Posted in: Season 3
The Quiet Act of Loving Bones book cover

Interview with Katie Willis about The Quiet Act of Loving Bones

Story Radio interviews Katie Willis, author of The Quiet Act of Loving Bones, published by Joan Publishing. We discuss bones, inspiration, the colour yellow, Russia and lucid dreaming.

– “It is rare to come across a book that feels, at the same time, overwhelmingly strange and delightfully familiar. The Quiet Act of Loving Bones takes you into a world that is intimate and physical but also ghostly and ecstatic. You’ll dance with it until you feel dizzy and transformed. I think Katie Willis has written a classic.”

– Toby Litt

– Katie Willis has written a beautifully precise dance anti-narrative. Her story is about the quiet defiance of using an interior world to navigate the complexities of embodied life. This book is for anyone who has been an adolescent or a dreamer.

– Laura Joyce

About Katie Willis

– Katie Willis was a ballet dancer. She lives in London, close to a river, dividing her time between water and land, home and hospital. She writes about women and water, bodies and bones, and the stories that bones hold individually and collectively. This is her first novel.

– This episode was produced by Tabitha Potts.

– Music: dark piano-loop in f-minor 2 by Baz_Odink_NL — — License: Creative Commons 0

Posted in: Season 3
Image of book cover Past Participle by Jane Labous

Jane Labous Past Participle Interview

Listen to an interview with Jane Labous and hear her reading from her new novel, Past Participle, published by Afsana Press.

Dakar, Senegal, 1987: On a rainy night after a wild party, the British ambassador’s wife, Vivienne Hughes, is involve in a car crash. Her vehicle hits the motorbike of a young Senegalese doctor, Aimé Tunkara, killing him. Pleading diplomatic immunity, Vivienne and her husband flee to England.

Three decades later, Aimé’s little sister, Lily Tunkara, now a high-flying lawyer in Dakar, finds a photograph that compels her to investigate what really happened that rainy night. As Lily faces increasing hostility from the local community, she turns to Vivienne Hughes, the only remaining witness, but is either woman prepared for the truth to emerge?

Past Participle is the story of two women bound together by the faultlines of the past, a study of love and guilt, power and desire, retribution and forgiveness.

Jane Labous is an award-winning author, BBC journalist and broadcaster known for her frontline coverage of human rights and gender issues, always telling the powerful human stories behind the headlines.

Jane read English & French at Jesus College, Oxford, before working for the UK and international press and INGOs, most often out of Dakar, Senegal. This while developing her creative art as a writer, filmmaker and novelist, drawing on her insider knowledge of the aid sector and foreign journalism, and her unique experience of both expat and local family life in Ngor, Dakar.

Jane’s credits span a vista of international outlets, including The IndependentVoice of AmericaGeographicalThe LA Times, BBC Africa and BBC Radio 4’s From Our Own Correspondent. She has also worked as a writer and filmmaker for aid/humanitarian agencies including the UN, the World Health Organisation, Save The Children, and Amnesty International. She has won the BBC Radio 4 and Royal Geographical Society Documentary Award, the Merck More than a Mother Media Recognition & Film Award for Francophone African Countries, and a European Journalism Centre Development Reporting Grant.

Her fiction has been longlisted for the Bath Novel Prize and the Santa Fé Writers’ Project Literary Award.

This episode was produced by Tabitha Potts, writer and podcaster. She recently received an Honourable Mention in the Alpine Fellowship Writing Prize. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Birkbeck University and a First in English Language and Literature from Oxford University. Read her short story collection here or visit her website.

Posted in: Season 3
Piranesi etching showing human figures in an architectural setting with the words nterview with the curators of fantasy realms of imagination at the British library

Fantasy: Realms of Imagination interview with Matthew Sangster and Tanya Kirk of the British Library

Tabitha Potts and Martin Nathan interview the lead curator and guest curator of the British Library’s blockbuster exhibition, Fantasy: Realms of Imagination, Tanya Kirk and Matthew Sangster. The exhibition runs until 25th February 2024 and tickets can be booked here.

The exhibition has been critically acclaimed with a five star review in The Telegraph, ‘a visually captivating treat’, and has been featured in The Guardian, The I Newspaper, Apollo Magazine and BBC Radio 4: Front Row to name a few.

We interviewed both curators about the process of assembling an exhibition featuring over 100 objects that spans the breadth of a genre as varied as Fantasy, from its roots in epics and mythology to contemporary writers like Neil Gaiman and Susanna Clarke.

Tanya Kirk, Lead Curator, Printed Heritage Collections 1601-1900, has worked at the British Library for 16 years, currently as the leading expert on 300 years of the Library’s printed collections. She has curated six major exhibitions on topics including Gothic fiction, Shakespeare in performance, the British landscape in literature, science fiction and most recently, Fantasy: Realms of Imagination. She is the editor of four Christmas-themed collections of short stories in the British Library’s Tales of the Weird series. With Matthew, she co-edited Realms of Imagination: Essays from the Wide Worlds of Fantasy (2023).

Matthew Sangster joined the University of Glasgow in 2016 and was promoted to Professor of Romantic Studies, Fantasy and Cultural History in 2022. Prior to that Matthew worked at the British Library cataloguing the archive of the Royal Literary Fund and contributing to the exhibitions The Worlds of Mervyn Peake in 2011 and Writing Britain: Wastelands to Wonderlands in 2012. Matthew is the author of Living as an Author in the Romantic Period (2021) and An Introduction to Fantasy (2023); co-director of Glasgow’s Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic (with Dimitra Fimi); and a founding co-editor (with Brian Attebery and Dimitra Fimi) of the Bloomsbury Perspectives on Fantasy series.

This episode was produced by Martin Nathan. Martin Nathan’s short fiction and poetry has appeared in a range of journals and his novel – A Place of Safety is published by Salt Publishing. His dramatic writing has been shortlisted for the Nick Darke award and the Woodward International Prize.

Episode cover image adapted from Carceri Etchings, Giovanni Battista Piranesi, (17501761) © British Library Board