Timothy Mo on his much-anticipated novel, Pure

Mariella Frostrup talks to award-winning writer Timothy Mo about his new book Pure, his first for over a decade, a controversially humorous exploration of the nature of Muslim fundamentalism told from the point of view of a Thai "ladyboy", unwillingly caught up with a group of jihadists in Southern Thailand. The recent devastating bombings, coupled with David Cameron's much publicised visit to Southern Asia, have made Pure a topical and prescient book.

Anna Funder and Philip Sington discuss the inspiration to be had from the secret Stasi files in the old East Germany and how writers of both fiction and non - fiction have responded to this fascinating but sometimes devastating archive. In her award winning book Stasi-land, Anna Funder talked to both victims and former Stasi agents whom she tracked down by placing an advert in local East German newspapers. Thriller writer Philip Sington in his novel "The Valley of Unknowing" features a writer compromised by his own frailty as much as by Stasi rule. So how have writers responded creatively to the stories of betrayal, treachery and heroism that the publication of thousands of Stasi files have revealed and are such books a way of healing the wounds of the past?

The 41st London Book Fair in partnership with China's General Administration for Press and Publication has attracted criticism from Chinese writers in exile. Neill Denny, editor of The Bookseller, talks about how the 25,000 industry professionals in attendance have responded to the controversy as well as revealing what actually goes on at the publishing world's equivalent of the Stock Exchange trading floor. What are the major deals, how are they transacted - and why do publishers still worry about the rise and rise of the e-book?

Producer: Hilary Dunn.

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30 minutes

Last on

Thu 26 Apr 2012 15:30

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