Interviews

David Olusoga: ‘Black people were told that they had no history’

Historian and broadcaster David Olusoga has been the face of a decolonial turn in British broadcasting that, in recent years, with series including the Bafta-winning Britain’s Forgotten Slave Owners, A House Through Time and Black and British: A Forgotten History, has inspired new conversations about injustice in the story of Britain and Britishness in living rooms across the country. Anticipating this year’s Black History Month (October), he has contributed a
Interviews

Anthony Doerr: ‘Rather than write what I know, I write what I want to know’

Anthony Doerr, 47, is the author of six books, including All the Light We Cannot See, which won the Pulitzer prize for fiction in 2015. The story of a blind French girl and an orphaned German boy during the second world war, it is the biggest selling title in the history of its UK publisher, Fourth Estate, home to Jonathan Franzen and Hilary Mantel. His new novel, Cloud Cuckoo Land,
Interviews

Powell’s Interview: Meng Jin, Author of ‘Little Gods’ by Rhianna Walton

It was only when I started describing Little Gods to people that I realized how seamlessly debut novelist Meng Jin integrates the huge, complicated themes of revolution, rebirth, time, and language into an intimate story, without sacrificing their grandeur or significance. At its heart, Little Gods is the story of a scientist, Su Lan, whose brilliance both attracts and alienates the people who love her. While her husband, child, and
Interviews

Powell’s Interview: Anne Enright, Author of ‘Actress’ by Jill Owens

Photo credit: Hugh Chaloner Anne Enright is an extraordinary, masterful writer whose prose brims with confidence, intelligence, and wit. She might be best known for her Man Booker Prize-winning novel The Gathering, or perhaps The Forgotten Waltz, which won the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction. Her last book, The Green Road, was named one of The Guardian’s 100 Best Books of the 21st Century, and Enright served as
Interviews

Powell’s Interview: Gail Tsukiyama, author of ‘The Color of Air’ by Rhianna Walton

Acclaimed novelist Gail Tsukiyama’s latest novel, The Color of Air, transports the reader to the verdant rain forests and smoldering lava beds of Hawai‘i in the early 20th century. Centering on the Japanese American immigrant community of Hilo on the Big Island of Hawai‘i, The Color of Air takes an intimate look at how a diverse group of individuals navigate backbreaking work on the sugar plantations, institutionalized racism and segregation,
Interviews

Powell’s Interview: Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, author of ‘A Girl Is a Body of Water’ by Jill Owens

Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi is the author of Kintu, which The New York Times Book Review calls “magisterial” and The Guardian describes as “a novel that is inventive in scope, masterful in execution….she does for Ugandan literature what Chinua Achebe did for Nigerian writing,” and Let’s Tell This Story Properly, a collection of short fiction which Publishers Weekly calls “thoughtful, eloquent.” Her newest novel, A Girl Is a Body of Water,
Interviews

Powell’s Interview: Rumaan Alam, author of ‘Leave the World Behind’ by Rhianna Walton

I spoke with Rumaan Alam on the same day that his third novel, Leave the World Behind, made the shortlist for the 2020 National Book Award for Fiction. The dark — and darkly funny — story of how an upper-middle-class white family from Brooklyn and a wealthy Black couple from the Upper East Side cope with the possible end of humanity, while accidentally sharing a vacation home, Leave the World
Interviews

Powell’s Interview: Chang-rae Lee, author of ‘My Year Abroad’ by Rhianna Walton

Photo credit: Michelle Branca Lee Upon first read, award-winning author Chang-rae Lee’s latest novel, My Year Abroad, is a surreal picaresque that revels in Lee’s facility for humor and pyrotechnic prose. Pulling its young hero, Tiller, from the comic banality of suburban America into an intoxicating, if terrifying, journey through the casinos, brothels, karaoke clubs, and luxury mansions of Asia, the novel’s indelible cast of characters and increasingly outlandish scenes
Interviews

Powell’s Interview: Sanjena Sathian, author of ‘Gold Diggers’ by Rhianna Walton

Photo credit: Tony Tulathimutte Sanjena Sathian’s novel Gold Diggers marks the arrival of a gifted and imaginative writer. Set primarily in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia, in the early aughts, Gold Diggers is narrated by Neil Narayan, a well-intentioned teenager struggling to balance the expectations of his Indian immigrant family and community with his own desires for success, belonging, and love. A deft coming-of-age novel suffused with magical realism, alchemy,
Interviews

Powell’s Interview: Rivka Galchen, author of ‘Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch’ by Rhianna Walton

Photo credit: Sandy Tait It’s hard to introduce award-winning novelist Rivka Galchen’s latest work, Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch, without eclipsing some aspect of its value and achievement. It’s hilarious, in a way I didn’t think possible when the subject is the real-life persecution of an elderly woman. It’s relatable, in a way I didn’t think possible when the setting is 17th-century Germany on the cusp of the