Meet the author

I don’t think I’ve yet shared my passion for literary podcasts. I’m very picky when it comes to them. Actually, so picky that I’ve ended up listening to only one. It could be a radio show on my local radio, but it’s not. It’s a radio show in the UK, the BBC World Book Club.

Man. It may well be the best programme on radio. Hosted by the wonderful Harriet Gilbert, nowadays app. 50 minute episodes of an author being interviewed in front of a live audience, being asked questions people have sent from all over the world via phone, email, Facebook and whatnot. And, the author always talks about one book. One book only.

I’ve listened to the podcasts on a beach, in a bus in Helsinki, in a taxi in Thailand, on the living room sofa and in the forest.

My all time favourite episode of the World Book Club is one where Alice Walker talks about The Colour Purple.

I have the book. I got it and read it when I was around 20. The book consists of letters, mostly written to God. The language is lively, the story is set in the state of Georgia of the 1930’s, and the story is told by Celie, a 13-year old, uneducated girl. In my edition even the pages are colour purple.

I’m pretty sure I would experience the story differently now. The book is a very contested one, it caused a lot of hassle when it came out, and the discussion continued when the film came out. The film was nominated for a massive pile of Oscars but received none. Anyway, the story as such is not the issue here, even though the book is thought-provoking and made a lasting impression on the young me.

The issue is the radio programme. I earlier said there are four highlights to my year. I lied. There are more. A new episode of World Book Club comes out once a month.

Listening to the shows, no matter where, makes me part of the audience. I can see the author, hear the coughing from the back row, see how Harriet Gilbert points out to people when giving the floor for questions. It’s magical.

♥ In the meantime: I’m kinda hoping that Finland would soon get a government

♥ Song of the day: Tina Arena, Burn (acoustic)

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