BookBlast® Podcast
Bridging the Divide #15 | Georgian author Beka Adamashvili & Tamar Japaridze on literary satire

Bridging the Divide #15 | Georgian author Beka Adamashvili & Tamar Japaridze on literary satire

November 5, 2020

As a reminder of what entertaining, inoffensive satire constitutes, pick up a copy of Bestseller by Georgian trailblazer, Beka Adamashvili, deftly translated by Tamar Japaridze, published by Dedalus Books.

A blogger, screenwriter and creative director at an advertising company, Adamashvili’s mischievous sense of humor and deep knowledge of world literature, combined with marketing nous, sharpen his pen. Multiple allusions from literary classics are woven into his postmodern narrative as he sends up digimodernism and the shallowness of the desire for fame. Dante, Conan Doyle, Samuel Beckett, George Orwell and other literary heavyweights rebel against the author. Bestseller pokes fun at literary pretentiousness, humbug and bookish aspirations with wit and verve.

Presented by Georgia de Chamberet | Produced by Rupert Such

Bridging the Divide #14 | Lucy Popescu interviews Goran Vojnović, Olivia Hellewell

Bridging the Divide #14 | Lucy Popescu interviews Goran Vojnović, Olivia Hellewell

October 20, 2020

"In The Fig Tree, deftly translated by Olivia Hellewell, Goran Vojnović portrays three generations of a family whose lives are marked by the disintegration of Yugoslavia and its brutal aftermath. It is a remarkable portrait of a country’s fragmentation and a family’s fracture." Lucy Popescu, The BookBlast Diary

Presented by Georgia de Chamberet | Produced by Rupert Such

Bridging the Divide #13 | Lucy Popescu & Natasha Lehrer discuss Nathalie Leger’s The White Dress

Bridging the Divide #13 | Lucy Popescu & Natasha Lehrer discuss Nathalie Leger’s The White Dress

September 24, 2020

In THE WHITE DRESS, Nathalie Léger tells the story of Pippa Bacca, a thirty-three-year-old Italian feminist performance artist who decided to hitchhike from Milan to Jerusalem wearing a white wedding dress to symbolise “marriage between different peoples and nations.” Through her intense examination of Bacca’s final work and of the often polarised public reaction to the role of women in art, Léger also compellingly addresses her own conflicted relationship with her elderly mother.

Does Bacca’s work actually need to be translated in a narrative form. Like any visual artist, it’s there in the performative act. Which makes one ask is all communication translation or indeed translatable?

In your view, what makes a good translator and how can translation change perceptions of our world?

Discover the answers to these questions and more, as Lucy Popescu interviews award-winning translator Natasha Lehrer who has translated two of Léger’s books.

Presented by Lucy Popescu | Produced by Rupert Such 

Bridging the Divide #12 | Georgia de Chamberet interviews publisher Philip Gywn Jones

Bridging the Divide #12 | Georgia de Chamberet interviews publisher Philip Gywn Jones

September 17, 2020

Georgia de Chamberet interviews Philip Gwyn Jones who has extensive experience at the heart of literary publishing having started his career at the late, lamented Flamingo imprint at HarperCollins, then founding Portobello Books and merging it with Granta Books, moving on to Scribe, and since June this year, heading up the Picador imprint at Macmillan.

“You were the first British editor to offer a book contract to Jenny Erpenbeck, Ove Knausgaard, Jhumpa Lahiri, Arundhati Roy, Kathryn Schulz and Zadie Smith, amongst others. Tell us about some of your recent discoveries published by Scribe and what makes each one so special.”

“Tommy Wieringa - author of The Blessed Rita which you have published in Spring this year - is one of europe’s biggest selling authors. What is his magic ingredient?”

“As voices from the margins have become louder, influencing the political mainstream, how has fiction written from an “outsider” perspective evolved and increasingly become an identifiable genre in publishing since you began your career publishing translations?”

Presented by Georgia de Chamberet | Produced by Rupert Such

Bridging the Divide #11 | Lucy Popescu interviews Tommy Wieringa and his translator Sam Garrett

Bridging the Divide #11 | Lucy Popescu interviews Tommy Wieringa and his translator Sam Garrett

September 17, 2020

Lucy Popescu interviews Tommy Wieringa and his translator from Dutch, Sam Garrett. Wieringa's novel The Death of Murat Idrissi was nominated for the International Booker Prize in 2019. In 2018 he won the Bookspot Literatuurprijs for his novel De heilige Rita, The Blessed Rita, published this year by Scribe UK. It is a compelling portrait of the forgotten and Wieringa makes a strong case for empathy with those living on the margins of society.

“Did you grow up in a rural or urban community?”

“What draws you to write about men on the margins?”

 “Tommy, regarding empathy for your characters and their situations, by writing about flawed characters you remind us of our shared humanity. Was that your intention?”

Hear the answers to these questions and more in this insightful exclusive interview.

