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Sarah Hall/Hugh Pym/Speed Dating with a Thinker

45 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 25 February 2010

A programme of highlights from Radio 3's Free Thinking festival of ideas.

The damaging flooding of Cumbrian towns and landscapes has been a repeated crisis in recent years. It's a topic that pre-occupies the Cumbrian writer Sarah Hall, who is being tipped as one of the most interesting up and coming novelists of her generation. She was long-listed for the Man Booker Prize last year for her latest novel about the creative process and the human condition, How to Paint a Dead Man. Her previous books The Electric Michelangelo - about a tattoo artist - and The Carhullan Army - about a flooded post-apocalyptic Britain - have both been multi prize-winning successes and gained her international critical acclaim as one of British fiction's most vibrant new voices.

As part of Radio 3's Free Thinking festival of ideas at the Sage Gateshead, she talks to Ian McMillan about the sources of her work, including the native Cumbrian landscape where her work is often set, and her interest in the visual arts - from painting to tattoos. And she meets members of New Writing North's network of book clubs in a wide ranging and lively conversation about her novels.

We also hear from the BBC's Chief Economics Correspondent Hugh Pym, who looks at the story of the credit crunch and tried to understand what happened in the past and to examine the possibilities for the future.

And we also hear from Free Thinking's ever popular speed-dating with a thinker, where thinkers vie with each other to offer the Free Thinking audience the most alluring ideas.

  • How to Paint a Dead Man

    Sarah Hall's novel How to Paint a Dead Man is published by Faber.


Free Thinking

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