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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
22 June 2008
Listen to this programme in full
Author Dave Pelzer

Dave Pelzer, the man who launched the genre ‘misery lit’ with his memoir A Child Called It, talks to Mariella about his new book, Moving Forward.
Photograph courtesy of Shannon Wilsey Photography.
Dave Pelzer
Dave Pelzer’s A Child Called It revolutionised the art of memoir when it was published in 1995, with its horrific tale of the abuse Pelzer suffered at the hands of his mother. Having launched a new literary genre, commonly called ‘mis lit’, Dave Pelzer has gone on to work as a counsellor and have a family of his own. Mariella asks him how his past has affected his life, and how he feels about the rash of similar books that have been published since.

A Child Called It – Dave Pelzer
Publisher: Orion

The Lost Boy – Dave Pelzer
Publisher: Orion

A Man Named Dave – Dave Pelzer
Publisher: Orion

Moving Forward – Dave Pelzer
Publisher: Orion

The Reading Clinic
Which books can parents give to their teenagers to wean them off children’s authors and on to adult fiction? Anne McElvoy, executive editor of the Evening Standard, answers this listener’s query.

Anne’s suggestions:

The Master and Margarita - Mikhail Bulgakov
Publisher: Vintage Classics

Please Don’t Eat The Daisies - Jean Kerr
Publisher: Doubleday

Animal Farm - George Orwell
Publisher: Penguin Classics

The Road – Cormac McCarthy
Publisher: Picador

Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
Publisher: Virago Modern Classics

The Cement Garden – Ian McEwan
Publisher: Vintage

Do you have a query for the Reading Clinic? Send it to

Les Miserables
At 1200 pages, Les Miserables by Victor Hugo is one of the longest novels in the European canon. Novelist Adam Thirlwell has written an introduction to a new translation of the book, and he tells Mariella why it is worth embarking upon this classic adventure tale set in nineteenth-century Paris.

Les Miserables – Victor Hugo (trans. Julie Rose)
Publisher: Vintage

Items Found In Books
Richard Davies of Abe Books joins Mariella to describe some of the more exotic items that have been found in second-hand books. Have you ever found an unexpected object in a book? Let us know by emailing or write to Open Book, BBC Broadcasting House, London, W1A 1AA.
E-mail Open Book with your queries or comments about the programme.

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