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The Biblio File hosted by Nigel Beale

Nigel Beale

5
Followers
20
Plays
The Biblio File hosted by Nigel Beale

The Biblio File hosted by Nigel Beale

Nigel Beale

5
Followers
20
Plays
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About Us

THE BIBLIO FILE is one of the world's leading podcasts about "the book" and an inquiry into the wider world of book culture. Hosted by Nigel Beale it features wide ranging conversations with authors, poets, book publishers, booksellers, book editors, book collectors, book makers, book scholars, book critics, book designers, book publicists, literary agents and other certified bibliophiles.

Latest Episodes

Mitchell Kaplan on successful bookselling and turning books into films

Miami native Mitchell Kaplan is the owner/founder of Books & Books, one of the premier independent bookstore groups in the United States, and a respected leader in the book business. Along with Eduardo J. Padrón, president of Miami-Dade College (MDC), he co-founded The Miami Book Fair (MBF), the largest event of its kind in the United States, in 1984. He hosts the Literary Life with Mitchell Kaplan podcast and is a partner in the book-to-film optioning business The Mazur/Kaplan Company (greatest claim to fame? The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society). I met with Mitch in the open-air restaurant at his flagship Mediterranean-styled bookstore in Coral Gables to discuss his career and success in book-selling and sundry other related enterprises. Among other things we talk about Miami, Colorado, The Beats, Red Rocks, the Tulagi Bar in Boulder, 18th century London bookseller James Lackington, 'third places,' community, bookstore restaurants, remainders, the Books & Books Press...

46 MIN5 d ago
Comments
Mitchell Kaplan on successful bookselling and turning books into films

Madeleine Thien on her novel Certainty

This is one of the very earliest Biblio File interviews. Please excuse the audio. (Listening to it - I'm embarrassed to learn that I wasn't able to read all of Certainty before conducting the interview - despite not having had much time to prepare [This would never happen today - well, except in the case of Eimear McBride's A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing, but that's another story] ). Madeleine Thien was born in Vancouver. She is the author of the story collectionSimple Recipes (2001), and three novels, Certainty (2006);Dogs at the Perimeter(2011), shortlisted for Berlin’s International Literature Prizeand winner of the Frankfurt Book Fair’s 2015Liberaturpreis; andDo Not Say We Have Nothing (2016), about musicians studying Western classical music at the Shanghai Conservatory in the 1960s, and about the legacy of the 1989 Tiananmen demonstrations. Her books and stories are published in Canada, the U.S., the U.K. and Australia, and have been translated into 25 languages. Do Not Say We Have Nothingwon the 2016 Scotiabank Giller Prize, the 2016 Governor-General’s Literary Award for Fiction, and an Edward Stanford Prize; and was shortlisted for the 2016 Man Booker Prize, the 2017 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, and The Folio Prize 2017. The novel was named a New York Times Critics’ Top Book of 2016 and longlisted for a Carnegie Medal.

44 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Madeleine Thien on her novel Certainty

Sydney Smith on writing & illustrating children's books

Sydney Smith was born in rural Nova Scotia and started drawing at an early age. Since graduating from NSCAD University, he has illustrated numerous children’s books, including the highly acclaimed wordless picture book Sidewalk Flowers, conceived by Jon Arno Lawson. It won a Governor General’s Award, among many other honours, and was named a New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book. Sydney is also the illustrator of Town Is by the Sea by Joanne Schwartz, for which he was awarded the Kate Greenaway Medal, and which won the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Prize. Small in the City is the first picture book that Sydney has both written and illustrated. It is the winner of The Ezra Jack Keats Award for Writer! A New York Times/New York Public Library Best Illustrated Book of the Year An ALA Notable Children’s Book A Capitol Choices Noteworthy Title and Canada's Governor General's Literary Award. I met Sydney in Ottawa after he'd received his award. We talk about a short poem by G.K. Chesterton; Randolf Caldecott, passing shadows, counterpoint, Maurice Sendak, the relationship between illustrator and author; Alligator Pie, Dennis Lee and Frank Newfeld; safe places to process complex emotions; Neal Porter; and sharing excitement.

