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Karen Lord: What makes a great story?

Sci-fi writer Karen Lord on the power of great storytelling.

What makes a great story? Perhaps it’s the characters, a gripping plot, or a narrative that helps us understand the world we live in. The award winning writer Karen Lord tells us what really goes into writing fiction and she shares an extract from her recent short story ‘The Plague Doctors’, a dystopian tale of social inequality exposed by a future pandemic. ‘The Plague Doctors’ was published as part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's anthology Take Us to a Better Place.

Sci-fi meets forbidden love in a novel that spans centuries and continents. That’s just one of the descriptions used to describe the critically acclaimed novel, The Old Drift. Its author Namwali Serpell talks to the Cultural Frontline about three moments in her life that shaped her as a storyteller.

Plus Amy Brady, the writerof climate fiction column Burning Worlds, on why sci-fi offers us the opportunity for both immersion and escapism.

Presented by Nawal al-Maghafi

Image: Karen Lord
Image credit: Marlon James

Available now

27 minutes


  • Sat 18 Apr 2020 01:32GMT
  • Sun 19 Apr 2020 04:32GMT
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