Over 29 years as host of CBC Radio’s Writers & Company, Eleanor Wachtel’s unique blend of integrity, warmth and intelligence consistently wins the trust of international and high-profile writers. At the end of their conversation in 2013, John le Carré told her, “You do it better than anyone I know.” Nobel Prize-winning novelist Kazuo Ishiguro stated, “Eleanor Wachtel is one of the very finest interviewers of authors I’ve come across anywhere in the world.”
Five selections of her interviews have been published, including Random Illuminations, which won the Independent Publishers Book Award, Original Minds, and most recently, The Best of Writers & Company. Wachtel herself has earned numerous accolades for her contributions to Canadian cultural life, including nine honorary degrees and Officer of the Order of Canada.
Author and journalist Masha Gessen is a staff writer at The New Yorker, and has written about Russia, autocracy, L.G.B.T. rights, Vladimir Putin, and Donald Trump, among others, for The New York Review of Books and The New York Times. On a parallel track, Gessen has been a science journalist, writing about AIDS, medical genetics, and mathematics. Famously, Gessen was dismissed as editor of the Russian popular-science magazine Vokrug Sveta for refusing to send a reporter to observe Putin hang-gliding with the Siberian cranes. Gessen is a visiting professor at Amherst College and the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Andrew Carnegie Fellowship, a Nieman Fellowship, the Hitchens Prize, and the Overseas Press Club Award for Best Commentary.
Living Democracy series.