49 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Sydney Smith on writing & illustrating children's books

Blake Gopnik on his big, beautiful, new biography of Andy Warhol

Blake Gopnik is an American/Canadian art critic who has lived in New York City since 2011 writing about art for Newsweek, the Daily Beast, The New York Times and others. From 2000 to 2010 he was chief art critic at The Washington Post, prior to which he was arts editor and critic for the Globe and Mail in Toronto. He has a doctorate in art history from Oxford University, and has written on aesthetic topics ranging from design to food, fashion to beer. He is the author of Warhol, a big new biography of the American Pop artist Andy Warhol ( Ecco, 2020), which is what we talk about, computer to computer, here. Topics covered include the practice of biography, Robert Caro, police violence and homosexuals, Warhol: genius and/or jerk? Window dressing, the Factory, shoes, silk-screening, commercial versus fine art, Pop Art, Robert Hughes and stupidity, film, the Empire State Building, banality, Tolstoy, sweeping polemics, controversy, playing dumb and much more.

68 MIN2 w ago
Comments
Blake Gopnik on his big, beautiful, new biography of Andy Warhol

Don Gillmor on his memoir To the River, and what it's like to lose a brother to suicide

Don Gillmor is an award-winning Canadian novelist, journalist and children's book author. His new book To the River (2018) explores his brother’s suicide. It won the 2019 Governor General’s Literary Award for non-fiction and was a CBC Best Books of 2019. His novel Long Change (2015) examines the world of oil through the life and loves of one man. Mount Pleasant (2013) is a darkly comic meditation on privilege and debt set in contemporary Toronto, and his first novel, the critically acclaimed Kanata (2009), dealt with the whole sweep of Canadian history. He is also the author of a two-volume history of Canada, Canada: A People’s History, and three other books of non-fiction. He has written nine books for children, and won 11 National Magazine Awards plus numerous other honours. He lives in Toronto. We met in Ottawa to discuss To the River, and to share thoughts on what it's like to lose a brother to suicide.

50 MIN3 w ago
Comments
Don Gillmor on his memoir To the River, and what it's like to lose a brother to suicide

Helene Atwan on the Beacon Press and its social justice mission

"Helene Atwanis the Director of Beacon Press, an independent non-profit book publisher founded in 1854. She began her publishing career in 1976 at Random House in New York as an assistant editor in their College Division, before moving to Alfred A. Knopf in 1977 as a publicity associate. She then joined The Viking Press in 1979 as the associate director of publicity. In 1981, she moved to Farrar, Straus and Giroux, where she began as the director of publicity. She also became a vice president of the house in 1987 and the associate publisher in 1991. In 1993, she joined the Pocket Books division of Simon & Schuster as a vice president and director of marketing. She was appointed director of Beacon Press by the board of trustees of the Unitarian Universalists Association in October of 1995." We met at her offices in Boston to talk about Emerson and the history of the Beacon Press, plus its connection to the Unitarian Universalists; Helene's role with the press; social justice - slavery, reparations, inter-sectional issues, and the environment; about the price of paper, the function of design, and the process of editing books at Beacon; plus Victor Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning, and newly discovered Yes to Life, and much more.

