Scott Turow; Paul Bailey and Manda Scot on gay literature; Charlie Hill

Listen in pop-out player

Scott Turow talks about his latest novel Identical, a dark thriller set amongst America's warring political families, which he's based around the Greek myth of the twins Castor and Pollox. Turow's identical twin boys are Paul and Cass Gianis - one of whom pleaded guilty to murder and served 25 years in prison, but were they both implicit?

November sees the re-issue of The Charioteers by Mary Renault, marking the 60th anniversary of the first publication of the book. It has been described by many as a landmark work in gay literature, coming out when it did in 1953 at a time when male homosexuality was still banned in the UK. To discuss this ground-breaking novel and others which highlighted the lives and issues surrounding same sex relationships, Mariella is joined by Manda Scott, Chair of the Historical Writers' Association and the author of the Boudicca and Rome series and the writer Paul Bailey, who as a young man was part of that underground world that Mary Renault was addressing.

Charlie Hill discusses mediocre literature and a book so badly written that reading it could damage your health. It's the plot of his new novel, aptly called 'Books' which charts the war waged by Richard , a booze soaked, dog eared Brummie bookshop owner, against Gary, the bestselling author of 'male-confessional-lad-lit', whose book is so mediocre that it proves fatal to its readership.

Producer: Andrea Kidd.

Release date:

Available now

28 minutes

Last on

Thu 21 Nov 2013 15:30

Read Chapter 1 of Scott Turow's Identical

Chapter 1 of Scott Turow's Identical




Get ahead with Mariella’s next book - Bernard MacLaverty's Collected Stories

Find 3 Bernard MacLaverty stories:


The Beginnings of a Sin


At the Beach 


Identical by Scott Turow

Publisher: Mantle  


Boudica series by Manda Scott

Publisher: Random House


Books by Charlie Hill

Publisher: Tindal Street Press


Books mentioned in Gay literature discussion:


By Mary Renault


The Charioteer

Publisher: Virago Modern Classics


The Friendly Young Ladies

The Alexander Trilogy 



The Heart in Exile by Rodney Garland

Finistere by Fritz Peters

Report for Murder by Val McDermid

The Microcosm by Maureen Duffy

Hemlock and After by Angus Wilson

The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall

In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust

Billy Budd by Herman Melville

Redburn  by Herman Melville

She Rises by Kate Worsley

Novels by Sarah Waters, Jeanette Winterson, Stella Duffy, Jackie Kay, Charlotte Mendelson, Alan Hollinghurst and Edmund White




Role Contributor
PresenterMariella Frostrup
Interviewed GuestScott Turow
ProducerAndrea Kidd

This Week's Book List


Read along with us - a list of books discussed in each programme

Close Reads

Close reading.jpg

A collection of insights into what make great texts work

Listen Anywhere


Download this week's edition now or subscribe to receive future programmes automatically

More from Books at the BBC

Books at BBC logo

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

Sign up for the BBC Books Newsletter


A weekly roundup of readings, author interviews and special picks from the BBC archives