All items: biographer

Helena Drysdale speaks with James McConnachie about the treasure trove of her ancestors’ archives, her study of minority ethnic populations in Europe and the endangered languages that help define them, the colonial impositions of the English language, and why you should ask when you don’t know.

Mark McCrum speaks with James McConnachie about his first travel writing adventures in South Africa during the last days of apartheid, being sent rather unwillingly for a further book about Australia, and working out what you’re writing about as you go along.

Rick Stroud speaks with Robin Blake about how his film-making background influences his literary projects, his fascination with WW2 and the projects it has led him to, and his love of simple, clear writing.

Nigel Cliff speaks with James McConnachie about cold war concert pianist Van Cliburn and Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama, and considers their roles at turning points in history and meetings of cultures.