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Sebastian Faulks

Kirsty Young invites writer Sebastian Faulks to choose eight records to take to Radio 4's mythical desert island.

Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the writer Sebastian Faulks. He is best known for his novel Birdsong, which told in shocking detail the misery of life in the Flanders trenches. It was published with little fanfare or glossy advertising and failed to win any major awards - but it became a literary phenomenon and a huge best-seller. He was inspired to write it after visiting the battlefields of the Western Front with some veterans of World War I. One old soldier held onto Sebastian's hand and recalled seeing his friend killed next to him and, for the first time for him, Sebastian says, the war emerged from the history books into real, tangible human experience. He concedes that he still struggles to get to grips with much of life. Writers, he says, are often trying to impose a structure on a world that they find generally baffling.

Favourite track: Miles by Miles Davis
Book: Remembrance of Things Past (Proust) by CK Scott Moncrieff (transl.)
Luxury: A wicket, cricket bat, net, an endless supply of balls and a bowling machine that can be set to replicate the style of any bowler

Available now

45 minutes

Last on

Fri 3 Apr 2009 09:00

Music Played

  • Boz Scaggs

    Just Go

    Artist: Michael Rodriguez

    • My Time: A Boz Scaggs Anthology (1969-1997).
    • Columbia.
  • Maurice Ravel

    Piano Concerto in G major - 2nd movement

    Soloist: Werner Haas Orchestra: Orchestre National de L’Opera de Monte-Carlo Conductor: Alceo Galliera

    • Ravel: Complete Music For Piano Solo.
    • Philips.
  • The Beatles

    Can't Buy Me Love

    • The Beatles: Can’t Buy Me Love/You Can’t Do That.
    • Parlophone.
  • Charles Trenet & Orchestra

    En Quittant La Ville

    • Boum! Charles Trenet The Great French Stars.
    • ASV.
  • Steely Dan

    Rose Darling

    • Katy Lied.
    • MCA.
  • Joni Mitchell

    Help Me

    • Court And Spark.
    • Asylum.
  • Castaway's Favourite

    • Miles Davis


      • Miles Davis: Milestones.
      • CBS.
  • Gabriel Fauré

    Sanctus (from Requiem)

    Soloist: Jonathan Bond, Benjamin Luxon, Stephen Cleobury Orchestra: Academy of St. Martin in the Fields

    • Faure: Requiem/ Durufle: Requiem – George Guest/ Choir of St. John’s College Cambridge.
    • Decca.
  • Book Choice

    • A La Recherche Du Temps Perdu - Marcel Proust


Role Contributor
Presenter Kirsty Young
Interviewed Guest Sebastian Faulks


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