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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
8 March and 12 March 2009
Listen to this programme in full
Joan Bakewell

Joan Bakewell makes her literary debut in her seventies.
Joan Bakewell

The broadcaster and writer Dame Joan Bakewell was one of the most recognisable television personalities from the 1960s on, interviewing a succession of major figures from the world of literature and the arts. At seventy-five, she's just published her first novel. Mariella asks her why.

Joan Bakewell: All The Nice Girls is out now in hardback, published by Virago.

PD James on Cyril Hare

Cyril Hare was one of the best-known crime writers of the 1940s and 1950s, but also a successful barrister who went on to be a County Court judge. As his most celebrated work is republished, another great detective novelist, PD James joins Mariella to explain why she's always been one of his biggest fans.

Cyril Hare: Tragedy at Law is published in paperback by Faber.

Lawyers who write crime

The crime writing expert Barry Forshaw surveys the history of lawyers who turned to fiction.

Animal biographies

Two recent bestsellers are biographies of domestic pets - and one of them reaches cinema screens this week in an adaptation starring Jennifer Aniston. Open Book looks at the history of biographies of animals, talking to Vicki Myron, John Grogan and the biographer Miranda Seymour.

Vicki Myron: Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World is out now, published by Hodder.

John Grogan: Marley and Me is out now, published by Hodder.
E-mail Open Book with your queries or comments about the programme.

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