49 MIN3 w ago
Comments
Helene Atwan on the Beacon Press and its social justice mission

David Gilmour and I gush over Truman Capote's Mojave

David Gilmour is a Canadian novelist and former television journalist and film critic. Born inLondon, Ontario, Gilmour later moved toTorontofor schooling. He is a graduate ofUpper Canada Collegeand theUniversity of Toronto. In 1980 he became managing editor of theToronto International Film Festival, a post he held for four years. In 1986 he joined CBC Television as a film critic forThe Journal, eventually becoming host of the program's Friday night arts and entertainment show. In 1990, he began hostingGilmour on the Arts, an arts show series onCBC Newsworld. In 1997 he left the CBC to concentrate full time on his writing. His 2005 novel A Perfect Night to Go to Chinawon the2005 Governor General's Awardfor English fiction. In 2007 he won two goldNational Magazine Awardsfor his essay "My Life with Tolstoy" which appeared inThe Walrusmagazine. Today Gilmour is a Professor of Literary Studies atVictoria Collegeat theU of T where he has taught Creative Writing and Literature since 2006. D​avid recently mentioned to me that he was a fan of Truman Capote. I suggested we get together to discuss one of his short stories. We settled on 'Mojave'. Here's our conversation. Warning: it gets a tad raunchy at times.

62 MINAPR 26
Comments
David Gilmour and I gush over Truman Capote's Mojave

Paul Wright on publishing great book history books

Paul Wright was Editor of the UMass Press from 1988 to 2006. He was Executive Editor of the Book Series, “Studies in Print Culture and the History of the Book,” from 1994–2006. From 1985 to 1988 he was Assistant to the Chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Boston. Prior to that he served as a Free-Lance Editor and Writer, from 1981–1985. Before that he worked as Acquisitions Editor for several Boston-based academic publishers. We met at his home in South Boston to discuss how he built UMass's line of Book History books, along with his own scholarly work in the field.

51 MINAPR 20
Comments
Paul Wright on publishing great book history books

Stephanie Burt on poetry and being trans

Stephanie Burt is a literary critic and poet who is Professor of English at Harvard University and a transgender activist. The New York Times has called her "one of the most influential poetry critics of [her] generation". Burt grew up near Washington, D.C. She has published four collections of poetry and many works of literary criticism. Her articles have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The London Review of Books, The Times Literary Supplement, The Believer, and The Boston Review. Her book Randall Jarrell and His Age reevaluates Jarrell's importance as a poet. The book won the Warren Brooks Award in 2002. In 2017, she transitioned to female. She has since been active in LGBTQA+ rights and awareness campaigns We met at her offices in Cambridge, MA to talk about this, and about her recent book Don't Read Poetry. Among other things we discuss how to read poetry, or avoid it; the acceptance of music versus poetry; Seamus Heaney and James Joyce; Rupi Kaur and teenage girls, ...

52 MINAPR 13
Comments
Stephanie Burt on poetry and being trans

Simon Beattie on his phenomenally successful We Love Endpapers FB group, & more

Simon Beattie is a British antiquarian bookseller, literary translator and composer. He was the first British bookseller to be featured in Fine Books & Collections Magazine's series Bright Young Things. Beattie was educated at Aylesbury Grammar School and the University of Exeter, where he took a double first in German and Russian (1997) and subsequently studied for an MA in Lexicography (1998), which he passed with Distinction. Whilst at Exeter, Beattie also held a choral scholarship at Exeter Cathedral. After a brief period freelancing in the publishingbusiness Beattie joined the London antiquarian booksellers Bernard Quaritch Ltd in 1998. In January 2010 he set up his own company specialising in European cross-cultural history. His printed catalogues, entitled Short Lists, have won numerous awards. He was a 2012 winner in the Smarta 100 Awards for 'the most resourceful, original, exciting and disruptive small businesses in the UK' and has taught at the York Antiquarian Book Seminar since its inception in 2014. It was Beattie who set in motion the worldwide strike by over 450 booksellers against AbeBooks' decision to withdraw from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Russia, and South Korea in November 2018. Beattie's translation of Gottfried Benn's shocking first poem 'Morgue' was published in 2018. His translation of the novel At the Edge of the Night by the German writer Friedo Lampe was published by Hesperus Press in 2019. Finally, Beattie also composes choral music. His setting of Advent Calendar, a poem by Rowan Williams, was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 as part of the 2008 Advent carol service from St John's College, Cambridge. I met Simon in Boston, prior to last year's Antiquarian Book Fair, to talk books, more specifically endpapers and Simon's phenomenally successful 'We love Endpapers' Facebook group. We also talk about speaking foreign languages, cultures being curious about one another, exploration, the reception of Oscar Wilde in Russia, translation and censorship, pleasant surprises, marbled paper, brocade paper, bookseller catalogues, and enjoying what you do.

