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Sunday 16:00-16:30, repeated Thursday 16:00-16:30, except first Sunday in the month when it is replaced by Book Club.
Open Book spotlights new fiction and non-fiction, picks out the best of the paperbacks, talks to authors and publishers, and unearths lost masterpieces.
This week
16 March 2008
Listen to this programme in full

Manil Suri on his new novel The Age of Shiva; author Louise Welsh on working in a bookshop; a Reading Clinic on books about Berlin; and the rise of independent publishers.
The Age of Shiva by Manil Suri
Mariella Frostrup talks to Manil Suri about his new novel The Age of Shiva. Set in India in 1955 it takes the form of an extended love letter from the protagonist Meera to her son Ashvin tracing the fortunes of one family in the aftermath of Indian independence. Manil Suri was born in Bombay and is now a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. His first book Death of Vishu was on the Booker long list.

Booksellers: what its like to work in a bookshop
A number of writers have worked in bookshops from George Orwell to David Mitchell. Open Book decided to go behind the scenes and talk to three very different booksellers talk about their respective jobs. Best selling author of The Cutting Room Louise Welsh used to run a second hand bookshop in Glasgow in the early 90s. Guy Ramage is manager of Borders Superstore in London’s Oxford Circus. Robert Williams, winner of the 2007 National Book token Competition whose own book is being published by Faber, is a bookseller in Waterstones in Manchester.

The rise of Independent Publishers
This week Templar children’s publishers won the Independent Publisher of the Year Award, in the face of stiff competition from the increasingly successful independent sector. Random House keen to cash in on their success are founding their own independent imprint Preface. Joel Rickets deputy editor of the Bookseller looks at the reasons behind the buoyancy of independent publishing including the impact of technological advances.

Reading Clinic
Anne McElvoy, former foreign correspondent on the Times answers listeners request for books about Berlin where she herself lived and worked.

Berlin: Giles MacDonagh
Publisher: Saint Martin's Press

The Divided Heavens (Der Geiteilte Himmel): Christa Wolf
Publisher: Adler’s Foreign Books

Jenni Treibel: Theodor Fontane
Publisher: Ungar Publishing Company

Emil and the Detectives: Erich Kastner
Publisher: Red Fox

Goodbye Berlin: Christopher Isherwood
Publisher: Penguin Classics

Bertolt Brecht: Poems 1913-1956: Bertolt Brecht
Publisher: Theatre Arts Books

The Innocent: Ian McEwan
Publisher: Vintage

Heroes Like Us: Thomas Brussig
Publisher: The Harvill Press

Nothing but Ghosts: Judith Herrman
Publisher: Harper Perennial

The Saddled Cow: East Germany's Life and Legacy: Anne McElvoy
Publisher: Faber and Faber

Man Without A Face: Markus Woolf and Anne McElvoy
Publisher: Pimlico

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