OurShelves: Listening with Stuart Evers
Season 5, Ep. 8
How can men approach their role as feminist allies? Lucy Scholes meets Stuart Evers, award-winning author of four books including Your Father Sends His Love and The Blind Light as they discuss his introduction to the new Virago Modern Classic edition of Anna Seghers’ brilliant novel Transit, and how its depiction of people caught in the Second World War reminded him of Ukrainians caught in the complex British visa system. He argues about whether Transit is a love story or not, challenges himself to read books he thinks he’ll hate (and falls for them completely) and remembers as a young man how reading feminist novels taught him to listen.Stuart’s recommendations:On the nightstand: Lapvona by Ottessa Moshfegh and Sleepless Nights by Elizabeth HardwickOn my mind: Post War Modern art exhibition at the BarbicanOn the shelf: Gorilla My Love, Toni Cade BabaraOn the pedestal: Marguerite Duras
OurShelves: Voice with Katie Hickman
Season 5, Ep. 7
What does it take for a woman to migrate thousands of miles across prairies and mountains? Join Katie Hickman, author of Brave Hearted and She-Merchants, Buccaneers and Gentlewomen as she talks with Lucy Scholes about the unique voices of the women who made the Wild West, the strength of oral storytelling and the damage that was done to abortion rights in the USA by religious organisations. From the Americas to Indonesia, the discovery of precious materials has meant a death sentence for indigenous tribes and they discuss the impact of mining on people’s lives and the women who fought to make them better. Katie’s recommendations:On the nightstand: Dear Life by Alice Munro and One Thousand and One Nights retold by Hanan Al-Shaykh. On your mind: Things Fell Apart: strange tales from the culture wars by Jon Ronson (BBC) On the shelf: Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver On the pedestal: Mama Yosepha Alonmang. Now in her eighties, this remarkable woman is an Amungme (West Papua) Tribal Leader who has been fighting all her life against environmental destruction of her Tribal lands from mining.
OurShelves: Taboos with Kate Maxwell
Season 5, Ep. 6
What happens if you don’t fall in love with your baby at first sight? Join Kate Maxwell and Lucy Scholes as they challenge silent taboos about motherhood, from Elena Ferrante’sThe Lost Daughterto Kate’s first novelHush, about a woman who struggles with her decision to have a child on her own.Kate’s recommendations:On the nightstand:What I Loved, Siri Hustvedt andThe Bread the Devil Knead, Lisa Allen-AgostiniOn your mind: WeCrashed, Apple TV seriesOn the shelf:Matrix, Lauren GroffOn the pedestal: Josie Naughton, Choose Love co-founder and CEO
OurShelves: Beauty with Chloé Cooper Jones
Season 5, Ep. 5
If you spend 288 pages deep in the life of a disabled person, can that experience shift your concept of disability? Join Chloé Cooper Jones, journalist, Pulitzer nominee and author of the new memoir Easy Beauty, as she talks with Lucy Scholes about how beauty can create a powerful mental shift. They discuss the social and political act of making the disabled body visible, the meaning of staring and ask Lewis Hamilton to teach Chloé Formula 1 Racing.Chloé’s recommendations:On the nightstand – The Coward by Jarred McGinnis and Staring by Rosemarie Garland-ThomsonOn your mind – Drive to Survive, the Formula One racing documentary. On the shelf – Gretel Ehrlich's The Solace of Open SpacesOn the pedestal – Harriet McBryde Johnson, a writer and disability activist.
OurShelves: Hunger with Claire Kohda
Season 5, Ep. 4
How does food connect us to our cultural identity? Get hungry listening to Claire Kohda talk to Lucy Scholes about her debut novelWoman, Eating, which follows a mixed-race vampire in contemporary London. Claire admits she avoided readingDracula, explores the yōkai of traditional Japanese mythology and explains how listening to Asian recipes reminds her of her mother.Claire’s recommendations:On the nightstand:Where The Wild Ladies Are, by Matsuda Aoko, translated by Polly Barton, published by Tilted Axis Press and The Korean VeganOn my mind:Turn Away by Laura Moody (song)On the shelf:Barbara Hepworth: Writings and ConversationsOn the pedestal:Susanne Valadon
OurShelves: Whales with Doreen Cunningham
Season 5, Ep. 3
Doreen Cunningham, author of Soundings, followed the grey whales to the Arctic and she brings what she learnt on her journey into conversation with Lucy Scholes. Listen to Doreen explain how the very grammar of the Inupiat language gives the speaker a more respectful relationship with animals, how the trauma of poverty lingers and how her heroine is a grey whale named Earheart.
Ourshelves: Discovery with CN Lester
Season 5, Ep. 2
Discovery with CN LesterHow do we keep fighting when there seems to be no hope? CN Lester is a musician, academic, activist and author ofTrans Like Meand they tell Lucy Scholes the best advice they’ve been given for continuing to work in the face of backlash. Join their fascinating conversation on their discovery of women composers of the Italian Baroque (who should never have been forgotten!), their newfound love for Ursula K Le Guin (who should have won a Nobel Prize!), and their deeply personal joy in the poetry of Joelle Taylor (whohaswon the TS Eliot Prize!).
OurShelves: Midlife reckoning with Dana Spiotta
Season 5, Ep. 1
George Saunders calls Dana Spiotta a ‘great American writer’. It’s true - but why does it feel so surprising to hear a woman given that accolade. Join Lucy Scholes as she meets the award-winning author ofWaywardand four other novels, celebrating the rare joy and complexity of midlife characters, from the accused widow inEveryone Knows Your Mother is a Witchby Rivka Galchen to Olivia Colman’s haunting performance in ‘The Lost Daughter’. Together they ask: Why is this moment in life so disturbing and so powerful, and what can we learn from confronting it?
OurShelves with special guest Monica Ali
Season 4, Ep. 10
OurShelves celebrates the end of Season 4 with the beloved Monica Ali, a fellow of Royal Society of Literature, Patron of the Hopscotch Women’s Centre, and bestselling author ofBrick Laneand the upcomingLove Marriage, her wonderful, complex and optimistic book about the entangled lives of two very different families – which kept Lucy Scholes up late at night turning the pages. She asks Monica how she gestated this book for ten years, how she made her less likeable characters empathic and how listening to Esther Perel’s sex and relationship therapy inspired her to change their narratives.