Literature

London Review Podcasts

The London Review of Books

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LRB-published writers read their own work, introduced by the editors of the London Review of Books. Recent podcasts have included Gillian Anderson reading Charlotte Brontë’s ‘Ingratitude’, Alan Bennett reading from his diary, Tariq Ali on his visit t...Show More

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Diary for 2018

1:02:33 | Jan 3rd

Alan Bennett puts on a new play and finds himself on someone’s arm, in his 2018 diary.

Uneven Stevens

59:22 | Dec 21st, 2018

Seamus Perry and Mark Ford look at that great poet of winter and snow, Wallace Stevens, and the pieces about him in the LRB archive: his anecdote-proof life, the capitalist economy of his imagination, and his all-American poetry of precise abstractio...Show More

Housmania

59:14 | Oct 2nd, 2018

Seamus Perry and Mark Ford discuss the life and work of Worcestershire lad and old-type natural fouled-up guy, A.E. Housman, through a lens of the pieces written about him in the LRB archive.

The Idea of Stevie

59:09 | Aug 16th, 2018

Seamus Perry and Mark Ford discuss the life and work of Stevie Smith, ‘an eccentric poet with a tenacious reputation’, through the lens of the pieces written about her in the LRB archive.

Hardy’s neutral tones

59:45 | Jun 26th, 2018

Seamus Perry and Mark Ford discuss the poetry of Thomas Hardy in the latest in their series of discussions on 20th century poets.

The Dress in Your Head

47:10 | Mar 27th, 2018

Rosemary Hill explores frock consciousness in life and literature.

The Problem with Winning

47:01 | Mar 14th, 2018

Linda Colley argues that the prospect of Brexit makes history more important than ever.

The Genesis of Blame

35:58 | Feb 28th, 2018

Anne Enright delivers her Winter Lecture on the corruptions of the Adam and Eve story.

Coffin Liquor

46:16 | Feb 6th, 2018

Toby Jones reads John Lanchester’s ghost story.

Diary

45:22 | Jan 4th, 2018

Alan Bennett finds his métier at last in 2017.

The Defectors

1:08:03 | Dec 21st, 2017

In the latest instalment of the LRB podcast, recorded in Seoul, Richard Lloyd Parry talks to the Korean-American novelist Krys Lee about Christianity, plastic surgery and mutual incomprehension in the Korean borderlands.

Story: ‘Cat-Brushing’

15:49 | Dec 6th, 2017

Jane Campbell reads a story about dispossession in paradise.

Story: ‘Cat-Brushing’

15:49 | Dec 6th, 2017

Jane Campbell reads a story about dispossession in paradise.

Arch Bishop

58:32 | Nov 14th, 2017

Seamus Perry and Mark Ford discuss the life and work of Elizabeth Bishop, through the lens of the pieces written about her in the LRB archive.

Harvey Weinstein

11:48 | Nov 2nd, 2017

Lucy Prebble describes meeting Harvey Weinstein.

Absolute Revolt

51:38 | Oct 16th, 2017

In the second part of their conversation, Olivier Roy and Adam Shatz discuss the deculturation of Islam, and why it has led to the radicalisation of so many second-generation immigrants and converts.

Living Orients

50:06 | Oct 10th, 2017

In the first of two podcasts, Olivier Roy tells Adam Shatz about his experiences with the Gauche prolétarienne in the 1960s and his early travels in Afghanistan.

Don’t learn shorthand

48:54 | Sep 26th, 2017

Carmen Callil, writer, editor and founder of Virago, tells Rosemary Hill how she made her way in 1960s London.

Staffing the Raj

36:48 | Sep 6th, 2017

Ferdinand Mount on how India was governed strictly for the benefit of Britain.

Auden Anxieties

1:07:39 | Aug 29th, 2017

Seamus Perry and Mark Ford discuss the work of W. H. Auden with reference to pieces from the LRB.

Wallace Shawn and Adam Shatz

59:44 | Aug 16th, 2017

Writer and actor Wallace Shawn talks to Adam Shatz about ‘the thin line between entertainment and cruelty’ in the age of Trump.

Post-Press Politics

54:27 | Aug 1st, 2017

William Davies talks to Tom Crewe about politics in the new media age.

Podcast: Panthers in Algiers

28:10 | Jul 18th, 2017

Elaine Mokhtefi talks to Jeremy Harding about her time working in Algeria in the 1960s when she met Black Panther leader Eldridge Cleaver.

Ida John

20:17 | Jun 28th, 2017

‘Bohemia was never a safe country for women. If they didn’t all die of consumption in a garret, many of them might as well have done’ – Rosemary Hill on the letters of Ida John.

