Various Artists

The Book That Changed Me: 20 Essays on Influential Literature

The Book That Changed Me: 20 Essays on Influential Literature

A BBC Radio 3 Collection


Part of BBC Radio 3's 'The Essay' strand, The Book That Changed Me features writers, academics and other eminent professionals discussing the literary works that have had the greatest impact on their lives.

This fascinating selection contains some of the best episodes from the series, including legendary songwriter Steve Earle on Truman Capote's masterpiece In Cold Blood; academic Monica Siddiqui on Austen's Pride and Prejudice; and Tony Blair's onetime strategist Alastair Campbell on Flaubert's seminal Madame Bovary.

Renowned film director Richard Eyre reveals how Angus Calder's social history The People's War evokes memories of his childhood; neurobiologist Colin Blakemore explains why he loves Darwin's lesser-known work, The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals; visual artist Tacita Dean describes how Marguerite Yourcenair's Fires helped her find her voice as a writer, feminist and filmmaker; and David Simon, creator of TV's The Wire, relates how James Agee's Let Us Now Praise Famous Men made him realise the importance of reportage.

Absorbing and enlightening, this entertaining collection sheds new light on the intellectual lives of a host of famous names, and celebrates the transformative power of literature.

Production credits
Produced by Smita Patel

First broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on the following dates:

Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell 14 March 2011
With Alan Johnston
The Wrench by Primo Levi 15 March 2011
With Edmund de Waal
The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals by Charles Darwin 17 March 2011
With Colin Blakemore
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen 18 March 2011
With Mona Siddiqui
Othello by William Shakespeare 25 October 2011
With Musa Okwonga
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens 20 January 2014
With Alan Johnson
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote 19 January 2015
With Steve Earle
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott 20 January 2015
With Jude Kelly
What a Carve-Up! by Jonathan Coe 21 January 2015
With Jon Ronson
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens 22 January 2015
With Lolita Chakrabarti
Let Us Now Praise Famous Men by James Agee 31 October 2016
With David Simon
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee 1 November 2016
With Pauline Black
The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Haley and Malcolm X 2 November 2016
With Ben Anderson
Fires by Marguerite Yourcenair 3 November 2016
With Tacita Dean
The People's War by Sir Richard Eyre 4 November 2016
With Angus Calder
Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys 2 April 2018
With Afua Hirsch
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy 3 April 2018
With Henry Marsh
The Arabian Nights translated by Richard Francis Burton 4 April 2018
With Zarah Hussain
Madame Bovary by Gustav Flaubert 5 April 2018
With Alastair Campbell
Pyramids by Terry Pratchett 6 April 2018
With Inua Ellams

© 2023 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd. (P) 2023 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd.

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