Rana Mitter talks to veteran travel writer Colin Thubron about his journeys in Tibet.
Rana also reviews the film of Kazuo Ishiguro's novel Never Let Me Go, set in a dystopian Britain where humans clone themselves to create back-ups for their body parts. It tells the story of two such clones as they are called upon to donate their organs and eventually die. Ishiguro's The Remains of the Day became a huge hit starring Emma Thompson and Anthony Hopkins. How will his new work fare with Keira Knightley and Carey Mulligan in the lead roles? Sarah Dunant reviews.
Rana also talks to historian Andrea Wulf about the horticultural habits of the founding fathers of America. Far from a simple hobby their interest in nature became central to their vision of a young and blooming country. When John Adams, second president of the United States, was crashed into by a manure truck on the Edgware Road he was neither furious nor humiliated. Rather, he emerged from beneath the pile of ordure and beamingly declared it inferior to his own. Andrea Wulf explains what the green fingered passions of Adams, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington tell us about the richest country on earth.
Rana MItter joins Michael Arditti and Richard Coles to discuss Christianity and the novel. In the week that Graham Greene's Brighton Rock hits the cinemas, Michael Arditti's new novel is published. Set in Lourdes it examines a love affair between a devout and a lapsed Catholic. Michael is one of the few contemporary writers using the novel to explicitly examine what it is to have faith. The panel discusses the status of Christian ideas in the contemporary novel, the genealogy of such novels in English and the difficulties of encapsulating religious emotions in prose.
Producer: James Cook.