The Writing Life

Authors Speak

The British Library

The Writing Life

The British Library

Distributed for British Library

2 compact discs and 1 booklet | © 2011
Compact Disc $25.00 ISBN: 9780712351089 Published April 2011 For sale in North and South America only
 Where do you find inspiration for your books? What are your writing influences? Why do you write? When do you write? If given the opportunity, these are the questions we’d often love to ask our favorite authors. And now, thanks to these selections from the British Library’s Authors’ Lives archive, we can hear some of the answers. Offering inspiring insights alongside practical advice, this two-CD set gathers together some of Britain’s leading contemporary authors to share their experiences of the highs and lows of the writing life.

            These selected interviews feature previously unheard recordings of poets, novelists, children’s writers, historians, and biographers speaking candidly about all aspects of the writing process. Such authors as Hilary Mantel, P. D. James, Michael Morpurgo, Antony Beevor, Michael Holroyd, and Penelope Lively are included among these captivating and stimulating interviews that will be instructive for both aspiring writers and avid readers.

CD 1
Introductory voices
Making a writer
Reading and writing
Starting out
Choosing a genre
Finding ideas
CD 2
Getting underway
The writing day
Creating characters
In the thick of it
The critics
The literary world

Contributing Authors:
Paul Bailey
Beryl Bainbridge
Simon Brett
Wendy Cope
Maureen Duffy
U A Fanthorpe
Anne Fine
Allen Fisher
Michael Frayn
John Fuller
Victoria Glendinning
Linda Grant
Philip Hensher
Michael Holroyd
Howard Jacobson
P D James
Penelope Lively
Hilary Mantel
Ian McEwan
Michael Morpurgo
Peter Porter
Ian Rankin
Hilary Spurling
Anthony Thwaite
Philip Ziegler
Review Quotes

“The pleasure of this series is in hearing writers convey their private thoughts on their profession. We learn that Beryl Bainbridge thinks ‘there's no such thing as the imagination.’ Ian McEwan ‘always felt something of an outsider.’ Hilary Mantel believes that ‘In the ideal world, all writers would have a Catholic childhood, or belong to some other religion which does the equivalent for them.’ Howard Jacobson, the most recent Booker prize winner, spent more of his youth stockpiling books than reading them. Michael Holroyd, a biographer, fears that literature ‘has become the younger brother of the performing arts.’—Economist
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