LRB Conversations

Various discussions on topics and writers drawn from the pages of the LRB.

Try, Try, Try Again

Diane Williams and Thomas Jones, 9 April 2021

6 April 2021 · 23mins

Diane Williams talks to Thomas Jones about her short stories, and reads her latest two published in the LRB.

Into the UbuVerse

Gill Partington and Thomas Jones, 9 April 2021

30 March 2021 · 51mins

Gill Partington and Thomas Jones explore Kenneth Goldsmith’s online avant-garde archive UbuWeb, listen to some of the things you can find on it, and consider what might not be found there.


Mouin Rabbani, Nathan Thrall and Adam Shatz, 6 April 2021

23 March 2021 · 56mins

Mouin Rabbani and Nathan Thrall talk to Adam Shatz about Israel’s vaccination programme, the system of apartheid that now effectively exists between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea, the legacy of Trump’s policies, and how the Biden administration may or may not exert its influence.

Peeping Pat

Terry Castle and Thomas Jones, 24 March 2021

9 March 2021 · 46mins

Terry Castle talks to Thomas Jones about Patricia Highsmith.

Optimistic Caution

Catherine Moore, Rupert Beale and Thomas Jones, 19 March 2021

2 March 2021 · 34mins

Catherine Moore, a consultant clinical virologist at Public Health Wales, and Rupert Beale, a clinician scientist group leader at the Francis Crick Institute, talk to Thomas Jones about the vaccine rollout for Sars-CoV-2, the new variant originally found in Brazil, and whether the virus might ever be eliminated.

Analogous Patisseries

Mary-Kay Wilmers and Andrew O’Hagan, 25 March 2021

23 February 2021 · 27mins

Mary-Kay Wilmers, who retired as editor of the LRB last month, talks to Andrew O’Hagan about her career, first at Faber and Faber, then the Listener, then for 42 years at the London Review of Books. She talks about working with T.S. Eliot, the importance of being teased, and how a joke by Alan Bennett changed her life.

This is Not a War

Adam Shatz, 23 March 2021

16 February 2021 · 49mins

Raphaëlle Branche talks to Adam Shatz about her new book, Papa, qu’as-tu fait en Algérie? (Daddy, What Did You Do in Algeria?)In it, Branche investigates the experiences of French conscripts in the Algerian war, what they saw and did, and, more importantly, how they did and didn’t talk about it afterwards. 

The View from Salvador

Forrest Hylton and Thomas Jones, 23 March 2021

9 February 2021 · 45mins

Forrest Hylton talks to Thomas Jones about what's going on in Brazil.

Forensic Midwives

Erin Maglaque and Thomas Jones, 23 March 2021

2 February 2021 · 32mins

Erin Maglaque talks to Thomas Jones about abortion in 16th-century Italy, the stories of women who experienced it, how it was investigated, and why attitudes to pregnancy 400 years ago were in some ways preferable to those now.

Magical Authority

Colin Burrow and Thomas Jones, 23 March 2021

19 January 2021 · 39mins

Colin Burrow talks to Thomas Jones about the work of Ursula Le Guin.

End in Sight

Rupert Beale and Thomas Jones, 30 March 2021

8 December 2020 · 33mins

Rupert Beale talks to Thomas Jones about the new Sars-CoV-2 vaccines, how the mRNA technology works, why social distancing still matters, and why he’s worried about Christmas. (The conversation was recorded before the publication of the AstraZeneca/Oxford trial data.)

On Denise Riley

Ange Mlinko and Joanne O’Leary, 30 March 2021

1 December 2020 · 56mins

Ange Mlinko talks to Joanne O’Leary about the work of Denise Riley, following the publication last year of Riley’s Selected Poems: 1976-2016 and her essay Time Lived, without Its Flow. They look in particular at Riley’s celebrated poem ‘A Part Song’, a long elegy for her adult son, Jacob, who died from undiagnosed cardiomyopathy in 2008.

Haiti’s Revolution

Pooja Bhatia and Thomas Jones, 30 March 2021

17 November 2020 · 36mins

Pooja Bhatia talks to Thomas Jones about the Haitian revolution of 1791, the world-historical debut of the movement for Black liberation.