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Rachel Johnson and Sean Michaels

Award-winning Canadian novelist Sean Michaels talks to Mariella Frostrup about his book Us Conductors, the story of the inventor of the theremin.

Sean Michaels won Canada's prestigious Giller Prize for his novel Us Conductors. It's a fictional account of the relationship between the inventor of the theremin, Russian Lev Termen and the musician - and superb theremin player - Clara Rockmore. He talks to Mariella Frostrup about creating fiction from a historical figure.

Also blurring the lines between fact and fiction are the novelists Rachel Johnson and Michelle Miller who have written books about worlds they know intimately - Notting Hill for Rachel and Wall Street for Michelle. They talk to Mariella about gathering material close to home.

Literary critic Suzi Feay surveys a crop of novels which feature authors as characters - Dickens, George Eliot, Virginia Woolf and others have all been included in the pages of books recently. And we take a trip to Hastings to discover why budding authors are turning to art for inspiration.

Available now

28 minutes

Last on

Thu 16 Jul 2015 15:30


  • Sean Michaels

    Duration: 08:10

  • Suzi Feay - Authors as Characters

    Duration: 03:24

  • Michelle Miller and Rachel Johnson

    Duration: 08:20

  • Literature and Visual Art

    Duration: 06:37

Read the opening chapter of Us Conductors by Sean Michaels

Us Conductors: Chapter 1 by Sean Michaels


Role Contributor
Presenter Mariella Frostrup
Interviewed Guest Sean Michaels
Interviewed Guest Rachel Johnson
Interviewed Guest Michelle Miller
Interviewed Guest Suzi Feay


  • Sun 12 Jul 2015 16:00
  • Thu 16 Jul 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