Finnegans Wake in Chinese, Sara Wheeler, Muslim Comedy, Apocalypses

Samira Ahmed examines why James Joyce's experimental and 'difficult' work Finnegans Wake has been a surprise hit in China. The critic and translator of Chinese fiction Julia Lovell discusses how the country's cultural climate is ready for such a phenomenon.

And Samira will be joined in the studio by the travel writer Sara Wheeler to talk about her new book, 'O my America!: Second Acts in the New World'. The book tells the story of six remarkable women who fled life in England in the nineteenth century to reinvent themselves in the United States. From Fanny Trollope, mother of Anthony, to the actress Fanny Kemble and campaigning writer Harriet Martineau their lives unfold against the backdrop of a period of history when America was defining both its borders and identity.

From the Book of Revelation to the most up-to-the-minute physics, via nuclear war and environmental catastrophe, we humans seem obsessed with accounts of the end of the world. But what have people done with the idea throughout history? Why are some attracted to it today? And are there in fact important moral lessons we can learn by thinking about the end of all things? Samira is joined by historian Justin Champion, sociologist Eileen Barker and theologian Martin Palmer.

And we look at an unlikely cultural movement which has flourished in post 9/11 America - Muslim comedy.

Produced by Luke Mulhall.

Release date:

Available now

45 minutes

Last on

Wed 27 Feb 2013 22:00

O My America!

O My America!: Second Acts in a New World, by Sara Wheeler, is published on 7th March by Jonathan Cape.

Finnegans Wake

The first volume of James Joyce's masterpiece Finnegans Wake has been translated into Mandarin by Dai Congrong, and published by Shanghai People's Publishing House.

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Free Thinking

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