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The Penguin Podcast is a fortnightly interview series where we speak to authors about what drives them: from where, how and why they write, to their inspirations, aspirations, and even the struggles they've faced along the way. Listen for lively conversations and plenty of book recommendations. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
 
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show series
 
This week on the Penguin Podcast, Issy Suttie joined by Irish book award winner and best-selling author, Sinead Moriarty. Sinead talks to Issy about her latest novel, Your, Mind, Ours, a novel about what it takes to create a 'blended' family. They also discuss why families are the primary focus within her novels, the importance of the first draft, …
 
This week on the Penguin Podcast, Nihal Arthanayake is joined by Booker Prize-winning novelist and playwright, Damon Galgut. Recording from the legendary literary festival at Hay, Nihal talks to Damon about his latest novel, The Promise, which was awarded the 2021 Booker Prize. As well as the intricacies of his novel, they also discuss how the rhyt…
 
This week on the Penguin Podcast, Derek Owusu is joined by presenter, TV personality, actress and children's author, Alison Hammond. Alison speaks to Derek about her brand new children's book, Black in Time: The Most Awesome Black Britons from Yesterday to Today. As well as Black British history, Alison and Derek also discuss Alison's profound love…
 
This week on the Penguin Podcast, new host Derek Owusu is joined by Poet, activist, musician, actor, presenter and children's author, Benjamin Zephaniah! Benjamin speaks to Derek about his journey into poetry and spoken word, the excitement at receiving a letter from Bob Marley, the life of his mother when she first came to England, existential fea…
 
This week on the Penguin Podcast, Isy Suttie is joined by restaurateur and author, Asma Khan. Asma speaks to Isy about her most recent work, her cookbook/memoir, Ammu. They also discuss food and its connection to memory, how revelatory the writing process was for her, how a pair of blue jeans changed her life, and the gentle expressions of love thr…
 
This week on the Penguin Podcast, Nihal Arthanayake is joined by award-winning writer and poet, Hanif Abdurraqib Hanif speaks to Nihal about his most recent work of nonfiction, A little Devil in America, which won the 2021 Gorden Burn Prize. They also discuss how Hanif manages to write 25000 words a month, how important Soul Train was to Black Amer…
 
This week on the Penguin Podcast, Isy Suttie is joined by debut novelist Bonnie Garmus. She speaks to Isy about her debut novel, Lessons in Chemistry, and also discusses her reluctance to change any keyboard she's grown used to, often still using it when the key have come loose, her passion for swimming, what she learnt as a copywriter, the usefuln…
 
This week on the Penguin Podcast, Isy Suttie is joined by national treasure, poet and children’s author, Michael Rosen. He speaks to Isy about his experiences before and after contracting Covid, how to create more impactful life writing, what he now knows about death, and his yearning to understand the meanings of naughty words in Yiddish. Don't fo…
 
This week on the penguin podcast, Nihal Arthanayake is joined by theoretical physicist, futurist, and popularizer of science, Michio Kaku. Together they discuss string theory, the unifying threads of different religious beliefs, human curiosity and the barriers to scientific thinking. Don't forget to follow the show so you never miss an episode, an…
 
This week on the Penguin Podcast, Nihal Arthanayake is joined by renowned essayist and novelist, Pankaj Mishra, to discuss his new novel, Run and Hide. Together they discuss the meaning of art and the novel, the Tibetan landscape and the Himalayas, nostalgia, and wood-panelled train compartments. Don't forget to follow the show so you never miss an…
 
Claire Fuller, who recently won the Costa Novel of the Year for her latest book, Unsettled Ground, joins Nihal Arthanayake on the podcast this week. Together they discuss the importance of music in her creative process, what she doesn't like about being a novelist and how a book by Miranda July might just have kickstarted her writing career. Don't …
 
Last time we brought you some of the most exciting debut novelists to look out for in 2022, so this week we're introducing you to some of the best new non-fiction writers to add to your reading list this year. It's a veritable treasure chest of books, from a comic memoir to ornithology, mental health, family and cultural history, and an exploration…
 
