61 Lulu Wang on The Farewell, Dave, Jessie Burton2019-09-20 18:59:00
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62 Rotters in literature, John Keats' poem To Autumn, The Art of Innovation at the Science Museum2019-09-19 18:57:00
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63 Soweto Kinch, Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture launch, Sam Fender2019-09-18 19:02:00
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64 Maurizio Cattelan at Blenheim Palace, Ad Astra reviewed, Japanese Culture, Shakespeare Folio discovered2019-09-17 18:55:00
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65 Alex Kingston, Criminal, Falling piano sales2019-09-16 18:54:00
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66 Downton Abbey, Alexei Sayle, National Short Story Award - Jo Lloyd, Istanbul Biennial2019-09-13 18:57:00
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67 Lucy Prebble, Temple, NSSA - Lynda Clarke, Alan Ayckbourn's Birthdays Past, Birthdays Present2019-09-12 19:05:00
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68 Front Row at the Proms - Jamie Barton, Daniel Kidane, impact of Brexit on classical music2019-09-11 18:45:00
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69 The British Ceramics Biennial, Novelist Nell Zink, The Jumper Factory, Tamsin Grey2019-09-10 19:09:00
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70 For Sama and Venice Film Festival roundup, NSSA - Lucy Caldwell, Etgar Keret, Peter Nichols obituary2019-09-09 18:53:00
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71 BBC National Short Story Award Shortlist, Protest Song, How to listen to jazz2019-09-06 18:59:00
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72 Margaret Atwood's The Testaments reviewed, Ryan Wigglesworth, Robert Battle2019-09-05 18:57:00
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73 Chrissie Hynde, The Theatre of Parliament, Arts Minister Rebecca Pow2019-09-04 19:05:00
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74 The Booker Prize shortlist, Lucian Freud's new biography, The importance of arts to local identity2019-09-03 18:52:00
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75 The Capture, Venice Film Festival highlights, Enid Blyton reevaluated2019-09-02 18:59:00
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76 Salman Rushdie on Quichotte, Joanna Hogg on The Souvenir2019-08-30 18:57:00
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77 Mrs Lowry and Son reviewed, Anna Calvi, Poet Stephen Sexton2019-08-29 19:01:00
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78 James Graham on drama and constitutional turmoil, Jeff Pope on A Confession, The literary arts and The Troubles2019-08-28 19:23:00
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79 Colson Whitehead, Duke Ellington's Sacred Music, Carnival Row, Sheila Steafel2019-08-27 18:59:00
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80 Edna O'Brien on her new novel Girl, her first The Country Girls, and her career in between2019-08-26 18:45:00
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Edna O'Brien on her new novel Girl, her first The Country Girls, and her career in between

A Front Row for Bank Holiday Monday: Kirsty Lang interviews the writer Edna O'Brien about her new novel, her first novel and her career in between, spanning almost sixty years, 25 works of fiction, as well as biographies and plays. Radio 4 is now broadcasting an adaptation of The Country Girls trilogy. Edna O'Brien's stories of Kate and Baba as they leave rural Ireland for Dublin then London, find work, meet men, and have sex caused scandal when they were published in the 1960s. Her books were banned (six times) and publicly burned in her hometown. Now these are considered among the most significant novels of the last century, important for their exploration of the experience of women and for furthering the cause of their liberation. Times change and now, O'Brien tells Kirsty Lang, she has received, from the president, Ireland's highest cultural accolade. Edna O'Brien is in her late eighties yet research for her new novel, Girl, took her to difficult, dangerous territory in Nigeria. Reading a report about a girl found with her baby wandering in the forest without food, she felt compelled to write their story so set out to find out about the schoolgirls abducted by Bokko Haram. She tells Kirsty how she visited camps, interviewed young women who had been kidnapped, raped and enslaved. She distilled this material into the story of Maryam. It is harrowing, redemptive and beautifully written. Edna O'Brien speaks about the relationship between her own life and her writing and how she has found the courage to move beyond the autobiographical in her fiction. Her ambition, she tells Kirsty, is to carry on, to write one more novel. But that, too, will involve a perilous journey. Presenter: Kirsty Lang Reader: Shalifa Kaddu Producer: Julian May…read more