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Emma Hooper on Etta and Otto and Russell and James

Presented by Mariella Frostrup. Emma Hooper discusses her debut novel Etta and Otto and Russell and James, plus the mystery surrounding novelist Elena Ferrante.

Canadian writer Emma Hooper talks to Mariella about her first novel Etta and Otto and Russell and James, the story of octogenarian Etta who sets off from her home in the Canadian prairies to walk the two thousand miles to the coast. She leaves behind her husband Otto and as she walks she remembers their childhood, and wartime courtship. Emma tells Mariella about her grandparents, who inspired the characters and her love of the bleak, harsh Saskatchewan landscape where the novel is set.

Catherine Taylor profiles the Italian novelist Elena Ferrante who has ardent fans around the the world, but who remains resolutely private - refusing to give interviews or make public appearances.

Sandip Roy sends a postcard from India and Ben Okri, who won the Man Booker prize for his novel The Famished Road, reveals why his copy of Don Quixote is the book he'd never lend.

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28 minutes


  • Emma Hooper

    Duration: 09:14

  • Postcard from Calcutta

    Duration: 05:05

  • Catherine Taylor on Elena Ferrante

    Duration: 09:40

  • Ben Okri - Book I'd Never Lend

    Duration: 03:48

Read the first chapter of Etta and Otto and Russell and James by Emma Hooper


Etta and Otto and Russell and James by Emma Hooper

The Days of Abandonment by Elena Ferrante 
My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

Don Quixote by Cervantes

Don't Let Him Know by Sandip Roy





Role Contributor
Presenter Mariella Frostrup
Interviewed Guest Emma Hooper
Presenter Catherine Taylor
Presenter Sandip Roy


  • Sun 18 Jan 2015 16:00
  • Thu 22 Jan 2015 15:30

This Week's Book List

This Week's Book List

Read along with us - a list of books discussed in each programme