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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
20 July 2008
Listen to this programme in full
Raymond Briggs. Photographer Jane Brown

Raymond Briggs on Gentleman Jim; Robert Edric's fiction based on the life of the composer Ivor Gurney; and Michael Rosen discusses the origins of children's literature.
Photographer Jane Brown
Robert Edric

Mariella talks to the novelist Robert Edric about his interest in the composer Ivor Gurney. A prodigiously talented poet and musician, Gurney's promising youth was followed by twenty years of deteriorating mental health, and after serving in the trenches he spent most of the rest of his life in mental institutions. Robert Edric explains why he chose to write a novel based on this sad period of Gurney's life.

Robert Edric: In Zodiac Light (Doubleday)

History of Children's Literature

The Children's Laureate Michael Rosen joins Mariella to discuss a new history of children's literature with its author, Seth Lerer.

Seth Lerer: Children's Literature (University of Chicago Press)

The Screwtape Letters

In 1942 CS Lewis published a satirical novel which became an immediate bestseller. The Screwtape Letters imagines the correspondence between a senior devil and his nephew, as the younger servant of Satan attempt to corrupt a human "patient". The Reverend Richard Coles revisits CS Lewis's contribution to Christian satire.

CS Lewis: The Illustrated Screwtape Letters (Vintage)

Raymond Briggs

Raymond Briggs is one of this country's best-loved graphic novelists. As his 1980 classic Gentleman Jim is republished, he recalls its composition and tells Mariella why he doesn’t get any less gloomy as he gets older.

Raymond Briggs: Gentleman Jim (Jonathan Cape)
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