The Faber Podcast
The 'Big Music' of the title of Kirsty Gunn's new novel is the pibroch, the formal music of the Highland bagpipes, the most intricate and demanding bagpipe music for both player and listener, far removed from the so-called 'little music' of dance tunes and marches. Kirsty Gunn weaves the pibroch's elaborate structure into a remarkable work of fiction, which is constantly evolving and reshaping. It's an ambitious novel that critics are calling a 'masterpiece'.
As a Foreign Correspondent, Channel 4 News' International Editor Lindsey Hilsum has covered many of the major conflicts of the past two decades: the genocide in Rwanda, war in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kosovo, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In 'Sandstorm', her first book, she turns her journalist's eye on the Libyan revolution. It's a remarkable documentary of Gaddafi's 42-year-long reign, filled with first-hand accounts from the Libyan people.
Practising barrister and acclaimed Australian author Elliot Perlman's latest novel is written on an epic scale - spanning six decades and moving from Chicago to New York, Warsaw to Melbourne, and Auschwitz. It's a book about Memory, 'but memory is a wilful dog ... it won't be summoned or dismissed, but it cannot survive without you'. Find out more in this half-hour long interview.
From the frontline of cutting-edge scientific research, Professor Robin Dunbar's new book 'The Science of Love and Betrayal' is a brilliant and sparkling exploration of the extraordinary nature of romantic love. The book tackles some of the most fundamental questions of human behaviour, including - why do we as a species pairbond when few other mammals do? What are the evolutionary advantages of monogamy over promiscuity? And much more.
Tobias Jones's latest book, 'Blood on the Altar', tells in forensic detail the gripping true story the disappearance of a sixteen-year-old girl in an Italian town in 1993. As you’ll hear, nearly a decade after Elisa Claps’ disappearance, the case took a bizarre twist which no novelist would have dared invent.
In our second interview this month George Miller speaks to Philip Oltermann about 'Keeping Up with the Germans: A History of Anglo-German Encounters'. Philip came to the UK from his native Germany in his mid-teens and in the book turns his wry gaze on both countries and their history of mutual misunderstandings.
In the first of 2012's author podcasts George Miller talks to James Palmer about the momentous year 1976, which saw the death of Chairman Mao and inevitable machinations to be his successor, as well as one of the worst natural disasters in human history, the Tangshan earthquake.
Stewart Lee's previous book How I Escaped My Certain Fate drew on three live shows to deconstruct the nature of stand-up comedy. With its heavy use of footnotes there was a nod in structure to T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land. For his new book, the slimmer volume Stewart Lee! The 'If You Prefer a Milder Comedian Please Ask for One!' EP, Lee draws inspiration from The Specials' 1980 five-track EP The Special AKA Live!, live material surplus to any long player. This new book is based on just one stand-up show, in which Stewart Lee examines the mechanics of comedy and the stand-up's craft, as he explains in this interview with comedy critic and Resonance FM DJ Ben Thompson.
Having previously covered the Victorians and the nascent years of the British Film Industry, in 'The West End Front' Matthew Sweet now turns his attention to the grand London hotels during the Second World War - a world within a world populated by an assortment of colourful characters: aristocrats, politicians, spies, dandies, conmen, abortionists, exiles ... rife with scandal.
In her latest book Fiona MacCarthy, one of this country's most distinguished biographers (Byron, Eric Gill, William Morris) explores the life of Morris's lifelong friend, Edward Burne-Jones. One of the Victorian age's most celebrated painters, and also a designer of everything from stained glass to slippers, he was a living embodiment of the quality that MacCarthy refers to as a 'very Victorian hyper-energy'.