Teenage Books Special

This Locklisted episode is the sequel to our earlier Children's Books Special. It was recorded in August 2020 and was previously available exclusively to supporters of our Patreon at patreon.com/backlisted. This time we cover our teenage years and the tricky transition into ?adult? readers. Much of the conversation is dominated by of our re-reading of The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, but you also get John falling for James Joyce at seventeen (via Wilbur Smith), Nicky moving from Puffin Plus to Douglas Coupland, a digression on the horror novels of Stephen King and James Herbert and a haunting reading by Andy from Graham Greene. Backlisted is entirely funded by the contributions of our Patreons - many thanks to them! If you would like to hear all past episodes of Locklisted and support Backlisted in the process, please sign up as a Locklistener or Master Storyteller at patreon.com/backlisted.
2021-02-08
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Karoo by Steve Tesich

Karoo (1998), a posthumously-published cult novel by screenwriter and playwright Steve Tesich is the subject of this episode of Backlisted. Joining John and Andy to analyse this dark and hilarious tale of a Hollywood script doctor's apocalyptic decline and fall are journalist and podcaster Sali Hughes and novelist John Niven (who previously guested on Backlisted ep. 09 discussing Martin Amis's The Information). Also in this episode, John enjoys This Sporting Life: Sport and Liberty in England, 1760-1960 by Robert Colls, a social history of the English and their relationship to sport. Andy, meanwhile, has been reading Unquiet Landscape, Christopher Neve's recently-republished study of the English imagination in 20th-century landscape painting.
2021-02-01
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The Bloater by Rosemary Tonks

Rosemary Tonks is the subject of this episode of Backlisted. Our starting point is her fascinating third novel The Bloater (1968) - which is long out of print, unfortunately - but we also discuss her remarkable poetry, her friendship with Delia Derbyshire of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, her eccentric career in fiction, radio and theatre, and her gradual retreat from the world. Joining John and Andy to discover more about this unique and enigmatic writer are two of Tonks's admirers, author and critic Jennifer Hodgson and the comedian Stewart Lee. Also in this episode Andy replenishes his enthusiasm for Elizabeth Taylor with her (bizarrely underrated) novel The Wedding Group (1968), while John shines a light on Andy Charman's Crow Court, a new novel of short stories set in Wimborne Minster, Dorset, in the 19th century, published by Unbound.
2021-01-18
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Locklisted: Children's Books Special, Part One

This Locklisted special on children's books was recorded in August 2020 and was previously available exclusively to supporters of our Patreon at patreon.com/backlisted. Join us on a journey through time and space as John, Andy and Nicky discuss the books they loved as children (so actually no pubs were involved or even mentioned on this occasion). The discussion covers the importance of libraries, the Proustian aroma of parquet flooring, the challenges of the display spinner, the significance of the Puffin Club, the utility of book tokens and the joys of early audio books. The books mentioned make for an eclectic mix and include Emil and the Detectives by Erich Kästner, The Eighteenth Emergency by Betsy Byars, the Hitchhikers series by Douglas Adams, I-Spy books, the epic sweep of Sweet Valley High, Great Northern by Arthur Ransome, The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne, the audiobook of The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (as read by Glenda Jackson), the audiobook of Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild, The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper, comics such as Mandy and Look-in, the sublime Peanuts collections by Charles M. Schulz and last but definitely not least, Doctor Who and the Cave Monsters by Malcolm Hulke. We so enjoyed making this episode that we recorded a sequel on our favourite teenage reading, which will be shared here soon. Backlisted is entirely funded by the contributions of our Patreons - many thanks to them! If you would like to hear all past episodes of Locklisted and support Backlisted in the process, please sign up as a Locklistener or Master Storyteller at patreon.com/backlisted.
2021-01-11
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The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper

Susan Cooper's magical novel The Dark Is Rising (1973) is the subject of a bumper Christmas special episode of Backlisted. Joining John and Andy to discuss this classic winter solstice read, and the four other books that make up the Dark Is Rising sequence, are writer Robert Macfarlane and writer and illustrator Jackie Morris, co-authors of The Lost Words and The Lost Spells and fellow Susan Cooper devotees. And because it is Christmas, John also talks about a beautiful ice-and-snow bound story from the Chuckchi people of the Bering Sea, When the Whales Leave by Yuri Rytkheu, and Andy reads The Tree Room, a poem from Caroline Bird's new collection The Air Year that seems to sum up the spirit of Christmas 2020. Wherever this podcast finds you in the world, Merry Christmas from us all. When the dark comes rising, six shall turn it back...
2020-12-25
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The Victorian Chaise-longue by Marghanita Laski

