If you’re a fan of Sara Paretsky, you might like to know that there was an interview with her on “Woman’s Hour” this morning. She talks about her creation Chicago-based private investigator VI Warshawski and her own life and writing. It’s at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b062kqzq#auto, it starts between 2 and 3 minutes in, and lasts for 11 minutes or so.
A couple of days ago on Radio 4 Extra there was a half-hour programme about the Arvon Foundation, and the work it does in the creative writing field, especially its writing courses. You can catch it again at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00fgsg2 – ‘Arvon Turns Forty’. In fact it’s more than 40 now as this is a repeat of a programme first aired in 2008.
Authors needing to be aware of the desirability of looking after their characters should listen to the exchange between Victor Hugo and Quasimodo on Radio 4’s John Finnemore’s Souvenir Programme, episode 2, 11 minutes in on http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04lss87 It lasts just over 3 minutes.
New to me, but probably not to you, is The Austen Project, which will see updated versions of JA’s great canon. The first is Joanna Trollope’s ‘Sense & Sensibility’. You can hear Joanna T talking about it on the 24 October edition of Radio 4’s ‘Woman’s Hour’ – at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03dvbyp (first item). She recognises that Austen purists might not approve of such modernised versions and so advises them not to read hers. Her book was also covered in the ‘Times’ (and no doubt other newspapers) on 25 October. One of the changes she makes is that Willoughby drives an Alfa Romeo instead of riding a magnificent horse; and Edward Ferrars is looking for work in the charity field instead of seeking a parish where he could be vicar.
As there has even been a version of ‘Pride & Prejudice’ involving zombies JA probably fares rather well at the hands of JT!
Joanna Trollope says in the ‘Woman’s Hour’ interview that she feels that Jane Austen rather loses interest in her happy endings. That is the impression I got in ‘Northanger Abbey’, which I’ve just reread after 45+ years. There the loose ends seem to be tidied up in remarkably good time and fortune suddenly smiles on almost all.
Joanna Trollope’s version of S&S is out now. Go to http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17349163-sense-sensibility for more info.
If you’re a fan of Susan Hill you might be interested in a short interview with her on last night’s ‘Front Row’ on Radio 4. You can catch it on http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b03dfpjp/Front_Row_Susan_Hill_Pop_art_design_GF_Newman_Fake_movie_trails/ .
In it she talks about how she writes, the success of her ghost story ‘The Woman in Black’, and her new novel ‘Black Sheep’, set in a mining village.
Just listened to Bookclub on Radio 4, with Hilary Mantel talking about ‘Bring Up The Bodies’ and looking forward to the third volume in her Thomas Cromwell trilogy. Well worth tuning in if you liked ‘Wolf Hall’ or ‘Bodies’: certainly an appetiser for Vol 3. As she described it, ‘Wolf Hall’ led up to Thomas More’s demise, ‘Bodies’ to Anne Boleyn’s, and Vol 3 will take us to her hero’s own, with the focus on his relationship with Henry VIII. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03c2mys is the link to the Radio 4 page; the programme will be repeated on Thursday at 3-30 pm and will soon be available on I-Player.