Listen to the Banned

The new episode of We’d Like A Word is here and in this episode Paul and Stevyn are talking to US author Alan Drew about his books and about the topic of censorship.

Alan Drew is the author of the critically acclaimed debut novel Gardens of Water and the taut thriller Shadow Man. He is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and associate professor of English at Villanova University, where he directs the creative writing program. He lives near Philadelphia with his wife and family.

Alan’s first book Gardens of Water follows the story of two families during a massive earthquake in Turkey in 1999. And, as Alan explains, the story brought him into conflict with the Turkish authorities.

It prompted us to look at books that people have tried to censor or ban altogether … and we found more than a few surprises. Just cast your eyes over this list on Wikipedia.

The American Library Association also publishes an interesting list of the Top Ten, year by year, of the most challenged books.

Banned Books Week takes place every September and the website has some interesting resources.

Enjoy the podcast.

Gold Finch

On our latest episode of We’d Like a Word, we are delighted to welcome Alison Finch, BBC Radio’s ‘Books Bitch’ (as she calls herself). Alison is the person who decides what books get promoted on shows like Front Row, Saturday Live, Open Book, Woman’s Hour, Loose Ends and many more for Radio 4, Radio 3 and the World Service.

We celebrate inspirational librarians and small press publishers, and discuss why there should be fewer books and how authors get chosen to appear on the radio.

Available on iTunes, Spotify, Anchor FM and anywhere else you find good podcasts.

Among the books we mention in this episode are:

Girl, Woman, Other – Bernadine Everisto (this year’s joint Booker winner)

The Dark Gentleman – G B Stern

You will be Safe here – Damian Barr

Vernon God Little – D B C Pierre

Skios – Michael Frayn

To Calais in Ordinary Time – James Meek

Stories for South Asian Supergirls – Raj Kaur Khaira

The Wake – Paul Kingsnorth

Girl – Edna O’Brien

Lost for Words – Edward St Aubyn

The 100 Year Old Man who Climbed out of the Window and disappeared – Jonas Jonasson

A Rising Man – Abir Mukherjee

Also mentioned are The Pigeonhole, Bluemoose Books and Abebooks

The First Six Months

It’s been a pretty cool first six months for the We’d Like A Word podcast. We’ve met some stellar writers like Anthony Horowitz, Will Dean, Belinda Bauer, Adrian McKinty, Helen Cullen, Matt Wesolowski, Aiden Conway, Denise Mina and Gerard Brennan. We’ve discussed fly sex with Dr Erica McAlister, got squiffy in Richard Walmsley’s kitchen while taking about books set in Italy, and we’ve discussed bum reading – or rumpology – with Odditorium curator Dr David Bramwell. We’ve been philosophical with Jamie Cawley and had a good laugh with the legend that is Graham Norton. But it hasn’t all been writers; we’ve also talked to publicist extraordinaire Angela McMahon and, in future episodes we’ll be talking to editors, agents, book commissioners and the lady who decides what gets to air on Radio 4. We’re planning future shows to discuss poetry, songwriting and book design.

But what would YOU like to hear about?

Please email us at wedlikeaword@gmail.com

Because we’d like a word (or two) from you.

Paul and Steve