The Victorian Chaise-longue (1953) is a terrifying short novel by the writer, broadcaster and lexicographer Marghanita Laski. Joining Andy and John is the novelist Eley Williams, author of the awarding winning Attrib. and Other Stories and this year?s wonderful novel of mendacious lexicography, The Liar?s Dictionary. The episode also features Andy?s report back from the summit of Thomas Mann?s The Magic Mountain and John excavates an old Puffin anthology called Authors? Choice which contains ?The Tower? (1955), another deeply unsettling story by Marghanita Laski story, chosen and introduced by Alan Garner.
2020-12-07
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The Compleet Molesworth by Geoffrey Willans & Ronald Searle

The Compleet Molesworth (1958) by Geoffrey Willans and Ronald Searle is the beloved book we're celebrating in this special fifth birthday episode of Backlisted cheers cheers. Joining John and Andy to discuss some of the funniest and most influential fictional creations of the 20th century - Nigel Molesworth, Basil Fotherington-Thomas ect ect ect - are satirical cartoonist and writer Martin Rowson and the novelist Lissa Evans, who as any fule kno was our guest on the very first episode of Backlisted in 2015. Also in this episode John contemplates The Sea View Has Me Again: Uwe Johnson in Sheerness by Patrick Wright and Andy is enchanted by Piranesi, Susanna Clarke's long-delayed second novel, her first being the bestselling Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell.
2020-11-23
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Doctor Who and the Brain of Morbius by Terrance Dicks

Doctor Who and the Brain of Morbius (1977) by Terrance Dicks is the much-loved book featured in this episode of Backlisted. Joining John and Andy to discuss the life and career of a hugely influential and prolific author - and the history of the Target novelisations of Doctor Who stories, which between them are estimated to have sold over 13m copies - are two writers who are both enthusiastic fans and bona fide experts: broadcaster Matthew Sweet and returning guest Una McCormack. We also take a look at The Gifts of Reading, the recently-published anthology to which Andy has contributed a memoir (on Terrance Dicks), alongside new essays from Philip Pullman, Robert Macfarlane, Candice Carty-Williams, S.F. Said and more, proceeds from which go to the international literacy charity Room To Read.
2020-11-09
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Beowulf

It's our Hallowe'en special ! For this year?s Hallowe?en episode our subject is the Old English poem, Beowulf, composed somewhere in England more than a thousand years ago. The atmospheric tale of supernatural monsters and human heroes has inspired scores of translations over the centuries and we will discuss several, including versions by Seamus Heaney, J.R.R. Tolkien, Michael Morpurgo and the powerful new translation by Maria Dahvana Headley (the 2007 computer-animated film adaptation by Robert Zemeckis and Neil Gaiman also makes an appearance). Andy and John are joined by regular Backlisted Hallowe?en guest Andrew Male, the senior associate editor of MOJO magazine, and Dr Laura Varnam, who first appeared on our last Hallowe?en episode to discuss Daphne Du Maurier?s collection, The Breaking Point. As well as being a Du Maurier expert, Laura is also the Lecturer in Old and Middle English Literature at University College, Oxford and teaches Beowulf to undergraduates. Before that, to put everyone in a suitably spooky mood, we all discuss stories taken from Robert Shearman?s remarkable experiment in storytelling, We All Hear Stories in the Dark.
2020-10-26
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Silence by Sh?saku End?

Silence (1966) is Sh?saku End??s masterpiece, a novel set in 17th Japan, following two Portuguese Jesuits posted there to search for their former teacher, who is feared to have abandoned his faith. Joining John and Andy to discuss this intense and powerful exploration of religious belief and its limits is the novelist Sarah Perry, author of The Essex Serpent, Melmoth and, most recently, Essex Girls. Also in this episode John enjoys The Appointment, a mordantly funny debut novel by literary agent, Katharina Volckmer and Andy wallows in the profound comedic achievement that is From the Oasthouse: The Alan Partridge Podcast.
2020-10-12
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The Odd Women By George Gissing

George Gissing's The Odd Women (1893) is the groundbreaking book featured in this episode of Backlisted. Joining John and Andy to discuss this fascinating, proto-feminist novel - and the incident-packed life of its prolific author - are novelist and biographer Janet Todd and the professor of Victorian literature at the University of Durham, Simon James. Also in this episode Andy has been reading The Shapeless Unease: A Year of Not Sleeping by Samantha Harvey; and John enjoys A Musical Offering, a suite of stories about music by the Argentine writer Luis Sagasti.
2020-09-28
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Thérèse Raquin by Émile Zola