Dacre’s Paper

18:57 | Jun 21st, 2017

‘It’s like the drunken lout at a party who can’t get anyone to like him.’ Andrew O’Hagan reads the Daily Mail.

The Corbyn Project

51:48 | Jun 5th, 2017

Tom Crewe talks to Lorna Finlayson about Jeremy Corbyn and Labour’s prospects in the general election and beyond.

Snitching on Students

29:29 | May 17th, 2017

‘Once you start seeing everyday behaviour as having the potential to draw people into terrorism, you’re inside the problem’ – Karma Nabulsi on the British government’s Prevent programme.

Looking at Larkin

1:00:22 | May 10th, 2017

Seamus Perry and Mark Ford discuss the work of Philip Larkin, drawing on articles from our archive by contributors including Alan Bennett, Barbara Everett and John Bayley.

People Will Hate Us Again

32:36 | Apr 27th, 2017

Julian Barnes on Georges Simenon and Brexit.

The Syrian War

59:08 | Apr 20th, 2017

Adam Shatz talks to Joshua Landis about the war in Syria.

Talking Politics: John Lanchester

36:22 | Apr 12th, 2017

David Runciman talks to John Lanchester about banks, Europe and technology in this latest collaboration with Talking Politics.

The Last London

49:52 | Mar 29th, 2017

Iain Sinclair delivers his lecture on ‘The Last London’ at the British Museum, as part of the LRB’s Winter Lecture series.

From Medusa to Merkel

1:13:24 | Mar 16th, 2017

Mary Beard delivers her lecture ‘Women in Power’ at the British Museum.

Talking Politics: Mary Beard

47:34 | Feb 28th, 2017

In the first of our ongoing and occasional collaboration with the Talking Politics podcast, David Runciman talks to Mary Beard about women in power.

Burning Man

26:17 | Jan 12th, 2017

Emily Witt goes to the Burning Man gathering in Nevada, from our 17 July 2014 issue.

Diary

31:54 | Jan 5th, 2017

Alan Bennett reads his diary for 2016.

On John Berger

1:18:33 | Jan 4th, 2017

To mark John Berger’s 90th birthday, the London Review Bookshop and Verso Books organised a discussion of his work with Mike Dibb, Yasmin Gunaratnam and Tom Overton, hosted by Gareth Evans.

In Late December

03:06 | Dec 15th, 2016

Frederick Seidel reads his poem ‘In Late December’.

Robert Rauschenberg

17:51 | Dec 1st, 2016

Hal Foster reviews the Robert Rauschenberg exhibition at Tate Modern.

‘Race Studies’

20:40 | Oct 19th, 2016

Susan Pedersen on the birth of ‘International Relations’.

Long-Form Essays in the Digital Age

46:01 | Aug 11th, 2016

Mary-Kay Wilmers, Andrew O’Hagan and Ben Eastham talk to Sarah Howe about ‘Long-Form Essays in the Digital Age’.

Brexit Blues

33:10 | Jul 27th, 2016

John Lanchester on the implications of the UK’s EU referendum.

In the Morgue

16:56 | Jul 13th, 2016

Gavin Francis observes the autopsy of a man pulled from a river.

The Satoshi Affair

16:45 | Jun 29th, 2016

Andrew O'Hagan watches Craig Wright show Gavin Andresen, one of the most respected bitcoin core developers, that he holds the Satoshi key.

Trump for President!

01:59 | Jun 29th, 2016

Frederick Seidel reads his poem ‘Trump for President!’.

European Schools

20:30 | Jun 15th, 2016

Peter Pomerantsev remembers his time in the 'English section' at the European School in Munich.

Let Them Drown

1:27:09 | Jun 1st, 2016

Naomi Klein examines how Edward Said’s ideas of racial hierarchy, including Orientalism, have long been the silent partners to climate change.

Video: Bitcoin and the nature of money

10:47 | Apr 21st, 2016

John Lanchester on bitcoin and the nature of money.

Giorgione

16:51 | Mar 30th, 2016

Charles Hope on Giorgione, 'a sort of Venetian counterpart to Leonardo'.

Delacroix

15:06 | Mar 17th, 2016

Julian Bell discusses Delacroix and his heirs.

Where on Earth are you?

55:46 | Mar 3rd, 2016

Frances Stonor Saunders on the crossing of borders.

Robin Hood in a Time of Austerity

1:21:54 | Feb 18th, 2016

James Meek asks how, in a time of austerity economics, we define the robber and the robbed.

Thatcher in Her Bubble

18:57 | Dec 3rd, 2015

David Runciman on Margaret Thatcher

At Tottenham Court Road

13:17 | Sep 23rd, 2015

Andrew O'Hagan crosses the road.

