The TLS Podcast

The TLS Podcast

A weekly podcast on books and culture brought to you by the writers and editors of the Times Literary Supplement. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.


June 20, 2024 41 mins

This week, TLS editors and writers guide you through a summer of reading; and Sarah Watling explores the extraordinary story of an artistic double act.

'Dorothy Hepworth and Patricia Preece: An Untold Story', Charleston, Lewes, Sussex

'The Secret Art of Dorothy Hepworth, aka Patricia Preece', by Denys J. Wilcox

Produced by Charlotte Pardy

Hosted on Acast. See for m...

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This week, Ben Hutchinson on the making of Franz Kafka, a century after the writer's death; and an interview with Roz Dineen about her vision of climate catastrophe and societal collapse.

'Kafka: Making of an icon', Weston Library, Bodleian, Oxford, until October 27

Accompanying book edited by Ritchie Robertson

'Briefly Very Beautiful', by Roz Dineen

Produced by Charlotte Pardy


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June 6, 2024 61 mins

Join us for at the Hay Festival for a conversation encompassing portals to other worlds, rock bands, improbable giraffes and the travails of the M4.

'Impossible Creatures', by Katherine Rundell

'One Ukrainian Summer: A Memoir About Falling in Love and Coming of Age in the Former USSR', by Viv Groskop

Produced by Charlotte Pardy

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May 30, 2024 52 mins

This week, we hear from two international prize-winning authors, Jenny Erpenbeck and Mircea Cărtărescu.

'Kairos' by Jenny Erpenbeck, translated by Michael Hofmann

'Solenoid' by Mircea Cărtărescu, translated by Sean Cotter

Produced by Charlotte Pardy

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May 23, 2024 47 mins

This week, writers including Andrew O'Hagan, Rose Tremain, Ayobami Adebayo and Marian Keyes select their most memorable sporting moments; and we drop in on the European Writers' Festival at the British Library.

Produced by Charlotte Pardy

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

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May 16, 2024 46 mins

This week, we look at the busy afterlives of two canonical characters: Nathalie Olah on Tom Ripley and Emelyne Godfrey on Sherlock Holmes.

'Ripley', on Netflix

'The Worlds of Sherlock Holmes: The inspiration behind the world’s greatest detective', by Andrew Lycett

Produced by Charlotte Pardy

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

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May 9, 2024 46 mins

This week, Susan Owens explores the surreal and vivid life of the artist Eileen Agar; and Rosie Goldsmith, curator of the European Writers' Festival, joins us to explain what's on the bill.

'A Look at My Life', by Eileen Agar

The European Writers' Festival, the British Library, London, 18-19 May 2024

Produced by Charlotte Pardy

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May 2, 2024 50 mins

This week, Oxford Professor of Poetry AE Stallings explores the elliptical brilliance of Anne Carson; and an interview with writer, filmmaker and artist Miranda July about her forthcoming novel.

'Anne Carson: The Glass Essayist', by Elizabeth Sarah Coles

'Wrong Norma', by Anne Carson

'All Fours', by Miranda July

Produced by Charlotte Pardy

Hosted on Acast. See f...

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April 25, 2024 42 mins

This week, Kathryn Hughes introduces her new book on the cat craze that swept Edwardian England; and she also tells us about an exhibition of the work of Julia Margaret Cameron and Francesca Woodman. Plus a review of Sunjeev Sahota's The Spoiled Heart.

'Catland: Feline Enchantment and the Making of the Modern World', by Kathryn Hughes

'Portraits to Dream In', at the National Portrait Gallery, London, until 16 June, 2024

'The Spoil...

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April 18, 2024 50 mins

As the TLS celebrates all things Shakespeare, Emma Smith goes to see Ian McKellen's larger-than-life Falstaff; plus Rana Mitter on the immense impact and lasting legacy of the Tokyo Trial.

'Player Kings: Henry IV Parts 1 and 2', by William Shakespeare, adapted by Robert Icke, Noël Coward Theatre, London, until June 22, then touring 'Judgement at Tokyo: World War II on Trial and the Making of Modern Asia' by Gary J. Bass.


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April 11, 2024 45 mins

This week, George Berridge is at the theatre to see Brian Cox in a classic role; and Toby Lichtig on a literary scandal with tragic consequences.

