iPlayer Radio What's New?
Image for Anita Shreve, Rebecca Mead

Listen now 28 mins

Listen in pop-out player

Anita Shreve, Rebecca Mead

28 minutes
First broadcast:
Sunday 23 March 2014

Anita Shreve, best-selling author of The Pilot's Wife, talks to Mariella Frostrup about her latest novel The Lives of Stella Bain, the follow up to a previous novel, All He Ever Wanted. Women who suffered from shell shock as a result of nursing soldiers wounded on the front line during WW1 have been neglected by historians; this novel places their experience centre stage through telling the story of amnesia victim, Stella Bain.

Rebecca Mead's The Road to Middlemarch is part memoir, part biography, part literary criticism and explores Mead's life long love affair with George Eliot's Middlemarch which she first read when she was 17 and which she describes as the novel "she cannot imagine living her life without." She discusses with novelist and academic Rebecca Stott how the novel continues to address fundamental questions about life and love nearly 150 years after it was first written. Rebecca Stott brings her own treasured copy of Middlemarch into the studio - annotated by herself when she was 19 and and subsequently by her daughter also aged 19 - and handed down through the generations like a family bible.

Continuing our series on Insider Reading, in which an industry insider provides his or her top tip for a great read, publisher and managing director of Pushkin Press Adam Freudenheim recommends "Diary of The Fall" by Michel Laub - one of Granta's twenty "Best of Young Brazilian Novelists."

And a reading from a gripping debut novel, Decoded by best selling Chinese writer Mai Jia. Described as "the most popular writer in the world you have never heard of" his books sell millions of copies in his native China, where he has won every major award including the coveted Mao Dun Award. This is the first novel to be published in English by one of China's greatest and most popular contemporary writers.

Producer: Hilary Dunn.


Mariella Frostrup
Interviewed Guest
Anita Shreve
Interviewed Guest
Rebecca Mead
Interviewed Guest
Rebecca Stott
Interviewed Guest
Adam Freudenheim
Hilary Dunn


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