Ian McMillan hosts the weekly language and literature cabaret. This week: Ian and guests ask if there is such a thing as northern and southern poetry. And the neglected work of American writer Bernard Malamud who once stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Saul Bellow and Philip Roth.
The Visitor by Marlene Dumas
The Visitor by Marlene Dumas
Ian McMillan is joined by Philip Davis who's written the first biography of American novelist Bernard Malamud. Malamud was compared with great American writers like Philip Roth and Saul Bellow during his lifetime, and won the Pulitzer Prize for his novel The Fixer, but since his death in 1986 his stories of working class Jewish New Yorkers have fallen out of fashion. Philip Davis hopes to change that with his new book, and he talks to Ian about his life long love of Malamud's work and what it felt like to read the meticulous drafts the novelist wrote and re-wrote, and the actual note Malamud wrote to himself, and left on his desk on the day he died.
Bernard Malamud by Philip Davis - published by Oxford University Press
Also on the programme - a first chance to hear a new work from the prolific author Neil Gaiman - who writes novels, short stories, graphic novels, film scripts, and a comprehensive blog, all of them linked by his love of fairy tales and storytelling. He reads from the new children's book he's working on at the moment, a story in which, he tells Ian, he uses horror as a 'condiment'.
The film version of Stardust by Neil Gaiman is out on 19 October. His blog is at neilgaiman.com
Jamie McKendrick and Tony Hymas
And the poet Jamie McKendrick and composer Tony Hymas discuss their new collaboration: a series of seven songs written in response to seven paintings. And Tony explains why - when he's writing words for music - Jamie needs to cut down on the number of syllables he uses.
The Painting of Modern Life is on at the Hayward Gallery in London until 30 December. Jamie McKendrick's Music of Modern Life will be performed on 6 October and 30 November and 8 December.
Deborah Cameron talks about her new book 'The Myth of Mars and Venus', Deborah is the Rupert Murdoch Professor of Language and Communication at the University of Oxford and her new book examines the idea that there are fundamental differences in the way that men and women speak.
The Myth of Mars and Venus: Do Men and Women Really Speak Different Languages by Deborah Cameron is published by Oxford University Press.
Ian talks to Kei Miller about his new poetry collection, 'There is an Anger That Moves'. Kei Miller was born in Jamaica and after studying there completed a masters in Creative Writing in Manchester; since then he's studied and taught in America, Canada and Scotland and his work is about that kind of global dislocation
Kei Miller's collection There Is an Anger That Moves and his anthology of New Caribbean Poetry, are out now, both published by Carcanet