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Meet the Writers


Want to know more about the authors behind your favourite books? Tune in to discover the methods of – and inspiration behind – some of the world’s most exciting writers. Every Saturday, Georgina Godwin hosts an in-depth discussion with the person behind the prose.


London, United Kingdom


Want to know more about the authors behind your favourite books? Tune in to discover the methods of – and inspiration behind – some of the world’s most exciting writers. Every Saturday, Georgina Godwin hosts an in-depth discussion with the person behind the prose.






Booker Prize 2023 winner, Paul Lynch

Georgina Godwin speaks to Paul Lynch, the author of ‘Prophet Song’, winner of this year’s Booker Prize. Limerick-born Lynch is the fifth Irish writer to win the award, given to the best English-language novel of the year published in either the UK or Ireland. His fifth novel, written over four years, is set in an imagined dystopian Ireland. It depicts a country sliding further into authoritarian rule and follows one woman’s attempts to save her family. The author talks about his career as a journalist and film critic, writing through a period of immense personal upheaval and asking “who is Paul Lynch?” See for privacy information.


Kevin Jon Davies

British director, animator and author Kevin Jon Davies speaks to Georgina Godwin. With a career that has included writing and directing the documentary ‘Doctor Who: Thirty Years in the Tardis’ and working on animation for the TV adaptation of ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ and the classic film ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’, Davies has now edited a book. The Sunday Times number one bestseller ‘42: The Wildly Improbable Ideas of Douglas Adams’ collates the genius of his late friend and collaborator through previously unseen archival material. See for privacy information.


Sandra Newman

Joining Georgina Godwin in today’s episode is American author Sandra Newman, whose sixth novel, ‘Julia’, offers a bold feminist reinterpretation of George Orwell’s ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’. The book expands upon the protagonist Winston Smith’s narrative to unveil and explore the experiences of women in Oceania. Born in Boston, Newman has lived in many countries, including Germany, Russia, Malaysia and England, and her professions have ranged from academia to professional gambling. She speaks about her experiences prior to her debut novel, which was published in 2002 to critical acclaim, and how it changed the trajectory of her life. See for privacy information.


The Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction 2023

Georgina Godwin sits down with the six authors shortlisted for The Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction 2023: Hannah Barnes, Tania Branigan, Christopher Clark, Jeremy Eichler, Jennifer Homans and John Vaillant. From Branigan’s new look into China’s Cultural Revolution, told through the personal stories of those who lived through it, to Vaillant’s deep dive into the relationship between oil history and climate science, this year’s shortlist presents a variety of bold, original and thought-provoking works. See for privacy information.


A Word in Your Ear – The Half-Blood

Texas-based Bulgarian writer Miroslav Penkov wasn’t sure if anyone would pay attention to his first English-language novel, Stork Mountain. However, when the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative paired him with The English Patient author Michael Ondaatje, it gave him the boost he needed. Listen to A Word in Your Ear to hear an excerpt from Penkov’s The Half-Blood. See for privacy information.


Ian Rankin

Georgina Godwin speaks to one of the most successful crime-fiction novelists in the UK, Ian Rankin. He is the internationally best-selling author of more than 40 books, including the Inspector Rebus novels, which have been translated into more than 20 languages. He is the recipient of the Edgar Award, four CWA Dagger Awards and last year won the British Book Award for best crime and thriller book. He discusses his new Amazon Originals project, a standalone short thriller set in London’s most exclusive high-rise – a pacy story perfect for your morning commute. See for privacy information.


A Word in Your Ear – Disquiet

Winner of Pulitzer and Nobel prizes, the late Toni Morrison was one of the all-time great American novelists. For the inaugural Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative, she was paired with Australian writer Julia Leigh, who was busy writing her second novel, Disquiet. Hear Kerry Fox read an extract from that book in the latest episode of A Word in Your Ear. See for privacy information.


Ros Atkins

Award-winning British journalist Ros Atkins joins Georgina Godwin in today’s episode. He is analysis editor and presenter of Outside Source at the BBC but started out at as a news producer on BBC Radio Five Live more than twenty years ago. Ros talks about his book ‘The Art of Explanation: How to Communicate with Clarity and Confidence’. He also takes us back to his Cornish roots, as well as his stint at ‘The Sunday Independent’ in South Africa, and reveals how learning a musical instrument and DJing influenced his ideas on what makes for successful communication. See for privacy information.


A Word in Your Ear – Round Numbers

Colombian writer Antonio García Ángel was just 33 years old when the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative paired him with the great Peruvian novelist – and later Nobel literature laureate – Mario Vargas Llosa. A dozen books followed. For the latest episode of A Word in Your Ear, actor Robert Glenister reads ‘Round Numbers’, a short story by Ángel in translation. See for privacy information.


Alexandra Pringle

Georgina Godwin interviews former editor in chief of Bloomsbury Publishing, Alexandra Pringle, who held the post for twenty years. Her list of authors includes William Boyd, Margaret Atwood, Richard Ford, Khaled Hosseini and Kamila Shamsie. She joined Virago Press in 1978 and helped to launch their Modern Classics series, which championed out-of-print books by forgotten female authors. She speaks to Georgina about her early failures, trusting your editorial gut and her latest venture, Silk Road Slippers. See for privacy information.


