Advice from Charles Dickens & Alice Munro (new episode)

Advice from Charles Dickens & Alice Munro Human Voices Wake Us

Tonight we hear from two great writers of fiction, Charles Dickens and Alice Munro.

Through a handful of readings from Claire Tomalin’s Charles Dickens: A Life, we see how Dickens (1812-1870) was able to juggle, for almost a year, the writing of two novels simultaneously, both for serial publication. Thanks to a letter written by Fyodor Dostoevsky, who visited Dickens in London in 1862, we also hear Dickens speaking privately in a way that he rarely did publicly, admitting that his villains were better reflections of himself than his more lovable and generous characters. We also answer the question: what do David Copperfield and Jane Eyre have in common?

From the introduction to her Selected Stories, Alice Munro (born in 1931, and winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize) describes how, as a homemaker, she came to writing short stories very nearly by necessity. She also discusses how she set her first attempts at fiction in faraway, historical, or Brontë-inspired surroundings, and only later came to see the artistic potential of her own backyard, in the Lake Huron region of Canada.

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