This month World Book Club talks to award-winning writer Siri Hustvedt about her novel What I Loved, a troubling, often turbulent tale of love, art, friendship and heartbreak set amidst the darkly flamboyant New York art scene of the late twentieth century.
Scholars Leo and his wife Erica admire, then befriend, artist Bill and his first and second wives. Their respective sons Matthew and Mark grow up together until the first in a series of tragedies strikes; a calamity which devastates the whole community and changes everyone’s lives forever.
(Image: Siri Hustvedt. Photo credit: Miquel Llop/NurPhoto/Getty Images.)
Donna Leon - Death at La Fenice
This month World Book Club talks to award-winning American writer Donna Leon about her celebrated novel Death at La Fenice.
When legendary German conductor Helmut Wellauer is found dead in his dressing room two acts into a performance of La Traviata at Venice’s spectacular opera house, police commissario Guido Brunetti is called in. Despite being used to the corruptions of the city, as labyrinthine as the gorgeously crumbling city itself, Brunetti is shocked at the number of enemies Wellauer has made on his way to the top - but just how many have motive enough for murder?
Find out more by tuning in to hear Donna Leon talking to her readers in the studio and around the world about murder and mystery in Venice.
(Image: Donna Leon. Photo credit: Regine Mosimann/Diogenes Verlag/AG Zürich.)
Tessa Hadley - The Past
This month World Book Club comes from the FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival in the elegant surroundings of The Mathematical Institute, part of the university, and we’re talking to the highly acclaimed British author Tessa Hadley about her award-winning novel The Past.
Over three long, hot summer weeks four siblings and their children assemble at their country house for a family reunion, where simmering tensions and secrets come to a head.
Tessa Hadley skillfully evokes a brewing storm of lust and envy, the indelible connections of memory and affection, the fierce, nostalgic beauty of the natural world, and the shifting currents of history running beneath the surface of these seemingly steady lives.
(Picture: Tessa Hadley. Photo credit; Mark Vessey.)
Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o - A Grain of Wheat
This month a special edition of BBC World Book Club coming from Nairobi in Kenya. Lawrence Pollard talks to celebrated Kenyan writer Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o in the company of an enthusiastic audience of readers and students who have gathered in the bustling bookshop of Nairobi University where Ngugi was once a director. We’re discussing Ngũgĩ's landmark novel A Grain of Wheat, set in the wake of the Mau Mau rebellion and on the cusp of Kenya’s independence from Britain. In it the tangled narratives of a group of Kenyan villagers interweave to tell an epic story of love tested, friendships betrayed and myths forged, confirming Ngũgĩ's status as a giant of African writing.
JoJo Moyes - Me Before You
This month we’re talking to bestselling British writer JoJo Moyes about her wildly popular novel Me Before You.
Lou is a small town girl in need of a job. Will is a successful high-powered city trader who becomes wheelchair bound following an accident and decides he doesn’t want to go on living.
And then Lou is hired for six months to be his new caretaker. Worlds apart and trapped together by circumstance, the two get off to a rocky start. But Lou is determined to prove that life is worth living and as they embark on a series of adventures together, each finds their world changing in ways neither of them could have imagined.
(Image: Jojo Moyes. Photo credit: Stine Heilmann.)