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21 January 2006

Saturday 21 January 2006 21:55-22:40 (Radio 3)

Ian McMillan talks to new writing talent Tahmima Anam about her debut novel to be published next year. Tash Aw introduces age old writing talent of the Philippines, Jose Rizal, and Will Stone discusses his translation of Austrain poet Georg Trakl.


45 minutes

Programme Details

Few writers can claim to have started a revolution and shaped a whole country's future by one book. But that's precisely what Jose Rizal did in the 19 th century with his novel Noli Me Tangere. He's now acknowledged as the first national hero of the Phillipines, as Tash Aw reveals in the second part of his series on great writers of South East Asia.

New young writing sensation Tahmima Anam shares the first chapter of her novel due out next year, The Fasting Month, which is set at the time of the Bangladeshi war of independence. We hear an exclusive extract from her novel, which she says was partly shaped by her training as an anthropologist, but also owes a debt to a creative writing course. But does everyone else in the studio agree that creative writing courses work? Listen and you may be surprised as the other guests debate this issue.

Have you ever heard of laughing string? If you haven't you're about to, when Peter Blegvad asks you to get your ear tuned to his eartoon about the American sound junky Henry Jacobs, who is alive and kicking today, and has created masterly sound pieces about the art of goofing off and revolutionised Mexican television.

And who did the great philosopher Wittgenstein leave half his fortune to, and describe as an impenetrable genius? None other than the Austrian poet Georg Trakl who has inspired many of our greatest modern composers - Oliver Knussen, Thea Musgrave, Anton Weber, and Peter Maxwell Davies - but who surprisingly has been out of English translation for some time. Ian McMillan talks to the latest poet, Will Stone who is tackling the task.

Don't miss The Verb at 9.55pm, here on BBC Radio 3.

Producer: Ariane Koek

Additional Information:
1) Noli Me Tangere by Jose Rizal is published by University of Hawaii Press and is available by special order
2) To The Silenced - Selected Poems by Georg Trakl and translated by Will Stone is published by Arc
3) The Fasting Month by Tahmima Anam will be published by John Murray in 2007
4) Bedford Square: New Writing From The Royal Holloway Creative Writing Programme is published by John Murray

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