Friday, November 26, 2010

Best-selling Author Simon Winchester Live Interview, St. John's, Newfoundland, November 26

Simon Winchester, OBE, British journalist, broadcaster and author, will be talking about his latest book, Atlantic: Great Sea Battles, Heroic Discoveries, Titanic Storms, and a Vast Ocean of a Million Stories, in St. John's, Newfoundland on November 26, during an onstage interview at the Johnson Geo Center Reception Hall with Angela Antle, host of CBC Radio's Weekend Arts Magazine. (The interview begins at seven o'clock; admission is free.)

Winchester, "one of those maddeningly gifted British writers who could probably write the history of mud and make it fascinating" according to a review by the Washington Post of his new book (click here to read the review), travelled the Atlantic Ocean from north to south and east to west in the process of writing Atlantic.

Having studied geology at Oxford University, Winchester likely could make mud fascinating; he made it rather fetching in his 2003 bestselling book about a volcano, Krakatoa.

Oceans are already fascinating, but Winchester's book reminds us just how fascinating, and how important the Atlantic Ocean in particular has been to the history of the West. Winchester, who fell in love with the Atlantic on his first trip across it as a young man, by ocean liner, bemoans what we are doing to it these days. "There has been a steady lessening, some would say an actual abandonment, of humankind's duty of care toward it," he says.

This video features Simon Winchester talking about his novel The Man Who Loved China. (If you want to know who invented the hysterectomy, listen up.)


When it comes to the history and culture of the Atlantic, the North Atlantic anyway, Rattling Books is no slouch itself. Listen to excerpts from Sir Wilfred Grenfell's Adrift on an Ice Pan, George Allan England's Vikings of the Ice, Chris Brookes' Great Circle: The Viking Discovery of the Americas, Robin McGrath's Coasting Trade and Michael Crummey's Hard Light, available from Rattling Books as unabridged audio books (audio CD or MP3 CD format; also as MP3 downloads).