iPlayer Radio What's New?
Image for AL Kennedy discusses her book On Writing

Listen now 28 mins

Listen in pop-out player

AL Kennedy discusses her book On Writing

28 minutes
First broadcast:
Sunday 10 March 2013

Novelist A L Kennedy talks to Mariella Frostrup about her book On Writing. Based on her Guardian blog, the book follows the writer over a three-year period during which she finished one collection of stories, started another and published a novel. It's a frank and witty portrayal of the highs and lows of being a novelist from the back pain and the brown hotel rooms encountered on tour to the joys of finding that perfect sentence at three in the morning.

Pankaj Mishra and Sri Lankan novelist Roma Tearne discuss how much literature can play a role in exposing human rights violations and what kind of pressure do such expectations place on all writers, particularly those who live under authoritarian regimes.

As J M Coetzee publishes a new novel, The Childhood of Jesus, author Justin Cartwright provides a Readers' Guide to the Nobel Prize and twice Man Booker winning author of such classics as Life and Times of Michael K, Disgrace and Summertime.

Producer: Andrea Kidd.

  • Get ahead with Mariella’s next book Life After Life by Kate Atkinson


    A L Kennedy


    On Writing - A L Kennedy

    Publisher: Jonathan Cape


    Human rights and the novel


    The Road to Urbino - Roma Tearne

    Publisher: Abacus


    From the Ruins of Empire - Pankaj Mishra

    Publisher: Penguin


    Pow! – Mo Jan 

    Publisher: Seagull Books; Translated edition


    J M Coetzee – A Reader’s Guide


    The Childhood of Jesus - J M Coetzee

    Publisher: Harvill Secker


    Disgrace – J M Coetzee

    Life and Times of Michael K – J M Coetzee

    Summertime – J M Coetzee

    Boyhood: Scenes from provincial life: A Memoir – J M Coetzee


    All published by Vintage



More from Books at the BBC

Books at BBC logo

Author interviews, readings, documentaries and highlights from the BBC's books content

Sample our books and authors Clip Collection

Clips of Books Content

Interviews, previews and reviews


  1. Image for Books and Authors

    Books and Authors

    This podcast features Open Book and A Good Read. In Open Book, Mariella Frostrup talks to leading…

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss