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THE BIBLIO FILE is one of the world's leading podcasts about "the book" and an inquiry into the wider world of book culture. Hosted by NIGEL BEALE it features wide ranging conversations with authors, poets, book publishers, booksellers, book editors, book collectors, book makers, book scholars, book critics, book designers, book publicists, literary agents and other best practitioners on Robert Darnton's "communications circuit."

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Sep 13, 2021

On this episode of The Biblio File Book Club Heather O'Neill and I discuss one of her favourite novels, Agota Kristof's The Notebook

This dark, fractured fairy tale of a story, told in simple, striking, visual language, describes the devastating impact of war on children and their families. Set in an unknown country during wartime it follows the lives of twin boys coping with life after they've been left by their mother to live with their dirty old grandmother. A dangerous weirdness ensues. 

We met at Le Figaro, a popular restaurant located in the Plateau neighbourhood of Montreal to talk about this disturbing, memorable work. 

Heather is a Canadian novelist, poet, short story writer, screenwriter and journalist, who published her debut novel, Lullabies for Little Criminals, in 2006. It won the Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction and the 2007 Canada Reads Competition. Other novels include The Girl Who Was Saturday Night and The Lonely Hearts Hotel. Her latest, When We Lost Our Heads, will be available on Feb. 1, 2022.

Listen to the two of us as we compete for your attention with birds, trucks, screaming babies, and a tree full of cicadas.