51 MINAPR 6
Comments
Simon Beattie on his phenomenally successful We Love Endpapers FB group, & more

Latest Episodes

Mitchell Kaplan on successful bookselling and turning books into films

Miami native Mitchell Kaplan is the owner/founder of Books & Books, one of the premier independent bookstore groups in the United States, and a respected leader in the book business. Along with Eduardo J. Padrón, president of Miami-Dade College (MDC), he co-founded The Miami Book Fair (MBF), the largest event of its kind in the United States, in 1984. He hosts the Literary Life with Mitchell Kaplan podcast and is a partner in the book-to-film optioning business The Mazur/Kaplan Company (greatest claim to fame? The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society). I met with Mitch in the open-air restaurant at his flagship Mediterranean-styled bookstore in Coral Gables to discuss his career and success in book-selling and sundry other related enterprises. Among other things we talk about Miami, Colorado, The Beats, Red Rocks, the Tulagi Bar in Boulder, 18th century London bookseller James Lackington, 'third places,' community, bookstore restaurants, remainders, the Books & Books Press...

46 MIN5 d ago
Comments
Mitchell Kaplan on successful bookselling and turning books into films

Madeleine Thien on her novel Certainty

This is one of the very earliest Biblio File interviews. Please excuse the audio. (Listening to it - I'm embarrassed to learn that I wasn't able to read all of Certainty before conducting the interview - despite not having had much time to prepare [This would never happen today - well, except in the case of Eimear McBride's A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing, but that's another story] ). Madeleine Thien was born in Vancouver. She is the author of the story collectionSimple Recipes (2001), and three novels, Certainty (2006);Dogs at the Perimeter(2011), shortlisted for Berlin’s International Literature Prizeand winner of the Frankfurt Book Fair’s 2015Liberaturpreis; andDo Not Say We Have Nothing (2016), about musicians studying Western classical music at the Shanghai Conservatory in the 1960s, and about the legacy of the 1989 Tiananmen demonstrations. Her books and stories are published in Canada, the U.S., the U.K. and Australia, and have been translated into 25 languages. Do Not Say We Have Nothingwon the 2016 Scotiabank Giller Prize, the 2016 Governor-General’s Literary Award for Fiction, and an Edward Stanford Prize; and was shortlisted for the 2016 Man Booker Prize, the 2017 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, and The Folio Prize 2017. The novel was named a New York Times Critics’ Top Book of 2016 and longlisted for a Carnegie Medal.

44 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Madeleine Thien on her novel Certainty

Sydney Smith on writing & illustrating children's books

Sydney Smith was born in rural Nova Scotia and started drawing at an early age. Since graduating from NSCAD University, he has illustrated numerous children’s books, including the highly acclaimed wordless picture book Sidewalk Flowers, conceived by Jon Arno Lawson. It won a Governor General’s Award, among many other honours, and was named a New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book. Sydney is also the illustrator of Town Is by the Sea by Joanne Schwartz, for which he was awarded the Kate Greenaway Medal, and which won the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Prize. Small in the City is the first picture book that Sydney has both written and illustrated. It is the winner of The Ezra Jack Keats Award for Writer! A New York Times/New York Public Library Best Illustrated Book of the Year An ALA Notable Children’s Book A Capitol Choices Noteworthy Title and Canada's Governor General's Literary Award. I met Sydney in Ottawa after he'd received his award. We talk about a short poem by G.K. Chesterton; Randolf Caldecott, passing shadows, counterpoint, Maurice Sendak, the relationship between illustrator and author; Alligator Pie, Dennis Lee and Frank Newfeld; safe places to process complex emotions; Neal Porter; and sharing excitement.

