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LAST WORD
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Last Word
Listen to the latest editionFriday   16:00-16:30
Sunday 20:30-21:00 (rpt)

Radio 4's weekly obituaries programme
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This week
Friday 8th August 2008
(Rpt) Sunday 10th August
Matthew Bannister
Matthew Bannister tells the life stories of people who have died recently: Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Simon Gray and Pauline Baynes.
Alexander Solzhenitsyn
Russian writer who has died aged 89

Alexander Solzhenitsyn was buried on Wednesday at Moscow’s Donskoi Monastery. He was a towering literary and political figure who played a major part in revealing and chronicling his country’s twentieth century history.

Matthew Bannister talks to the Russian writer and broadcaster Zinovy Zinik, the Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Anne Applebaum, author of Gulag: A History  and to  Irina Kirillova, who interpreted for Solzhenitsyn during the 1970s and 80s.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn was born December 11th 1918. He died August 3rd 2008.
Simon Gray
Playwright  who has died aged 71

Simon Gray wrote more than thirty plays for the stage and TV, mostly dealing with the trials and tribulations of the professional classes. His friend Harold Pinter often directed Gray’s work which included Butley, Otherwise Engaged, and Quatermaine’s Terms .

Gray was noted for his uncertain temper, his heavy drinking and his habit of smoking 65 cigarettes a day and recently Simon Gray reached a new audience with his witty and ascerbic memoirs, under the generic title The Smoking Diaries.

Matthew Bannister talks to the BBC’s creative director Alan Yentob who commissioned plays by Simon Gray for television and to the broadcaster Dame Joan Bakewell who is an admirer of his work.  

Simon Gray was born October 21st 1936. He died August 6th 2008.
Pauline Baynes
Illustrator who has died aged 85

It wasn’t just the writing of CS Lewis that brought characters like Aslan the lion, Reepicheep the mouse and Mr Tumnus the Faun to life. It was also the drawings of them by Pauline Baynes.

Pauline illustrated more than a hundred books. She was chosen by JRR Tolkein to illustrate some of his stories and she created the image of a rabbit on the cover of Richard Adams’ Watership Down.

Pauline Baynes spent her early childhood in India where her father was commissioner in Agra, but was educated in England and studied at the Slade School of Fine Art.

Matthew Bannister talks to Pauline’s friends the writer and broadcaster Brian Sibley and the novelist Charlotte Cory.
 
Pauline Baynes was born September 9th 1922. She died August 1st 2008.

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