Presented by Lucy Popescu | Produced by Rupert Such

Bridging the Divide #10 | Interview (en français): Tahar Ben Jelloun explique le terrorisme

Bridging the Divide #10 | Interview (en français): Tahar Ben Jelloun explique le terrorisme

September 10, 2020

Interview avec le romancier, essayiste, critique et poète marocain le plus vendu au niveau international, Tahar Ben Jelloun, au sujet de son livre, Le Terrorisme explique à nos enfants. Cette semaine les complices présumés sont devant le tribunal de Paris pour les attentats de janvier 2015.

Pouvez-vous décrire brièvement à nos auditeurs anglophones les racines du terrorisme en France et quelles sont les objectifs présumés des terroristes?

Comment pensez vous que l’État pourrait contrôler ses forces de police et leurs «bavures»? Est il possible que les consequences toxiques du colonialisme puissent être mieux reconnues pour réévaluer le récit publique sur l'islam et la politique sociale républicaine?

Qu'est-ce qui vous a poussé à écrire ce livre?

Écoutez les réponses à ces questions et plus encore dans cette interview qui est très nécessaire.

Presenté par Georgia de Chamberet | Produit par Rupert Such | version originale

Bridging the Divide #10 | Interview: Tahar Ben Jelloun, On Terrorism

Bridging the Divide #10 | Interview: Tahar Ben Jelloun, On Terrorism

September 10, 2020

The Moroccan poet, novelist, essayist, and journalist, Tahar Ben Jelloun, is one of France's most celebrated writers. He has written extensively about Moroccan culture, the immigrant experience, human rights, and sexual identity.

With the trial opening this week in Paris over the January 2015 attacks on the offices of the satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo, and a kosher supermarket that killed seventeen people, Terrorism: Conversations with My Daughter (translated by Aneesa Abbas Higgins) is a timely and essential read.

Can you briefly describe for our listeners the roots of terrorism in France, and what are its intentions?

How could the powers that be in France address the ongoing issue of police violence and toxic legacy of colonialism in an attempt to reassess its narrative about Islam, and its social policies? 

Hear the answers to these questions and more in this insightful interview for curious minds.  

Presented by Georgia de Chamberet | Produced by Rupert Such | Voice-over by Issa Naseri

Bridging the Divide #9 Guest interview | Christopher MacLehose, founder of  MacLehose Press

Bridging the Divide #9 Guest interview | Christopher MacLehose, founder of MacLehose Press

September 3, 2020

Christopher MacLehose brought WG Sebald, José Saramago, Haruki Murakami, Claudio Magris, Javier Marías, Jin Yong and many others to English-language readers. He is credited as having launched the bestselling genre of crime fiction in translation now known as “Nordic Noir”.

In 1984 you published Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow by Peter Høeg, followed by Henning Mankell’s Kurt Wallander’s series in the 1990s a.k.a. “the father of Nordic noir”, Jo Nesbo in the 2000s, and Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Why do Scandinavians write such great crime fiction?  

As a consistently passionate advocate of fine literature in translation throughout your career, what in your view makes a good translation, and what makes it last?

Tune in to find out more . . .

Presented by Georgia de Chamberet | Produced by Rupert Such 

Bridging the Divide #8 | Lars Mytting (author) Deborah Dawkin (Translator) The Bell in the Lake

Bridging the Divide #8 | Lars Mytting (author) Deborah Dawkin (Translator) The Bell in the Lake

September 3, 2020

“‘And this also’, said Marlow suddenly, ‘has been one of the dark places of the earth.’ This epigraph, taken from Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, sets the tone for Mytting’s sweeping investigation of legend, superstition, and the effects of industrial and ideological change on a small, secluded village in rural Norway . . . A powerful contemporary narrative that is rooted in history.Rachel Goldblatt, The BookBlast Diary

What were your sources for the pagan, Viking and Christian folklore myths and legends referenced in The Bell in the Lake? Is all communication translation? Tune in to hear the answers to these questions and more . . .

Presented by Georgia de Chamberet | Produced by Rupert Such

Bridging the Divide #7 | Lucy Popescu (Journalist) Lulu Norman (translator) on Aziz Binebine

Bridging the Divide #7 | Lucy Popescu (Journalist) Lulu Norman (translator) on Aziz Binebine

August 27, 2020

"Tazmamart was an underground military prison in southeast Morocco where those considered enemies of the king were detained from 1972 to 1991. It was built after two failed coup d’états against Hassan II of Morocco. Many of those detained were unwitting participants in the alleged coup . . ." Lucy Popescu, The BookBlast Diary

How easy is to forgive a regime and one’s former torturers?

What were Aziz’s primary motives behind writing this book – to lay ghosts to rest? To effect change? The world he depicts is barely imaginable for those of us living in a democracy.

Tune in to hear how Aziz Binebine survived 18 years in a #Moroccan desert Hell.

Presented by Georgia de Chamberet | Produced by Rupert Such

Play this podcast on Podbean App