Frank spills the cultural beans

In the run-up to the launch of Our Read on Thursday, Frank Cottrell Boyce has given an exlcusive interview to Liverpool Confidential‘s Angie Sammons:

What was the best television programme ever made?
Is this a trick question? There has never been any dispute about what was the best TV programme. It’s Top Cat. Pure and simple.

Read the interview in full here.

Frank Cottrell Boyce’s inspiration for the Our Read book

With only ten days to go until the launch of Our Read, in an interview with Catherine Jones in the Liverpool Echo today, Frank Cottrell Boyce talks about what inspired him to write The Unforgotten Coat for Our Read, and how a train journey with Jane Davis sparked the whole thing off:

This time, the idea came to him as he and Jane chatted on a train to London to meet the publishers Walker Books a year ago.

“I have this notebook which is my ideas notebook, and I had three or four really good, what I thought were really good ideas for stories,” says Frank.

“And on the way down to London on the train, for some reason I just started talking about this girl, Misheel, who’s a real girl.

“Jane said, ‘that’s the story I want in the book’. And I went well, it’s not actually a story, it’s just something that happened. I’ve got these other really great stories that I’ve worked out.

“But she said ‘no no, that’s the one’.”

Read it in full here.

Here is a photo of Frank, with Fiona McDonald from Walker Books, just after the contracts were signed for Our Read:

Listen to Sharon Olds

We are big fans of the poet Sharon Olds whose latest collection One Secret Thing has been shortlisted for The Forward Prize for Best Collection 2009. Yesterday in an excellent interview with Jenni Murray on Woman’s Hour, she read two of the poems from the book and talked about why, despite her opposition to the war in Iraq, she has begun to write about honour, bravery and brutality in war.

Unfortunately we cannot post any of her poems here for copyright reasons but the interview is well worth hearing.

Philip Roth Discusses Everyman

Philip Roth is one of my favourite writers; he is one of the few writers whose prose seems like it couldn’t be any other way. So I was delighted to find this interview with him in which he discusses Everyman, his 2005 novel about life, death, and growing old. The work Roth has produced in the last decade–in his 60s and 70s–is generally acknowledged to be his best; he must be sick of reading about his “late flowering.” In this interview he also talks about his desire for work and his love of writing as well as discussing his career, his books, and the state of American writing.

Here’s the link to the download page (mp3 courtesy of RadioOpenSource).

Posted by Chris