cover image The Best of Writers & Company

The Best of Writers & Company

Eleanor Wachtel. Biblioasis (Consortium, U.S. dist.; UTP, Canadian dist.), $19.9

Fans of Wachtel's CBC Radio show, Writers & Company, know her as a superb journalist with an unbridled passion for literature. This book, celebrating her show's 25th anniversary, is a collection of her interviews with 15 prominent authors, including Edwidge Danticat, Doris Lessing, and Toni Morrison. Wachtel's on-air manner%E2%80%94gently prodding, thoughtful and encouraging%E2%80%94has helped her to elicit profound responses from even her most reticent interview subjects. The breadth of her research is evident in her questions, and the interviews offer readers deep insights into the authors' backgrounds, inspirations, fears, and dreams%E2%80%94plus, of course, the books they write. Wachtel's radio interviews have the warm intimacy of a conversation, but this collection in print offers readers something to hold on to and is a useful reference to keep alongside favorite books. It will also be a boon for students studying any of these writers' works. Agent: Jackie Kaiser, Westwood Creative Artists. (Apr.)