Carlos Acosta; Victoria Hislop; Literary heroines with Samantha Ellis and Dr Paula Byrne

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Ballet Dancer and now author Carlos Acosta shares his Five of the Best Books.
Carlos Acosta is one of the world's best known ballet dancers and continues to challenge himself on stage in new and classic roles. Meanwhile he's also written an enthusiastically received autobiography No Way Home and now, a debut novel called Pigs Foot, a turbulent tale of history, memory and family set in Cuba and influenced by many of the literary greats on his book list from Marquez to JD Salinger.

In the next in our series looking at where authors write, the internationally bestselling Victoria Hislop takes us deep into the bowels of The London Library.

When 35 year old playwright Samantha Ellis, a Cathy Earnshaw fan, was "wuthering" on the Yorkshire moors, and arguing with her best friend the comparative merits of wild, romantic Cathy over more independent and principled Jane Eyre, she had an epiphany. Had she got it wrong? Perhaps it was Jane, rather than Cathy who provided the more impressive role model? Spurred by this revelation Samantha decided to re-examine her relationship with all her literary heroines. Along with Dr Paula Byrne, she discusses whether as we mature, our choice of heroines reflect the adults we've become.

Producer: Andrea Kidd.

Release date:

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28 minutes

Last on

Thu 16 Jan 2014 15:30


Carlos Acosta's choices:


The Catcher in the Rye by J D Salinger

Notes from the Underground by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Earth's Holocaust by Nathaniel Hawthorne

El llano en Llamas (The Burning Plain and other Stories) by Juan Rulfo

Cien Anos de Soledad (100 Years of Solitude) by Gabriel García Márquez

Pig's Foot by Carlos Acosta

Publisher: Bloomsbury


A Society by Virginia Woolf


The Thread by Victoria Hislop

Publisher: Harper Collins


Literary Heroines discussion:


How To Be A Heroine by Samantha Ellis

Publisher: Chatto and Windus


The Real Jane Austen by Paula Byrne

Publisher: Harper Collins


Wuthering Heights (Cathy Earnshaw)  by Emily Bronte

Pride and Prejudice (Elizabeth Bennet) by Jane Austen

To Kill A Mockingbird (Scout) by Harper Lee

Far From The Madding Crowd (Bathsheba) by Thomas Hardy

Gone With The Wind (Scarlett O'Hara) by Margaret Mitchell

Jane Eyre (Jane Eyre) by Charlotte Bronte

The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen

The Secret Garden (Mary Lennox) by Frances Hodgson Burnett

I Capture The Castle (Cassandra Mortmain) by Dodie Smith

Franny And Zooey (Franny) by J D Salinger

Anne Of Green Gables (Anne) by Lucy Maud Montgomery

The Valley Of The Dolls by Jacqueline Susann

A Room With A View (Lucy Honeychurch and Charlotte Bartlett) by E M Forster

Little Women (Jo March) by Louisa M Alcott

Harry Potter (Hermione Granger) by J K Rowling

The Northern Lights (Lyra Belacqua) by Philip Pullman

The Hunger Games (Katniss Everdeen) by Suzanne Collins

South Riding (Mrs Beddows) by Winifred Holtby

Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

One Thousand And One Nights (Scherezade)








Role Contributor
PresenterMariella Frostrup
Interviewed GuestCarlos Acosta
Interviewed GuestVictoria Hislop
Interviewed GuestSamantha Ellis
Interviewed GuestPaula Byrne
ProducerAndrea Kidd

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