Number of items in collection: 102

Short description:

Recordings in this collection can be played by anyone.

This collection contains interviews from the National Life Stories project Authors’ Lives. Initiated in 2007 Authors’ Lives is an ongoing project to record in-depth interviews with authors reflecting on their experiences of living and writing in the 20th and 21st centuries, a period which has seen enormous changes in the way in which books are written, published and read. The archive currently contains recordings with novelists, poets, children’s writers, biographers and historians. Whilst capturing the life story and creative practice of interviewees, the recordings also explore the edifice that surrounds modern writers, including the literary agents, publishing houses and editors vital to an author’s career.

Further information about Authors’ Lives can be found within National Life Stories Annual Reports, and in particular the article ‘Authors’ Lives: In Their Own Words’ (pp. 6-7) and Victoria Glendinning’s reflection on her experience of being interviewed for the project ‘On life stories and biography' (pp. 18-19). In 2011, 'The Writing Life: Authors Speak', a CD containing edited extracts from the collection, was published and is available through British Library Publishing, and also online in Oral history curator's choice. To explore the collection in detail, please search the Sound and Moving Image catalogue. The catalogue reference used for all the recordings in the project is C1276.

Oral history recordings provide valuable first-hand testimony of the past.  The views and opinions expressed in oral history interviews are those of the interviewees, who describe events from their own perspective.  The interviews are historical documents and their language, tone and content might in some cases reflect attitudes that could cause offence in today’s society.

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