A new year = new books, and there are plenty of brilliant new stories to look out for this year. To get your 2022 reading list started, we've brought together five of this year's most exciting debut novelists. Speaking to Isy Suttie, they introduce us to themselves and their books, and give us some insight into their inspirations and aspirations. F…
 
As we approach the end of 2021, we're revisiting some of the most memorable moments on the Penguin Podcast this year. Conn Iggulden takes his writing research extremely (and we mean, *extremely*) seriously, Emma Dabiri gives us a tour of her bookshelves, Owen Jones tells us exactly which Keir he named his feline friend after, Hafsa Zayyan's shares …
 
As we approach the end of 2021, we're revisiting some of our favourite moments on the Penguin Podcast this year. Zadie Smith and Nick Laird tell us about the unexpectedly colourful spectrum of noise that helps them work, Adam Kay reveals the best way to avoid being distracted by social media while trying to write a book, Ashley Audrain discusses th…
 
The Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Powers joins Nihal Arthanayake to discuss his thirteenth novel, ‘Bewilderment’. Using objects like Bach’s Goldberg Variation 18, an unsmoked hickory nut, and a petrified piece of redwood, Powers transport us to his home in the Great Smoky Mountains, musing on the importance of sense as an entranceway to cur…
 
In this special live recording at The London Palladium, Dolly Alderton speaks to award-winning actor and writer Stanley Tucci to discuss his new food memoir, Taste: My Life Through Food. Stanley speaks passionately about food, and shares with Dolly the ways in which it’s been inextricably intertwined with his life. He recalls early memories of TV c…
 
The Pulitzer Prize-winning author Elizabeth Strout joins Isy Suttie to discuss the third book in her Lucy Barton series, ‘Oh, William!’. Using objects like a ring gifted to her by a great aunt and a postcard of the writer F. Scott Fitzgerald as a starting point, Strout muses on the almost mystical process that allows her to inhabit the characters s…
 
The writer that penned an early-noughties viral phenomenon aged just 13, Jade LB, speaks to Nihal Arthanayake about ‘Keisha The Sket’. Having lived on the phones and websites of fans for the past two decades, it’s now been formally published for the first time with additional content from the author and essays from esteemed contemporary writers lik…
 
The author, podcaster and stand-up comedian Shon Faye joins Nihal Arthanayake to discuss her first book, The Transgender Issue: An Argument for Justice. Using iconic queer artefacts like the film ‘The Wizard of Oz’, starring Judy Garland, alongside Lady Gaga’s ‘Chromatica’ album as a gateway, Shon shares with Nihal the experiences that lead to her …
 
Author, broadcaster, entertainer and former politician Gyles Brandreth talks to Nihal Arthanayake about his upcoming memoir, Odd Boy Out. In this episode, Gyles Brandreth considers how delving into his own childhood has challenged his usual aversion to being introspective, and how breaking the mirror of self-indulgence can truly enrich your life. U…
 
“Time is just the medium through which life unfolds.” This week, mentalist, illusionist, painter and author Derren Brown talks to Isy Suttie about his latest book, ‘A Book of Secrets: Finding Solace in a Stubborn World’. In this episode, Derren and Isy delve into the questions at the heart of the way we live our lives. Using objects like a camera a…
 
World-renowned author Paula Hawkins talks to Nihal Arthanayake about her latest thriller, A Slow Fire Burning. In this episode, Paula Hawkins reflects on the disparity between commercial success and her confidence as a writer, particularly in the face of criticism. Is it possible to strike the perfect balance between prosperity and critical acclaim…
 
Bestselling historical fiction author Conn Iggulden talks to Nihal Arthanayake about Protector, the latest book in his Athenian series. In this episode, Conn Iggulden recalls the wondrous stories which ignited his imagination as a child and inspired him to begin writing. Armed with a Roman sword and a silver pen, he reveals his methods for understa…
 
Prolific author Alexander McCall Smith joins Nihal Arthanayake to share tales from behind his impressive body of work. In this episode, the ever-curious Alexander McCall Smith tells of his affection for Botswana, and its important role as the backdrop to his much-loved series, The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency, gives due respect to the surprises of …
 
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