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The 10×10 Podcasts


Rosie Goldsmith talking to Margaret Atwood for The 10x10 Podcasts
Rosie Goldsmith talking to Margaret Atwood for The 10×10 Podcasts

Welcome to 10×10, our series of 10 minute podcasts with presenter and journalist Rosie Goldsmith. In each podcast Rosie spends 10 minutes talking to authors from five different parts of the world.

The podcasts include Margaret Atwood from Canada, Jamaica’s Lorna Goodison, Sri Lankan-born writer Romesh Gunesekera and Kenya’s Binyavanga Wainaina. Each podcast features an interview with the author about their life, writing and motivation as well as a reading from their work.

To mark the opening of the 2015 Commonwealth Short Story Prize, the first pair of podcasts went live. A new pair was made available every week for five weeks. The complete series is presented here.

10 minutes with Canadian writer, Margaret Atwood

The prolific Canadian writer is the author of over forty books of fiction, poetry and criticism, published in more than thirty-five countries. Her genre-defying work has been the recipient of awards as diverse as the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Science Fiction and the Booker Prize. The paperback of MaddAddam (2013), the final part of her speculative history trilogy, was recently published alongside a new collection of short stories, Stone Mattress (2014).

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10 minutes with Welsh writer, Fflur Dafydd

A bilingual writer and musician, Fflur is the author of five novels and a collection of short stories in English and Welsh. Her first English novel Twenty Thousand Saints (2008), an innovative reworking of her own Welsh-language Atyniad (2006), earned her the Emerging Writer of the Year Award at the 2009 Hay Festival. A film version of Fflur’s novel Y Llyfrgell (2011) will be released in 2016, written and produced by Fflur herself. She is also a prominent singer-songwriter, and was awarded the title ‘Female Artist of the Year’ in the BBC Radio Cymru awards in 2010.

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10 minutes with Kenyan writer, Binyavanga Wainaina

A Caine Prize winner, satirist, journalist, African food expert and founding editor of the literary magazine Kwani? Binyavanga is a celebrated Kenyan writer. In 2014 he came out as gay when he chose to make public a lost chapter of his memoir, One Day I Will Write About This Place (2011). The same year, Binyavanga was included in Time magazine’s list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World, with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie citing the way he had “demystified and humanised homosexuality”.

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10 minutes with South African writer, Marlene Van Niekerk

Marlene is a South African poet, critic, novelist and dramatist. After stints in Mainz, Stuttgart and Amsterdam, she returned to South Africa where she is a professor of philosophy and literature. In 2013, Marlene’s controversial poem, Mud School, about the provision of schools in South Africa, provoked an angry response from the country’s government. Her work includes three collections of poetry, two collections of short stories and three novels. Her fiction has been translated widely.

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10 minutes with Jamaican writer, Lorna Goodison

Lorna is an internationally acclaimed poet from Kingston, Jamaica. Her many books of poetry include Controlling the Silver (2005), Goldengrove (2006) and Oracabessa (2013). She has also written a memoir, From Harvey River (2008), described by The Independent as a ‘bittersweet reminder to all Jamaica’s exiles of what we have lost’, and three collections of short stories. In 2014 she won the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature for her poetry collection Oracabessa.

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10 minutes with Belizean writer, Ivory Kelly

Ivory is the author of Point of Order: Poetry and Prose (2009). Her works have also appeared in several Belizean anthologies, including: The Alchemy of Words, Vol. 2 (2008); Treasures of a Century (2005); Memories Dreams and Nightmares, Vol. 2 (2002); and She (2001). Ivory grew up in Sittee River Village, Belize. She currently lives in Belmopan and teaches in the English department at the University of Belize.

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Craig is the author of the novel The Mannequin Makers (2013), described by The New Zealand Listener as ‘tremendous, darkly entertaining and original from start to finish’, and the short story collection A Man Melting (2011), which won Best First Book in the 2011 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. Craig writes a column for the Dominion Post about his double life as a writer and public servant in Wellington, New Zealand, where he lives with his wife and daughter. He was a judge for the 2012 Commonwealth Short Story Prize.

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Jeanine is a Wiradjuri woman from New South Wales. She currently holds a post-doctoral fellowship at the Australian Centre for Indigenous History at the Australian National University. Jeanine’s research is focused on settler representations of Aboriginal Australians in literature. In 2010, Jeanine published her first book, the prizewinning volume of poetry Dark Secrets After Dreaming: AD 1887-1961. Her first novel, Purple Threads (2011), was shortlisted for the 2012 Commonwealth Book Prize.

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Romesh was born in Sri Lanka and moved to Britain in the early 1970s. His first novel Reef (2011) was short-listed for the 1994 Booker Prize and received the Premio Mondello Five Continents Asia award. The Sandglass (2011), received BBC’s inaugural Asia Award and Heaven’s Edge (2003), like his collection of stories, Monkfish Moon (2011), was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. A new collection of stories set in post-war Sri Lanka, Noontide Toll was released in 2014Romesh is the Chair of the 2015 Commonwealth Short Story Prize.

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Jahnavi is an Indian writer originally from Assam and now based in Bangalore, where she works as a doctor. Next Door, her 2008 collection of short stories, received widespread critical acclaim and her first novel, Rebirth (2011), was shortlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize 2011. She read and discussed her work with writers Jeet Thayll, Nilanjana Roy and Rana Dasgupta in a Commonwealth Writers event at the Oxford Bookshop in New Delhi.

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Rosie GoldsmithRosie Goldsmith is an award-winning journalist specialising in arts and current affairs. During her 20 years at the BBC, she travelled the world, covering events such as the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of apartheid in South Africa, presenting flagship BBC programmes Front Row and Crossing Continents. She combines broadcasting and journalism with presenting and curating events in Britain and overseas. In the UK, Rosie is known as a champion of international literature and language-learning and promotes them whenever she can.

Sarah Cuddon, producer of The 10×10 Podcasts, is a producer of radio programmes, podcasts and soundscapes. Most of her work is for BBC Radio 4 but she has also produced audio for The Paper Cinema, The Cabinet of Living Cinema, The Tamar Valley Trust, The Science Museum and The Guardian.