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History for the Record

Episode 5 of 12

Marina Warner looks at the world of contemporary storytelling, exploring History for the Record with other writers. From 2015.

Marina Warner explores History for the Record.

A look at the world of contemporary fiction. In the company of leading contemporary writers, she considers a story and story writing from a different angle.

Marina speaks with writers as diverse as Julian Barnes, Michelle Roberts, Fanny Howe, Marlene van Niekerk, Alain Mabanckou, Lydia Davis, Edwin Frank, Elleke Boehmer, Wen-Chin Ouyang, Daniel Medin, Nadeem Aslam and Laszlo Krasznahorkai.

There are questions around the boundaries between fact and fiction which Marina believes are central to any consideration of storytelling, since readers' pleasure depends so much on trust built up between the storyteller or writer and the audience.

With discussions on the reasons for writing, writers as witnesses and political interaction.

Marina was Chair of the Man Booker International Prize 2015 and the series draws on the expertise of the International Booker judging panel, the views of the shortlisted writers, as well as other key literary talent.

Producer: Kevin Dawson
A Whistledown production for BBC Radio first broadcast in July 2015.

Available now

15 minutes


[Il Gattopardo (The Leopard), by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, published 1958 by Casa editrice Feltrinelli. Originally in written in Italian. English translation by Archibald Colquhoun published 1960 by Collins Harvill.] This is a v short extract so may not be intended to be included here.


Ravel, by Jean Echenoz, published 2006 by Minuit. Originally written in French. English translation by Linda Coverdale published 2007 by The New Press.


Shiin (The Poet), by Yi Mun-yol, published 1992. Originally written in Korean. English translation by Chong-wha Chung and Brother Anthony of Taizé published 1995 by The Harvill Press.