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Writing and Political Oppression

Duration:
30 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 08 April 1999

Melvyn Bragg examines how two writers’ work have been shaped by political oppression and explores whether writers have a political role in modern society. The connection between writers and politics has its roots in classical times, but in the 20th century the writer has been called on as the witness with increasing frequency and intensity. And many times the price of articulation has been severe.

In the century in which saw the execution of writers such as Ken Saro Wiwa in Nigeria in 1995, and a fatwa imposed on Salman Rushdie, Melvyn Bragg talks to two writers who between them experienced exile, censorship and the manipulation of authoritarian states - Ariel Dorfman from South America and Nadine Gordimer, the Nobel Prize winner from South Africa, to discuss the writing of fiction and political oppression. What, if any, is the writer’s political role in our world today?

With Nadine Gordimer, Nobel Prize-winning South African novelist; Ariel Dorfman, South American journalist, scholar and author of Death and the Maiden.

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