On Putting Things Off

10:07 | Sep 9th, 2015

Robert Hanks on the pleasures and pains of putting things off.

The Killing of Osama bin Laden

43:24 | May 20th, 2015

Seymour Hersh talks to Christian Lorentzen about his pieces for the LRB, collected in a new book, The Killing of Osama bin Laden.

In Sanaa

09:25 | May 20th, 2015

Ghaith Abdul-Ahad on the rise of the Houthis in Yemen.

‘The School of English’: A Story

1:01:06 | May 6th, 2015

Hilary Mantel reads her short story, ‘The School of English’.

The New World Disorder

1:41:17 | Apr 8th, 2015

In his 2015 Winter Lecture, Tariq Ali argues that we are living in the twilight period of democracy.

Learning My Lesson

1:15:33 | Mar 19th, 2015

In her 2015 Winter Lecture, Marina Warner shows how higher education in the UK has been betrayed.

Against Self-Criticism

1:10:03 | Mar 5th, 2015

In his 2015 Winter Lecture, Adam Phillips reflects on the ways we hate ourselves.

Iammmmyookkraaanian

13:49 | Feb 19th, 2015

Peter Pomerantsev on images and myths of Maidan.

Death in Belgravia

17:08 | Feb 5th, 2015

Rosemary Hill on the life and disappearance of Lord Lucan.

Germany’s Sense of Itself and the World’s Sense of Germany

1:19:58 | Jan 23rd, 2015

Franziska Augstein, Norbert Röttgen, Neal Ascherson and Christopher Clark discuss how Germany sees itself and how the world sees it. Chaired by Nicholas Spice.

Go-Betweens in Northern Ireland

16:46 | Jan 22nd, 2015

Owen Bennett-Jones on the messengers that paved the way for the Northern Ireland peace process.

What I did in 2014

18:12 | Jan 8th, 2015

Alan Bennett on what he did in 2014.

Shamed in Afghanistan

19:44 | Dec 18th, 2014

James Meek on the British army’s eight years in Afghanistan.

Face to Face with Rembrandt

25:39 | Dec 4th, 2014

T.J. Clark comes face to face with Rembrandt.

Short Cuts

10:59 | Sep 10th, 2014

John Lanchester explains what’s next on the world of money’s Official Worry List.

Fair Play: A Sermon

20:38 | Jun 18th, 2014

Alan Bennett read this sermon before the University, King’s College Chapel, Cambridge, 1 June 2014.

The Public Voice of Women

1:30:14 | Mar 20th, 2014

Mary Beard reflects on the way women are heard – and have been heard – in public, from Homer’s Odyssey through Margaret Thatcher to internet trolls.

Julian Assange

1:02:38 | Mar 6th, 2014

Andrew O’Hagan spent six months with Julian Assange helping him write his autobiography, though in the event Assange didn’t want the book published. O’Hagan speaks about those six months for the first time.

On Not Going Home

1:00:53 | Feb 20th, 2014

James Wood explores the estrangement of voluntary emigration: the puzzling sense of losing the country you leave and failing to find another. Homelessness, in a word.

What I did in 2013

12:44 | Jan 9th, 2014

Alan Bennett reluctantly pays some overdue bills.

Penelope Fitzgerald

12:28 | Dec 19th, 2013

Jenny Turner on Penelope Fitzgerald

A Death in Jenin

1:03:16 | Nov 21st, 2013

Adam Shatz on the life and death of Juliano Mer-Khamis.

Mailer’s Last Punch

10:08 | Nov 7th, 2013

Andrew O’Hagan remembers Norman Mailer.

Short Cuts

09:54 | Oct 23rd, 2013

Jacqueline Rose on what links Frank Kermode and Nigel Farage.

Australia’s Boat-People

29:48 | Sep 25th, 2013

In August, as Australian politicians hung tough on asylum seekers, the Melbourne Writers Festival asked Jeremy Harding how far governments can patrol migration. With grateful acknowledgments to the Alan Missen Foundation and Liberty Victoria.

