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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
18 May 2008
Listen to this programme in full
Sebastian Barry

On Open Book this week: Sebastian Barry on the family injustice that inspired his latest novel; two writers on the fictional appeal of twins; and the classic novels that read like modern thrillers.
Sebastian Barry

The Irish novelist made his name in the 1980s as an acclaimed playwright. He talks to Mariella about his latest book, which like much of his earlier work concentrates on a period when Ireland was still scarred by civil war. He explains how the story of a great-aunt, unjustly committed to a mental institution by her family, inspired this new novel.
The Secret Scripture, by Sebastian Barry, is out now in hardback, published by Faber.

Book Serialisations
Three books have grabbed headlines this month, even before they hit the shelves of our bookshops. Political memoirs by Lord Levy, John Prescott and Cherie Blair have been serialised in national newspapers. Even novels have been serialised in recent weeks. But does that help or hinder their sales? Liz Thomson, editor of Publishing News, joins Mariella to discuss the subject.

Fictional Twins
Mariella talks to two writers whose latest books both centre on twins. Matt Haig talks about his book The Possession of Mr Cave, about a father's attempt to maintain his relationship with his daughter after the death of her twin brother; and the Dutch writer Gerbrand Bakker tells Mariella about his debut novel The Twin, about a man who returns to run his father's farm after his twin is killed in an accident.
The Possession of Mr Cave, by Matt Haig, is out now in hardback, published by Jonathan Cape. The Twin, by Gerbrand Bakker, is out now in hardback, published by Harvill Secker.

The Reading Clinic
Suzi Feay joins Mariella to give advice to a listener who finds classic fiction too slow-moving for enjoyment. Are there any novels from a hundred years ago with the pace of a contemporary thriller?
Scoop: Evelyn Waugh
Publisher: Penguin Classics

Vile Bodies: Evelyn Waugh
Publisher: Penguin Classics

The Great Gatsby: F Scott Fitzgerald
Publisher: Penguin Classics

The Diary of a Nobody: Weedon and George Grossmith
Publisher: Penguin Classics

Study in Scarlet: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Publisher: Penguin Classics

The Sign Of Four: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Publisher: Penguin Classics

Armadale: Wilkie Collins
Publisher: Penguin Classics
E-mail Open Book with your queries or comments about the programme.

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