Main content

The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Check Your Privilege, Visions of the Universe

Presented by Anne McElvoy. With Neil Gaiman discussing his first adult book for nearly a decade, debating 'privilege' and cosmologist Marcus Chown on an exhibition in Greenwich.

Anne McElvoy talks to Neil Gaiman, prolific award-winning author of novels for adults and children alike and writer for radio and television - think Neverwhere and Dr Who. His new novel, The Ocean At The End Of The Lane, has more than a hint of autobiography. It's a tale for adults inspired by an event in his own childhood. Gaiman explains how the short story he started to write for his wife, the musician Amanda Palmer, became his first adult novel since 2005.

Also joining Anne in the Nightwaves studio, the historian, Selina Todd, writer and novelist Bidisha, and Telegraph columnist Tim Stanley to tiptoe round a current debate raging across social media. If you haven't heard the phrase, 'check your privilege' yet, you soon will because the debate has been hotting up. Is it possible to speak from a position of "privilege" about injustice or inequality or, indeed, anything beyond your own world? Or can language, imagination and empathy allow us to transcend our direct experience. There's been much discussion online about whether those offering opinions should first "check their privilege" as well as the ongoing debate about whether the educational background of our politicans limits their ability to understand the needs and concerns of the wider public.

And finally out beyond where the human eye can see, giant telescopes or not, are close to finishing a remarkable photographic inventory of the known Universe Cosmologist consultant, Marcus Chown, reports back from Visions of the Universe at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich.

Available now

45 minutes

Chapters

  • Neil Gaiman

    Anne McElvoy talks to Neil Gaiman about his new novel, The Ocean At The End Of The Lane.

    Duration: 18:36

  • Discussion: 'Check Your Privilege'

    Historian, Selina Todd, writer Bidisha, and Telegraph columnist Tim Stanley discuss.

    Duration: 16:28

  • Visions of the Universe Exhibition at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich.

    Cosmologist Marcus Chown reports back from this new exhibition.

    Duration: 09:12

Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman's new novel, The Ocean At The End Of The Lane, published by Headline, comes out next week -- and in July it gets the Book at Bedtime treatment on BBC Radio 4.

Visions of the Universe

Visions of the Universe
Visions of the Universe is at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich until 15th September 2013.

Broadcast

Free Thinking

Free Thinking

Radio 3’s new home for arts and ideas.