Jacqueline Rose: In Conversation

55:25 | Aug 31st, 2013

Recognised for her writing on subjects including Sylvia Plath, feminism, Proust, psychoanalysis, Zionism, the Middle East conflict and Jewish identity, Rose discusses her work with Justin Clemens, co-editor (wtih Ben Naparstek) of the Jacqueline Rose...Show More

Women in Dark Times

55:46 | Aug 30th, 2013

Jacqueline Rose draws parallels between revolutionary 19th-century socialist Rosa Luxemburg and Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe. She explains how each of these remarkable women straddled the divide between their political and inner lives. Chaired by Hi...Show More

Colm Tóibín: In Conversation

1:01:23 | Aug 30th, 2013

Author, essayist and poet Colm Tóibín is one of Ireland’s greatest living writers. He discusses his life and work, including his recent book The Testament of Mary, in which he re-imagines the life of Christ through the eyes of the holiest of saints. ...Show More

At the Movies

08:58 | Aug 7th, 2013

Michael Wood reconsiders ‘Cleopatra’ – its expense, its quarrelling stars, its length, its success – on the release of a restored print for the film’s fiftieth anniversary.

‘Bedsit Disco Queen’

15:12 | Jul 17th, 2013

Lavinia Greenlaw tells the story of singer Tracey Thorn’s rise from bedroom rehearsals and an ad in the NME to indie label Cherry Red (who also signed Greenlaw’s band), the top ten and a platinum record.

Emily Davison, Modern Martyr

39:30 | Jul 3rd, 2013

Marina Warner explores Emily Davison’s legacy as the suffragettes’ first martyr in a talk given at the inaugural Wilding Festival at St George’s Bloomsbury, where Davison’s memorial service was held.

The Bling Ring

18:44 | Jun 19th, 2013

Andrew O’Hagan tells the story of Alexis Neiers and the rest of the ‘Bling Ring’ who stole from Paris Hilton in order to be more like Paris Hilton.

The Syrian War Spills Over

12:16 | Jun 5th, 2013

Patrick Cockburn explains why the Syrian war feels close to ending when it isn’t and how YouTube is changing war reporting.

Two Stories

10:42 | May 22nd, 2013

Diane Williams reads ‘Perform Small Tasks’ and ‘Removal Men’.

Nine Poems

34:52 | May 1st, 2013

Robin Robertson reads his versions of Nonnus and a selection of other poems.

Seven Poems

18:46 | Apr 17th, 2013

Mark Ford reads a selection of poems he’s published in the LRB.

Is Wagner bad for us?

1:16:32 | Apr 10th, 2013

On the centenary of Wagner’s birth, Nicholas Spice asks in his Winter Lecture at the British Museum how his music works on us and what this tells us about music in general.

American Democracy

1:25:20 | Mar 21st, 2013

David Runciman on the impossibility and persistence of the US political system.

On the Middle East

1:33:44 | Mar 18th, 2013

In his 2013 Edward W. Said lecture Noam Chomsky reflects on 65 years of violence in the Middle East.

Tantrums

14:56 | Mar 7th, 2013

Adam Phillips considers the sadomasochism of childhood and the pleasures and pains of tantrums.

Royal Bodies

1:05:54 | Feb 21st, 2013

Introduced by Neil MacGregor, Hilary Mantel considers the royal body from Anne Boleyn’s ‘bosom not much raised’ to Kate Middleton’s equally modest endowment.

Shakespeare: Our Contemporary?

1:31:31 | Feb 1st, 2013

Colin Burrow, Michael Dobson, James Shapiro, Emma Smith and Marina Warner discuss the ways we continue to make (and occasionally unmake) Shakespeare in our own image.

Two Poems

30:10 | Jan 24th, 2013

August Kleinzahler reads and talks about some of the poems he’s published in the LRB.

2012

18:05 | Jan 3rd, 2013

Alan Bennett rides in Mr Murdoch’s car and gets a review from T.S. Eliot.

Literary Names

19:10 | Nov 22nd, 2012

Colin Burrow on the reasons Jane Eyre is called Jane Eyre and Tom Jones is called Tom Jones.

A Fragment of Ibykos Translated Six Ways

07:14 | Nov 8th, 2012

Anne Carson reads ‘A Fragment of Ibykos Translated Six Ways’.

‘The Casual Vacancy’

04:56 | Oct 24th, 2012

Adam Mars-Jones imagines J.K. Rowling bringing the manuscript ‘The Casual Vacancy’ to him for advice.

Philby in Beirut

09:22 | Oct 10th, 2012

Tom Carver on the night Kim Philby disappeared from the rue Kantari.

Short Cuts

08:40 | Sep 26th, 2012

Michael Friedman gets arrested and spends the night at Central Booking.

How We Happened to Sell Off Our Electricity

06:21 | Sep 12th, 2012

James Meek wonders how Britain happened to sell off its electricity.

‘Fifty Shades of Grey’

13:46 | Jul 18th, 2012

Andrew O’Hagan on the art of terrible writing about sex.

Damien Hirst

12:46 | Jul 4th, 2012

Marina Warner watches Damien Hirst’s butterflies hatch.

