Literary Lives Online – 10 Recommended Links

Annemarie Ni Churreain

Sylvia Plath & Ted Hughes

An extraordinary 20-minute interview with Plath and her husband, the poet Ted Hughes, by BBC’s Owen Leeming. Titled Two of a Kind: Poets in Partnership, it was recorded on January 18, 1961, and aired on January 31.

Edna O’ Brien

Writing is “both a wand and a weapon”. In this FaberBooks interview, O’ Brien discusses her life and memoir Country Girls.

Seamus Heaney

Delivered on 7 December 1995, Seamus Heaney’s Nobel Lecture Crediting Poetry features the now famed line “walk on air against your better judgment”.

Mary Karr

“The best books are written out of love. If you want to get revenge, hire a lawyer or buy a fire-arm”. Poet, essayist and memoirist, Mary Karr speaks about her life as a writer at Southampton Arts Writers Conference 2013.

Joyce Carol Oates

Joyce Carol Oates, the award-winning author of over 50 novels, answers questions about crime writing and her process, at The Center for Fiction, NYC.

Jeannette Winterson

“There is no ‘sat nav’ for the soul…. Life is difficult and it should be. Thinking is difficult and it should be”. At the Sydney Opera House Winterson discusses what she’s learned through decades of searching for love and meaning on fiction and poetry.

Joan Didion


“It was an apocalyptic story about a woman who finds herself freezing to death in the Artic”. Didion recalls the first story she ever wrote at the age of five. In this lengthy television interview, Didion is interviewed about her life, writing process and interest in American politics.

Raymond Carver


Dreams Are What You Wake Up From is a 1989 documentary directed by Daisy Goodwin including contributions from Richard Ford and Jay McInerney

Vladimir Nabokov


“I have no social purpose, no moral message. I’m not a messenger”. BBC documentary Vladimir Nabokov Life and Lolita features interview excerpts with Nabokov.

Russia’s Open Book: Writing in the Age of Putin

Who is the new Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, or Gogol waiting to be discovered by the English-speaking world? In Russia’s Open Book, Stephen Fry profiles six upcoming Russian writers