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Dave Pelzer, Les Miserables, and Items Found in Books

30 minutes
First broadcast:
Sunday 22 June 2008

Dave Pelzer
Dave Pelzer’s A Child Called It revolutionised the art of memoir when it was published in 1995, with its horrific tale of the abuse Pelzer suffered at the hands of his mother. Having launched a new literary genre, commonly called ‘mis lit’, Dave Pelzer has gone on to work as a counsellor and have a family of his own. Mariella asks him how his past has affected his life, and how he feels about the rash of similar books that have been published since.

The Reading Clinic
Which books can parents give to their teenagers to wean them off children’s authors and on to adult fiction? Anne McElvoy, executive editor of the Evening Standard, answers this listener’s query.

Les Miserables
At 1200 pages, Les Miserables by Victor Hugo is one of the longest novels in the European canon. Novelist Adam Thirlwell has written an introduction to a new translation of the book, and he tells Mariella why it is worth embarking upon this classic adventure tale set in nineteenth-century Paris.

Items Found In Books
Richard Davies of Abe Books joins Mariella to describe some of the more exotic items that have been found in second-hand books.


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