Eleanor Wachtel is the host and co-founder of CBC Radio’s Writers & Company, now in its twenty-seventh season. She has also published five books of interviews, most recently The Best of Writers & Company (Biblioasis).

An Interview with Maaza Mengiste

A version of this conversation was broadcast on Writers & Company on CBC Radio One in 2020, produced by Sandra Rabinovitch.   Maaza Mengiste was born in Addis Ababa in 1971, just a few years before the overthrow of Emperor  . . .
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An Interview with Yiyun Li

Yiyun Li was born in China in 1972. Her father was a physicist, her mother a school teacher, and she herself was something of a math whiz as a kid. She studied immunology at university in Beijing and always planned  . . .

An Interview with Kei Miller

A version of this conversation was broadcast on Writers & Company on CBC Radio One, produced by Sandra Rabinovitch.   Kei Miller is an original. I first heard of him when his 2014 poetry collection, The Cartographer Tries to Map a . . .
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An Interview with Ai Weiwei

A version of this conversation was broadcast on “Wachtel on the Arts” on Ideas on CBC Radio One in November 2016, produced by Sascha Hastings.   Ai Weiwei has been called the most powerful artist in the world, the most  . . .
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An Interview with Anne Carson

I’ve admired Canadian poet, essayist, Greek and Latin scholar, and librettist, Anne Carson for a long time now. I think I first heard about her as a professor of classics at McGill University who was writing amazing stuff, starting with  . . .
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An Interview with Richard Sennett

Richard Sennett draws on ethnography, history, and social theory to develop his ideas about how we make sense of our environment—the cities we live in and the work that engages us. As Jenny Turner wrote in the Guardian, “for  . . .
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In Conversation with Zadie Smith

Zadie Smith started writing White Teeth while she was a student at Cambridge, and the novel was published when she was only twenty-four years old. A big, vibrant story of cross-cultural, cross-generational, modern London, White Teeth won three first  . . .
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An Interview with Lydia Davis

From her mysterious “found” stories to new versions of Proust and Flaubert, the American writer and translator Lydia Davis is surprising and memorable. I find it hard to describe exactly what Lydia Davis’s writing is like. Some of her shorter  . . .
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A Conversation with Jane Jacobs

Jane Jacobs is variously known as the guru of cities, an urban legend—“part analyst, part activist, part prophet.” In the more than forty years since the publication of her groundbreaking book The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961),  . . .
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