49 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Sydney Smith on writing & illustrating children's books

Blake Gopnik on his big, beautiful, new biography of Andy Warhol

Blake Gopnik is an American/Canadian art critic who has lived in New York City since 2011 writing about art for Newsweek, the Daily Beast, The New York Times and others. From 2000 to 2010 he was chief art critic at The Washington Post, prior to which he was arts editor and critic for the Globe and Mail in Toronto. He has a doctorate in art history from Oxford University, and has written on aesthetic topics ranging from design to food, fashion to beer. He is the author of Warhol, a big new biography of the American Pop artist Andy Warhol ( Ecco, 2020), which is what we talk about, computer to computer, here. Topics covered include the practice of biography, Robert Caro, police violence and homosexuals, Warhol: genius and/or jerk? Window dressing, the Factory, shoes, silk-screening, commercial versus fine art, Pop Art, Robert Hughes and stupidity, film, the Empire State Building, banality, Tolstoy, sweeping polemics, controversy, playing dumb and much more.

68 MIN2 w ago
Comments
Blake Gopnik on his big, beautiful, new biography of Andy Warhol

Don Gillmor on his memoir To the River, and what it's like to lose a brother to suicide

Don Gillmor is an award-winning Canadian novelist, journalist and children's book author. His new book To the River (2018) explores his brother’s suicide. It won the 2019 Governor General’s Literary Award for non-fiction and was a CBC Best Books of 2019. His novel Long Change (2015) examines the world of oil through the life and loves of one man. Mount Pleasant (2013) is a darkly comic meditation on privilege and debt set in contemporary Toronto, and his first novel, the critically acclaimed Kanata (2009), dealt with the whole sweep of Canadian history. He is also the author of a two-volume history of Canada, Canada: A People’s History, and three other books of non-fiction. He has written nine books for children, and won 11 National Magazine Awards plus numerous other honours. He lives in Toronto. We met in Ottawa to discuss To the River, and to share thoughts on what it's like to lose a brother to suicide.

50 MIN3 w ago
Comments
Don Gillmor on his memoir To the River, and what it's like to lose a brother to suicide

Helene Atwan on the Beacon Press and its social justice mission

"Helene Atwanis the Director of Beacon Press, an independent non-profit book publisher founded in 1854. She began her publishing career in 1976 at Random House in New York as an assistant editor in their College Division, before moving to Alfred A. Knopf in 1977 as a publicity associate. She then joined The Viking Press in 1979 as the associate director of publicity. In 1981, she moved to Farrar, Straus and Giroux, where she began as the director of publicity. She also became a vice president of the house in 1987 and the associate publisher in 1991. In 1993, she joined the Pocket Books division of Simon & Schuster as a vice president and director of marketing. She was appointed director of Beacon Press by the board of trustees of the Unitarian Universalists Association in October of 1995." We met at her offices in Boston to talk about Emerson and the history of the Beacon Press, plus its connection to the Unitarian Universalists; Helene's role with the press; social justice - slavery, reparations, inter-sectional issues, and the environment; about the price of paper, the function of design, and the process of editing books at Beacon; plus Victor Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning, and newly discovered Yes to Life, and much more.

49 MIN3 w ago
Comments
Helene Atwan on the Beacon Press and its social justice mission

David Gilmour and I gush over Truman Capote's Mojave

David Gilmour is a Canadian novelist and former television journalist and film critic. Born inLondon, Ontario, Gilmour later moved toTorontofor schooling. He is a graduate ofUpper Canada Collegeand theUniversity of Toronto. In 1980 he became managing editor of theToronto International Film Festival, a post he held for four years. In 1986 he joined CBC Television as a film critic forThe Journal, eventually becoming host of the program's Friday night arts and entertainment show. In 1990, he began hostingGilmour on the Arts, an arts show series onCBC Newsworld. In 1997 he left the CBC to concentrate full time on his writing. His 2005 novel A Perfect Night to Go to Chinawon the2005 Governor General's Awardfor English fiction. In 2007 he won two goldNational Magazine Awardsfor his essay "My Life with Tolstoy" which appeared inThe Walrusmagazine. Today Gilmour is a Professor of Literary Studies atVictoria Collegeat theU of T where he has taught Creative Writing and Literature since 2006. D​avid recently mentioned to me that he was a fan of Truman Capote. I suggested we get together to discuss one of his short stories. We settled on 'Mojave'. Here's our conversation. Warning: it gets a tad raunchy at times.