'Long Day's Journey into Night', by Eugene O'Neill, Wyndham's Theatre,

London, until June 8

'Bound to Violence', by Yambo Ouologuem, translated by Ralph Manheim

'The Most Secret Memory of Men', by Mohamed Mbougar Sarr, translated

by Lara Vergnaud

'The Extinction of Irena Rey, by Jennifer Cr...

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April 4, 2024 56 mins

This week, environmentalist Bill McKibben joins us to talk about the latest in the fight to avert climate catastrophe; and a conversation with the brilliant novelist Hisham Matar about his new novel.

'The Exhausted Earth: Politics in a Burning World', by Ajay Singh Chaudhary

'My Friends', by Hisham Matar

Produced by Charlotte Pardy

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March 28, 2024 53 mins

This week, Suzi Feay sizes up the public intellectuals, deadbeat aristocrats, hedonistic oligarchs and hardened street soldiers of Andrew O'Hagan's panoramic new novel; and Michael Caines on the prolific and endlessly imaginative world of Ray Bradbury.

'Caledonian Road', by Andrew O'Hagan

'Remembrance: Selected Correspondence of Ray Bradbury', edited by Jonathan R. Eller

Produced by Charlotte Pardy

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March 21, 2024 46 mins

This week, Andrew Holter takes us into the extraordinary world of Helen Keller, in her own words; and Peter Maber hails a magnificent retrospective of Yoko Ono's radical art and music.

'Autobiographies and Other Writings', by Helen Keller

'Yoko Ono: Music of the Mind', Tate Modern, London, until 1 September 2024

Produced by Charlotte Pardy

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March 14, 2024 47 mins

This week, Miranda France contemplates the final novel by Gabriel Garcia Marquez; and Nicola Shulman on what women write in their diaries.

'Until August', by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, translated by Anne McLean

'Secret Voices: A Year of Women's Diaries', by Sarah Gristwood

Produced by Charlotte Pardy

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

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March 7, 2024 50 mins

This week, novelist William Boyd praises a polyphonic account of a pivotal wartime moment; and Sarah Richmond explores how we may escape ceaseless toil.

‘November 1942: An Intimate History of the Turning Point of World War II’, by Peter Englund, translated by Peter Graves

‘Hijacked: How Neoliberalism Turned the Work Ethic Against Workers and How Workers Can Take it Back’, by Elizabeth Anderson

‘After Work: A History of the Home an...

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February 29, 2024 48 mins

This week, Damon Galgut praises Diane Oliver's exceptional short stories, newly published over half a century after her death; and Rosemary Waugh on theatre director Yaël Farber's visceral engagement with Shakespearean tragedy.

'Neighbors and Other Stories', by Diane Oliver

'King Lear', by William Shakespeare, directed by Yaël Farber, at the

Almeida Theatre, London, until March 30, 2024

Produced by Charlotte Pardy

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February 22, 2024 55 mins

This week, Fintan O'Toole assesses what makes Labour leader Keir Starmer tick; and Linda Kinstler on the Ukrainian writer, musician and activist Serhiy Zhadan's chronicles of life during wartime. Plus John Kinsella reads his new poem, 'Rooks'.

'Keir Starmer: The Biography', by Tom Baldwin

'Rooks', by John Kinsella

'How Fire Descends: New and Selected Poems', by Serhiy Zhadan, translated by Virlana Tkacz and Wanda Phipps

'Sky Above ...

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February 15, 2024 52 mins

This week, comedian and actor Tim Key introduces us to his new book of poetry; and Devoney Looser on the bold runaway women of early British novels.

'Chapters', by Tim Key, designed by Emily Juniper

'Gone Girls,1684–1901: Flights of feminist resistance in the

eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British novel', by Nora Gilbert

Produced by Charlotte Pardy

Hosted on Acast. See acast....

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February 11, 2024 37 mins

The distinguished sociologist and cultural thinker Richard Sennett was once a professional cellist and his new book, The Performer, examines the links between artistic performance, politics and the public-sphere.

We were delighted to talk to him about his own experiences asa musician and about prominent figures from Leonard Bernstein and Roland Barthes to Donald Trump and Boris Johnson.

'The Performer: Art, Life, Politics', ...

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