A Word in Your Ear – A Time of Death, the Death of Time

Renowned Mozambique author Mia Couto still works as a biologist – an apt side career for someone who dissects complex subjects with precise curiosity. For the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative, Couto coaxed Brazilian writer Julián Fuks into exploring his imagination further. Listen to the results as Alex Jennings reads an excerpt from ‘A Time of Death, the Death of Time’. See for privacy information.


Henry Hoke

In today’s episode, award-winning American author of fiction, memoir and poetry Henry Hoke speaks to Georgina Godwin about his fifth book, ‘Open Throat’. It follows a queer mountain lion, desperate for food and struggling to survive in drought-stricken Los Angeles, who takes us on a tour of the city’s cruel inequalities. Hoke is also the co-creator of Enter>text, a series of large-scale immersive literary events, and an editor at literary magazine ‘The Offing’. In this conversation, the writer talks about writing and responding to 9/11, his unusual encounter with Bill Murray, and why his work continues to defy genre. See for privacy information.


A Word in Your Ear – The Ways

Thanks to the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative, Colin Barrett was able to write his debut novel under the mentorship of one of Ireland’s most beloved novelists, Colm Tóibín. Monocle Radio’s Meet the Writers special season, A Word in Your Ear, continues with actress Niamh Cusack reading from ‘The Ways’, a short story from Barrett’s latest collection, ‘Homesickness’. See for privacy information.


Polly Toynbee

Journalist, author and broadcaster Polly Toynbee, joins Georgina Godwin on the show this week. She is a Guardian columnist and previously worked as social affairs editor for the BBC, as well as ‘The Independent’. Early on in her career, she spent eight months experiencing manual work ‘undercover’ with stints as a nurse and Army recruit, which she details in her first book ‘A Working Life’, published in 1970. She has won numerous awards, including the Orwell Prize, for her impressive body of work on social affairs, continuing a family tradition of attempting to eradicate class divides in Britain. Her new book, ‘An Uneasy Inheritance: My Family and Other Radicals’ charts how her ancestors grappled with this and looks further into how the issue is being dealt with today. See for privacy information.


A Word in Your Ear – Noces de Coton

“Literature needs flaws,” says Tahar Ben Jelloun. The accomplished Moroccan author had some tough love for his protégé on the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative, Edem Awumey. Listen to the acclaimed actor Paterson Joseph read a translated extract from Awumey’s powerful new novel, ‘Noces de Coton’, in the latest episode of A Word in Your Ear. See for privacy information.


Thomas Harding

Georgina Godwin sits down with bestselling author, journalist and documentary-maker Thomas Harding. They discuss his new book, ‘The Maverick: George Weidenfeld and the Golden Age of Publishing’, which tells the story of the legendary publisher after moving to London just before the Second World War as a penniless Austrian-Jewish refugee, Weidenfeld went on to become a world-famous literary figure, publishings works such as ‘Lolita’ and ‘Double Helix’ and championing writers like Joan Didion, Henry Miller and JD Salinger. See for privacy information.


A Word in Your Ear – The Liars' Gospel

Monocle Radio’s Meet the Writers special season, A Word in Your Ear, begins with an excerpt from Naomi Alderman’s third novel, ‘The Liars’ Gospel’, a bold retelling of biblical narratives around the life of Jesus. She was mentored by Margaret Atwood (pictured on left with Alderman) after the two authors were paired together for the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative. Reading the text is BAFTA-winning actor Simon Russell Beale. See for privacy information.


Neil Blackmore

British author Neil Blackmore’s third novel, ‘The Intoxicating Mr Lavelle’, was shortlisted for the Polari Prize for LGBT+ fiction, while his 2021 novel, ‘The Dangerous Kingdom of Love’, was included in ‘The Times’ list of the best historical fiction. He speaks to Georgina Godwin about ‘Radical Love’, published earlier this year, and attitudes to sexual identity and morality in Regency England. He also talks about his unexpected popularity among German readers, his 20-year hiatus from writing and what it truly means to be radical. See for privacy information.


Naomi Klein

The award-winning Canadian author, activist and filmmaker Naomi Klein speaks to Georgina Godwin about her latest book, ‘Doppelganger: A Trip Into the Mirror World’. Since publishing her debut book, ‘No Logo’, in 1999, she has become one of the world’s foremost public intellectuals, regularly featuring on lists of the most influential people around the globe. In ‘Doppelganger’, she confronts her own double – a woman who shares her name but has radically different views – while considering the instability of identity and what it’s like to be freed from her own paranoia about brand and public image. For Klein, the doppelganger is a “narrow aperture” through which everything, from conspiracy theories and anti-vaxxers to projected doubling and the double-consciousness of minority communities, can be examined. See for privacy information.


Lisa Jewell

This week, Georgina Godwin meets bestselling British novelist Lisa Jewell. The Londoner started out working in the pattern room at fashion chain Warehouse but, after taking creative-writing classes, she realised that she wanted to be an author. It was a bet with a friend while on holiday in Malta that pushed her to write the first three chapters of her novel ‘Ralph’s Party’. A quarter of a century later, her books have sold 10 million copies and have been translated into 29 languages. She tells us about how ending a coercive marriage in her twenties gave her new clarity, why she loves writing about teenagers and what it’s like to be one of the key names at a publishing company. She also introduces us to her latest psychological thriller, ‘None of This Is True’, in which a podcaster becomes the subject of her own true-crime show. See for privacy information.