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Speaking in Parables

Episode 8 of 12

Marina Warner, with other writers, looks at the world of contemporary storytelling looking at “Speaking in Parables”. From 2015.

Marina Warner looks at 'Speaking in Parables'.

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

Last on

Sat 9 Jan 2021 19:45


Mémoires de porc-épic (Memoirs of a Porcupine), by Alain Mabanckou, published 2006 by Editions du Seuil. Originally written in French. English translation by Helen Stevenson published 2011 by Serpent’s Tail.


Al-Tibr (Gold Dust), by Ibrahim al-Koni, published 1990 by Riad el-Rayyes. Originally written in Arabic. English translation by Elliott Colla published 2008 by The American University in Cairo Press.


La Villa (Shantytown), by César Aira, published 2001 by Emecé Editores. Originally written in Spanish. English translation by Chris Andrews published 2013 by New Directions.


Az utolsó farkas (The Last Wolf), by László Krasznahorkai, published 2009 by Magvető Könyvkiadó. Originally written in Hungarian. English translation by George Szirtes published 2009 for Words without Borders.


  • Wed 15 Jul 2015 13:45
  • Sun 12 Nov 2017 15:45
  • Mon 13 Nov 2017 03:45
  • Wed 18 Sep 2019 14:15
  • Thu 19 Sep 2019 02:15
  • Sat 9 Jan 2021 19:45