62 MINAPR 26
Comments
David Gilmour and I gush over Truman Capote's Mojave

Paul Wright on publishing great book history books

Paul Wright was Editor of the UMass Press from 1988 to 2006. He was Executive Editor of the Book Series, “Studies in Print Culture and the History of the Book,” from 1994–2006. From 1985 to 1988 he was Assistant to the Chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Boston. Prior to that he served as a Free-Lance Editor and Writer, from 1981–1985. Before that he worked as Acquisitions Editor for several Boston-based academic publishers. We met at his home in South Boston to discuss how he built UMass's line of Book History books, along with his own scholarly work in the field.

51 MINAPR 20
Comments
Paul Wright on publishing great book history books

Stephanie Burt on poetry and being trans

Stephanie Burt is a literary critic and poet who is Professor of English at Harvard University and a transgender activist. The New York Times has called her "one of the most influential poetry critics of [her] generation". Burt grew up near Washington, D.C. She has published four collections of poetry and many works of literary criticism. Her articles have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The London Review of Books, The Times Literary Supplement, The Believer, and The Boston Review. Her book Randall Jarrell and His Age reevaluates Jarrell's importance as a poet. The book won the Warren Brooks Award in 2002. In 2017, she transitioned to female. She has since been active in LGBTQA+ rights and awareness campaigns We met at her offices in Cambridge, MA to talk about this, and about her recent book Don't Read Poetry. Among other things we discuss how to read poetry, or avoid it; the acceptance of music versus poetry; Seamus Heaney and James Joyce; Rupi Kaur and teenage girls, ...

52 MINAPR 13
Comments
Stephanie Burt on poetry and being trans

Simon Beattie on his phenomenally successful We Love Endpapers FB group, & more

Simon Beattie is a British antiquarian bookseller, literary translator and composer. He was the first British bookseller to be featured in Fine Books & Collections Magazine's series Bright Young Things. Beattie was educated at Aylesbury Grammar School and the University of Exeter, where he took a double first in German and Russian (1997) and subsequently studied for an MA in Lexicography (1998), which he passed with Distinction. Whilst at Exeter, Beattie also held a choral scholarship at Exeter Cathedral. After a brief period freelancing in the publishingbusiness Beattie joined the London antiquarian booksellers Bernard Quaritch Ltd in 1998. In January 2010 he set up his own company specialising in European cross-cultural history. His printed catalogues, entitled Short Lists, have won numerous awards. He was a 2012 winner in the Smarta 100 Awards for 'the most resourceful, original, exciting and disruptive small businesses in the UK' and has taught at the York Antiquarian Book Seminar since its inception in 2014. It was Beattie who set in motion the worldwide strike by over 450 booksellers against AbeBooks' decision to withdraw from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Russia, and South Korea in November 2018. Beattie's translation of Gottfried Benn's shocking first poem 'Morgue' was published in 2018. His translation of the novel At the Edge of the Night by the German writer Friedo Lampe was published by Hesperus Press in 2019. Finally, Beattie also composes choral music. His setting of Advent Calendar, a poem by Rowan Williams, was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 as part of the 2008 Advent carol service from St John's College, Cambridge. I met Simon in Boston, prior to last year's Antiquarian Book Fair, to talk books, more specifically endpapers and Simon's phenomenally successful 'We love Endpapers' Facebook group. We also talk about speaking foreign languages, cultures being curious about one another, exploration, the reception of Oscar Wilde in Russia, translation and censorship, pleasant surprises, marbled paper, brocade paper, bookseller catalogues, and enjoying what you do.

51 MINAPR 6
Comments
Simon Beattie on his phenomenally successful We Love Endpapers FB group, & more
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