Mina’s Banner

1:07:48 | Jun 14th, 2012

In the 2012 Edward Said Lecture at the British Museum, Ahdaf Soueif explains ‘Mina’s Banner’

‘The University Poem’

36:26 | Jun 6th, 2012

Ralph Fiennes reads ‘The University Poem’, which Nabokov wrote in 1926, four years after he left Trinity College, Cambridge.

Meeting Gary Snyder

15:34 | May 23rd, 2012

Iain Sinclair meets the last of the Beats, the poet Gary Snyder.

Two Poems

07:17 | May 1st, 2012

Daljit Nagra reads ‘This Be the Pukka Verse’ and ‘A Ballad for Bopoluchi’.

Marilyn Monroe

57:57 | Apr 25th, 2012

Jacqueline Rose celebrates Marilyn Monroe.

Marx at 193

57:28 | Apr 4th, 2012

John Lanchester writes about Marx at 193.

Memories of Amikejo

1:01:21 | Mar 22nd, 2012

Neal Ascherson writes about Europe, its pasts and its possible future

L’Ingratitude

03:59 | Mar 8th, 2012

Gillian Anderson reads ‘Ingratitude’, a lost fable by Charlotte Brontë.

A Part Song

13:53 | Feb 9th, 2012

Denise Riley reads ‘A Part Song’, her first poem in the LRB for many years.

The Immigration Battle

08:28 | Feb 9th, 2012

Jeremy Harding discusses the politics of migration and the battle at Europe's borders.

In Pyongyang

11:11 | Jan 26th, 2012

Tariq Ali visited North Korea twice in the 1960s and met the ‘Great and Beloved Leader’ himself.

Diary

09:36 | Jan 5th, 2012

Alan Bennett considers the banana skin and is mistaken for ‘another Alan’ in his Diary for 2011.

The Wonderfulness of Us

59:58 | Aug 18th, 2011

Andrew O’Hagan chaired this discussion between Linda Colley, R.W. Johnson and Tom Devine about national histories and the ways they should, and should not, be taught.

Libraries (part 2)

21:32 | Jun 14th, 2011

In a 2011 Primrose Hill Lecture, Alan Bennett talks about what public libraries, now under threat, have meant to him.

Libraries (part 1)

37:56 | Jun 14th, 2011

In a 2011 Primrose Hill Lecture, Alan Bennett talks about what public libraries, now under threat, have meant to him.

An Interview with Jacqueline Rose

1:09:28 | Jun 6th, 2011

Jacqueline Rose speaks about her first readings of Freud and Jung and her encounters with feminism, Sylvia Plath and Israel/Palestine.

Who Owns Kafka?

57:16 | Mar 3rd, 2011

Judith Butler asks ‘Who Owns Kafka?’ in one of the LRB’s 2011 Winter Lectures.

Picasso’s Guernica Revisited

1:03:20 | Feb 14th, 2011

In his 2011 Winter Lecture at the British Museum, T.J. Clark shows how the painting of Guernica in May and June 1937 changed the way Picasso imagined space.

Picasso’s Guernica Revisited

1:14:11 | Feb 14th, 2011

In his 2011 Winter Lecture at the British Museum, T.J. Clark shows how the painting of Guernica in May and June 1937 changed the way Picasso imagined space.

Who Owns Kafka?

56:58 | Feb 7th, 2011

Judith Butler asks Who Owns Kafka? in one of the LRB’s 2011 Winter Lectures.

The Author in the Age of the Internet (part 3)

18:44 | Apr 23rd, 2010

John Lanchester, Nicholas Spice, Colm Tóibín, Mary-Kay Wilmers and James Wood discuss the way technology is changing the stories we can tell.

The Author in the Age of the Internet (part 2)

32:10 | Apr 23rd, 2010

John Lanchester, Nicholas Spice, Colm Tóibín, Mary-Kay Wilmers and James Wood discuss the way technology is changing the stories we can tell.

The Author in the Age of the Internet (part 1)

33:03 | Apr 23rd, 2010

John Lanchester, Nicholas Spice, Colm Tóibín, Mary-Kay Wilmers and James Wood discuss the way technology is changing the stories we can tell.

J’accuse: Dreyfus in Our Time

1:29:00 | Apr 20th, 2010

Jacqueline Rose considers the Dreyfus affair and the meaning of Jewish identity.

Obama’s War

1:27:02 | Apr 18th, 2010

Tariq Ali explains why the war in Afghanistan is unwinnable.

The Purpose and Politics of the British Museum

12:01 | Feb 1st, 2010

Neil MacGregor on the purpose and politics of the British Museum.