Foreign Bodies

Ep 1-5/5

Monday 17 November to Friday 21 November



To complement the dramatisation of The Havana Quartet (starting Saturday 15 November, 2.30-3.30pm) by Cuba's leading crime writer, Leonardo Padura, Foreign Bodies returns as Mark Lawson examines how mystery novels have reflected five different political systems.

In today's programme: Cuba (Communism) – Mark explores fictional investigations of Cuba after the Castro revolution with Leonardo Padura, author of The Havana Quartet, and Caroline Garcia-Aguilera, described as a Cuban-American writing from exile in Miami.

Subsequent programmes:

Tuesday: USA (Anti-Communism) – novelists Laura Lippman and Walter Mosley, creators of private eyes Tess Monaghan and Easy Rawlins, discuss with Mark how they introduced the experience of women and black Americans into crime fiction dominated by men and a McCarthyite fear of outsiders.

Wednesday: Poland (Post-Communism) – Zygmunt Milosewski and Joanna Jodelka reflect on how Polish crime fiction has reflected the country's occupation by both Nazis and Communists, the transition to democracy through the Solidarity movement and lingering accusations of racism and anti-Semitism.

Thursday: Australia (Commonwealth Democracy) – Australia's leading crime novelist, the South African-born Peter Temple, whose books include The Broken Shore And Truth, talks to Mark about depicting a society shaped by both British colonialism and American power and why Australian crime fiction should contain as few words as possible.

Friday: Nigeria (Post-Colonialism) – authors including Helon Habila, whose books include the award-winning Oil On Water, talk to Mark about how a flourishing new tradition of Nigerian crime fiction explores British legacy, tribal tradition and the new 'corporate colonialism', as global companies exploit the country's mineral reserves.

Presenter/ Mark Lawson, Producer/ Martin Williams for the BBC

BBC Radio 4 Publicity