Thérèse Raquin (1868), the third novel by French writer Émile Zola, is the book featured in this episode of Backlisted. Joining John and Andy to discuss the sensational and still shocking founding text of Naturalism are the novelists Rachel Joyce and Andrew O'Hagan. Also in this episode John has been reading Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano?s Memory of Fire trilogy, while Andy takes a tour of the National Portrait Gallery's cancelled Cecil Beaton exhibition with Cecil Beaton's Bright Young Things by Robin Muir.
2020-09-14
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I, Lalla: The Poems of Lal D?d

I, Lalla: The Poems of Lal D?d, translated by Ranjit Hoskote, is the subject of this episode of Backlisted. Joining John and Andy to discuss this modern rendering of the poetry (or 'vakhs') of the 14th-century Kashmiri saint and mystic poet Lal D?d (Mother Lalla), also known as Lalla or Lalleshwari, is the writer, dancer and poet Tishani Doshi. In addition John has been reading Hurricane Season, the acclaimed novel by the Mexican author Fernanda Melchor, while Andy discusses Summer by Ali Smith, the final instalment of her seasonal quartet.
2020-08-31
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Summer Reading 2020

It's a summer reading episode of Backlisted. We are showcasing books John, Andy and the show's producer Nicky have been reading during lockdown. These include A Helping Hand by Celia Dale; A Small Place by Jamaica Kincaid; A Boy in the Water by Tom Gregory; The Anthill by Julianne Pachico; That Reminds Me by Derek Owusu; The Ice Palace by Tarjei Vesaas; and English Climate: Wartime Stories by Sylvia Townsend Warner. This episode features both newly recorded material and also excerpts from Locklisted, the bonus podcast available exclusively to our Patreon supporters. Please visit patreon.com/backlisted for further details.
2020-08-17
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The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James

William James's The Varieties of Religious Experience (1902) is the groundbreaking book featured in this episode of Backlisted. Joining John and Andy to discuss this influential study of philosophy, psychology and faith - and the life and beliefs of its author, whose younger brother was the novelist Henry James - is John Williams, daily books editor and a staff writer at the New York Times.
2020-08-03
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How to Cook a Wolf by M.F.K. Fisher

How to Cook a Wolf (1942) by the inimitable M.F.K. Fisher is the book featured in this episode of Backlisted. Joining John and Andy to heed this call to culinary arms, written at a time of national crisis and thus exceptionally relevant to 2020, are journalist and food writer Felicity Cloake and author and adventurer Dan Richards. Also in this episode John has been delving into the backlist of Booker-winning novelist Bernardine Evaristo with The Emperor's Babe (2001), while Andy enjoys Barry England's existential thriller Figures in a Landscape, shortlisted for the very first Booker Prize in 1969.
2020-07-20
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The Diary of a Nobody by George and Weedon Grossmith

The Diary of a Nobody (1892) by George and Weedon Grossmith is the book featured in this episode of Backlisted. Joining John and Andy to celebrate this touching and funny classic of suburban manners, first published in 1892 and never out of print since, are writer and critic Laura Cumming and novelist and Grossmith expert E.O. Higgins. Also in this episode Andy has been on an imaginary pub crawl round The Local by Maurice Gorham and Edward Ardizzone, while John has been enjoying Percival Everett's 2009 novel I Am Not Sidney Poitier, newly published in the UK by Influx Press.
2020-07-06
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The Inheritors by William Golding

William Golding's second novel The Inheritors (1955) is the book featured in this episode of Backlisted. Joining John and Andy to explore this intense, visionary account of the fall of Neanderthal man, published just a year after Lord of the Flies, are two returning Backlisted guests, SF novelist Una McCormack and writer and critic Andrew Male. Also in this episode Andy has been reading Square Haunting by Francesca Wade, while John talks about Staying Human, a forthcoming poetry anthology from Bloodaxe Books.
2020-06-22
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The Constant Nymph by Margaret Kennedy

Margaret Kennedy's bestselling novel The Constant Nymph (1924) is the book featured in this episode of Backlisted. Joining John and Andy to discuss this tale of romance, passion and bohemianism - and the chequered career of its author - is publisher Alexandra Pringle. Please note: some aspects of this novel will be shocking to modern readers; meaningful discussion would be both difficult and limited without reference to them. Also in this episode Andy has been enjoying Romantic Moderns by Alexandra Harris, while John explores The Order of Time by Carlo Rovelli.
2020-06-08
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Frost in May by Antonia White

