His previous novel 'Life of Pi' became a publishing phenomenon. It won the Booker Prize in 2002 and went on to be translated into 38 languages and sell more than seven million copies around the world. His follow-up novel 'Beatrice and Virgil' has just been published. We talk to him about the pressures of success and why he chose to write about The Holocaust using animal characters.www.beatriceandvirgil.com
Photo: Mark Coles in New Orleans.New Orleans Gallery in Video and Pictures
With the eyes of the world focussed on the Louisiana oil slick pollution, The Strand looks at how the city's arts and culture has been recovering five years on from Hurricane Katrina.
Lolis Eric Elie is a New Orleans-based writer on the TV show Treme. He tells us the little-known history of the real-life Treme neighbourhood - the birthplace of jazz in America. Treme was also a neighbourhood where free men of colour created a French-language newspaper urging social reform over one hundred years before America's Civil Rights movement of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
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New Orleans Extra
And we meet the new star of New Orleans music. Trombone Shorty has already played with U2 and Lenny Kravitz and has just been signed onto Verve Records. Shorty talks about playing since age 4, growing up in the neighbourhood of Treme - where jazz was born in the USA, and about taking New Orleans to the world.
With the Gulf of Mexico oil spill hitting the headlines we look at two recently released documentaries, H2Oil and Petropolis, which attempt to address the environmental impact of the current global oil crisis. They explore the landscape and the personal stories of people who are at the front lines of the biggest industrial project in human history: extracting oil from Canada's tar sands. Roger Highfield of the New Scientist reviews.
The roughly half-million black Germans, or "Afro-deutsche" born in Germany, make up a relatively small ethnic minority in Europe's most populous state. But the racism they encounter along with Germany's African immigrant community is disproportionately high. But "Label Noir" a black German acting ensemble is out to change this with a stage production that converts their everyday experience of discrimination to theatre of the absurd.
Alexa Dvorson reports
Just in time for the World Cup kick off, three artists have kicked a ball from Durban to Algiers and back again, recording en route "Africa in conversation with itself" and meeting flamboyant football fans, street philosophers, poets, artists, kings and queens and all manner of people in love with the beautiful game. The result is a multimedia arts installation featuring video films, sounds, stills photography and lots of football paraphernalia that opens in Durban this week. Mark Coles speaks to them.www.footsak.com
The guitarist, singer-songwriter and producer based near Sheffield in the north of England talks to Mark Coles about music festivals, the nature of success and his personal approach to making music.
False Lights From The Land EP on Mute Records
Truelove's Gutter CD also on Mute Records
From Alice Walker to Chinua Achebe, the world's greatest authors discuss their best known novel.…