The Literary Summer Heats Up

book talk

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The Bookshop Band
Summer is heating up, and we have a sizzling edition of Booktalk to go with the rising temperatures. First up, host Ryan Van Winkle sits down with Ruth Ozeki, whose novel, A Tale for the Time Being, has been longlisted for this year's Booker Prize. The book, about a diary written by a 16-year-old Japanese girl that washes up in British Columbia, inspires a spirited discussion of such wide-ranging subjects as reader-writer relationships, how major world events can impact on a work-in-progress (and how said work can provide a sort of therapy for the writer), and bullying in both children and adults. It's also inspired a soulful tune from Bath-based The Bookshop Band, a trio of literary songwriters who were commissioned by the owner of Mr B's Emporium of Reading Delights to liven up authors' readings with some original songs. Though nerve-wracking (they do have to perform the songs for the authors themselves, after all!) the Band has taken up the project and run with it magnificently. They now have nearly 100 tunes covering folktales, classics, bestsellers and even a dictionary! Have a listen to their song, The Paris Wife, and catch them in action at the Guardian Spiegeltent at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

If all that's a bit too tame for you, then brace yourself for the Literary Death Match, also coming soon to a Spiegeltent near you! Just what is the Literary Death Match, you ask? No, it does not involve any bloodletting, and no novels are harmed in the making. It's a fun evening that sees four writers perform their work for three judges (and the audience, of course), who provide hilarious commentary before picking two of the writers to move on to a a round of wacky hijinks, like pinning a moustache on Hemingway or chucking cupcakes at a poster of George Saunders, to ensure things don't get too serious or competitive. Learn more about the Death Match's past, present and exciting future from founder Todd Zuniga and find out where you can see one yourself!

Are you ready? It's going to be a scorcher!

Podcast contents

0:00    Introduction
1:36    A Tale for a Time Being excerpt
2:21    Ruth Ozeki interview
14:10  The Bookshop Band performs a song based on Ozeki’s novel
18:05  Todd Zuniga interview
29:46  Bookshop Band interview
35:11  The Paris Wife by The Bookshop Band


The Bookshop Band
Edinburgh International Book Festival
Literary Death Match
The Man Booker Prize 2013
Ruth Ozeki's Website


Bookmarked is produced by Colin Fraser of Culture Laser Productions. Music by Ragland.


Filed In: Book Talk Tags: edinburgh international book festival, interview, novel, music, book talk