This month BBC World Book Club comes from Beijing with Lawrence Pollard.
The programme is a guest of the Bookworm, three rooms and a roof terrace full of books in Chinese and English, a fixture on the literary scene here for over a decade.
Bestselling Chinese writer Lijia Zhang answers questions about her novel Lotus. Lijia taught herself English while working in a missile factory in a bid to become a writer and a journalist, and she’s written Lotus in English. It’s the story of a young migrant worker from the country who ends up as a prostitute in Shenzen, the economic powerhouse of Southern China. It’s also a deeply researched picture of the people who look up at the economic miracle from beneath and their struggles for dignity, love and a future they can believe in.
(Image: Lijia Zhang. Credit: Will Baker.)
Kate Atkinson: Life After Life
This month on World Book Club award-winning British writer Kate Atkinson discusses her celebrated novel Life After Life. In it Atkinson poses the question: What if you had the chance to live your life again and again, until you finally got it right?
On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born and then dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, while the young century marches on towards its second cataclysmic world war.
Does Ursula's apparently infinite number of lives give her the power to save the world from its inevitable destiny? And if she can - will she?
Presented by Harriett Gilbert.
On this month’s World Book Club, as he turns seventy, another chance to hear acclaimed American writer James Ellroy, who over a span of fifteen years worked on a massive fictional chronicle of 1960s America.
American Tabloid, the first of the three books, exposes the underbelly of a country on the threshold of Kennedy's golden age, and follows three men close to the tentacles of power in a conspiracy with the Mafia that leads to the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba and the assassination of JFK in Dallas. Brutally brilliant and profane, the book bursts at the seams with crooked policemen, corrupt politicians, mobsters and hitmen, all driven by a desire for power, money and the settling of old scores.
Image: James Ellroy (Credit: AFP/Getty Images)
Hilary Mantel: Bring Up the Bodies
This month’s World Book Club broadcasts from the Man Booker 50 Festival at the Southbank Centre, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the renowned prize.
In the World Book Club chair is the double-Booker prize-winning British writer Hilary Mantel discussing the second volume in her acclaimed series of novels about Thomas Cromwell. Bring Up the Bodies delves into the heart of Tudor history and the downfall of Queen Anne Boleyn whom King Henry VIII had battled for seven years to marry.
Anuradha Roy: An Atlas of Impossible Longing
This month World Book Club talks to internationally celebrated Indian writer Anuradha Roy about her much-loved novel, An Atlas of Impossible Longing.
Spanning three generations of an Indian family from the turn of the 20th century to India's partition An Atlas of Impossible Longing traces the intertwining lives of the inhabitants of a vast and isolated house on the outskirts of a small town in Bengal.
Centred on sensitive foundling orphan boy Mukunda and the wild and motherless daughter of the house, Bakul, the novel charts the unshakeable but oft-threatened bond that grows between them in a world where they feel abandoned by everyone else. A haunting and compelling story of love, loss, grief and the power of home.
(Picture: Anuradha Roy. Photo credit: fmantovani.)