Sebastian Faulks

Listen in pop-out player

Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the writer Sebastian Faulks. He is best known for his novel Birdsong, which told in shocking detail the misery of life in the Flanders trenches. It was published with little fanfare or glossy advertising and failed to win any major awards - but it became a literary phenomenon and a huge best-seller. He was inspired to write it after visiting the battlefields of the Western Front with some veterans of World War I. One old soldier held onto Sebastian's hand and recalled seeing his friend killed next to him and, for the first time for him, Sebastian says, the war emerged from the history books into real, tangible human experience. He concedes that he still struggles to get to grips with much of life. Writers, he says, are often trying to impose a structure on a world that they find generally baffling.

Favourite track: Miles by Miles Davis
Book: Remembrance of Things Past (Proust) by CK Scott Moncrieff (transl.)
Luxury: A wicket, cricket bat, net, an endless supply of balls and a bowling machine that can be set to replicate the style of any bowler

Release date:

Available now

45 minutes

Last on

Fri 3 Apr 2009 09:00

Credits

Role Contributor
PresenterKirsty Young
Interviewed GuestSebastian Faulks

Featured in...

Call 0800 082 82 84 to donate to the Radio 4 Christmas Appeal

Donate Now

Thank you. Your help changes the lives of homeless and vulnerable people across the UK

Desert Island Dishes: 11 life lessons from culinary castaways

Culinary Castaways V2

Ottolenghi, Nigella, Jamie, and more great chefs talk about love, dreams and cream cakes.