Bad Decisions, the Big Bang and All That Jazz

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Helen Fitzgerald
Summer may be winding down but Book Talk is as hot as ever with a lineup of inspiring (and inspired!) authors who join host Ryan Van Winkle to talk about their upcoming books, how they work humour into even the most harrowing stories, their admiration for flawed characters and how jazz wakes up the mind.

Genre-defying Helen Fitzgerald gets things started with a discussion of The Cry, her latest novel, which is available on e-readers now and will be released in paperback in September. The Cry, like many of her other books, follows two people who find themselves in an unimaginably awful situation and end up making perhaps the worst possible decisions. Find out more about the book, and the surprising connection Helen has found between writing and her former career in criminal justice. Also, check out her list of five books her fans will like that don't necessarily fit into the crime fiction genre.

New Writers Awardee Pippa Goldschmidt is also celebrating the release of a book, her first, The Falling Sky. This tale of a young astronomer who makes an extraordinary discovery that not only shakes the foundations of science itself, but also has her questioning her entire life and delving into her painful past manages to mix complex family drama with science and dark comedy, as she reveals the cutthroat underbelly of academia. As an academic herself, it's a world she knows well. But beyond campus politics, this is also the tale of a woman dealing with her daemons, as well as a meditation on how we tend to see and understand other people.

Finally, Ryan catches up with Naomi Alderman, one of Granta's Best Young British Novelists, who recently collaborated with jazz band The Moss Project to write a story based on one of their songs. According to Naomi, after listening to the song over and over, the story suddenly just came, the inspiration doubtless assisted by the fact that, according to her, 'Moss's music makes interesting things happen in my brain. Jazz in general does--it wakes up your brain.' Discover how music has wound its way into her writing in the past, and hear the story and the song that inspired it.

Podcast contents

0:00    Introduction
1:08    Helen Fitzgerald interview
10:00  Helen Fitzgerald's reading recommendations
12:16  Pippa Goldschmidt interview
18:45  The Falling Sky excerpt
22:40  Naomi Alderman interview
25:44  The Moss Project-inspired story


Helen Fitzgerald's Blog
Naomi Alderman's website
Pippa Goldschmidt's website
Granta Class of 2013 Book List
Granta Magazine
The Moss Project's MySpace page
New Writers Awards

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

Filed In: Book Talk, Interviews, Reading Tags: author, book talk, edinburgh international book festival, music, novel, inspiration, crime