Antonia White's debut novel Frost in May(1933) is the book under discussion in this episode of Backlisted. Joining John and Andy to discuss this powerful story of religion and adolescence - and the troubled life of its author - are writer Laura Thompson and critic and novelist Erica Wagner. Also in this episode Andy has been enjoying the book John Piper's Brighton Aquatints, while John is captivated by photographic anthology Once a Year by Homer Sykes.
2020-05-25
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The World According to Garp by John Irving

John Irving's fourth novel The World According to Garp (1978) is the subject of this episode of Backlisted. Joining John and Andy to explore this unlikely bestseller and discuss its contemporary relevance are author Nikita Lalwani (You People) and novelist and screenwriter Matt Thorne (8 Minutes Idle), both returning to the podcast after their joint appearance on episode #63, Something Happened by Joseph Heller. This week John has also been reading Stones of Aran: Pilgrimage by the late Tim Robinson. And with so many Bob Dylan fans gathered together for the show, it was inevitable talk would turn to the Nobel Prize winner's first new songs for eight years, 'Murder Most Foul' and 'I Contain Multitudes'.
2020-05-11
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The Journal of a Disappointed Man by W.N.P. Barbellion

W.N.P Barbellion's The Journal of a Disappointed Man, first published in 1919, is the subject of this episode of Backlisted. Joining John and Andy to discuss this remarkable book are novelist Claire Fuller and nature writer Will Atkins. In addition, John has been reading The Oxford Companion to Food by Alan Davidson while Andy talks about Nikita Lalwani's new novel You People.
2020-04-27
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Excellent Women by Barbara Pym

We're back! Barbara Pym's second novel Excellent Women, first published in 1952, is the subject of this episode of Backlisted. Joining John and Andy to discuss it are Pym aficionados and literary agents Becky Brown and Norah Perkins from Curtis Brown Heritage. In addition, John has been reading The Mabinogi by Matthew Francis while Andy and guests rave about two novels, Troy Chimneys by Margaret Kennedy and A Wreath for the Enemy by Pamela Frankau.
2020-04-13
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Locklisted - March 27th 2020

Locklisted is John Mitchinson and Andy Miller, the hosts of Backlisted, and their producer Nicky Birch, chatting about books, films, TV, music etc. and generally giving new life to old pubs. It was recorded on March 27th 2020. For obvious reasons we weren't actually in the pub this time and used the Internet and various laptops HOPE THAT'S OK WITH YOU. NB. This is not an episode of Backlisted; think of it as a spin-off or a bootleg. Backlisted returns in April 2020.
2020-03-31
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Locklisted - March 20th 2020

Locklisted is John Mitchinson and Andy Miller, the hosts of Backlisted, and their producer Nicky Birch, chatting about books, films, TV, music etc. and generally giving new life to old pubs. It was recorded on March 20th 2020. For obvious reasons we weren't actually in the pub this time and used the Internet and various laptops HOPE THAT'S OK WITH YOU. NB. This is not an episode of Backlisted; think of it as a spin-off or a bootleg. Backlisted returns in April 2020.
2020-03-23
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Locklisted - Feb 28th 2020

Locklisted is John Mitchinson and Andy Miller, the hosts of Backlisted, and their producer Nicky Birch, chatting about books, films, TV, music etc. and generally giving new life to old pubs. It was recorded round the corner from The Wenlock Arms, a pub in North London, on February 28th 2020, rather than actually in the pub this time HOPE THAT'S OK WITH YOU. NB. This is not an episode of Backlisted; think of it as a spin-off or a bootleg. Backlisted returns in spring 2020.
2020-03-02
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Locklisted - Jan 17th 2020

Locklisted is John Mitchinson and Andy Miller, the hosts of Backlisted, and their producer Nicky Birch, chatting about books, films, TV, music etc. and generally giving new life to old pubs. It was recorded at The Wenlock Arms, a pub in North London, on January 17th 2020. NB. This is not an episode of Backlisted; think of it as a spin-off or a bootleg. Backlisted returns in spring 2020.
2020-01-27
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A La Recherche du Temps Perdu by Marcel Proust

Marcel Proust's A La Recherche du Temps Perdu AKA In Search of Lost Time is the subject of this bumper Christmas special episode, which was recorded live at the London Library on December 11th 2019. Joining John and Andy are novelist Lissa Evans plus a couple of surprise guests along the way. Other books discussed include Cooking In Ten Minutes by Edouard de Pomiane and Ulysses by James Joyce. Please note: this is the last episode of Backlisted until spring 2020.
2019-12-25
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