June 4, 2021

Reimagining the Aftermath of a Wartime Attack

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Francis Spufford talks about “Light Perpetual,” and Egill Bjarnason discusses “How Iceland Changed the World.”

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  Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | How to Listen
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- Francis Spufford’s new novel, “Light Perpetual,” is rooted in a real event: the bombing of a Woolworth’s in London, killing 168 people, toward the end of World War II. Spufford fictionalizes the tragedy and invents five children who survive it, trailing them through the ensuing decades to discover all they might have done and seen had they lived. On this week’s podcast, Spufford says that he settled on this real-life incident for intentionally arbitrary reasons.
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+ Francis Spufford’s new novel, “Light Perpetual,” is rooted in a real event: the rocket attack on a Woolworth’s in London, killing 168 people, toward the end of World War II. Spufford fictionalizes the tragedy and invents five children who survive it, trailing them through the ensuing decades to discover all they might have done and seen had they lived. On this week’s podcast, Spufford says that he settled on this real-life incident for intentionally arbitrary reasons.
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  “The ordinariness is kind of the point,” he says. “I wanted something that was terrible but not exceptional. Something which was one tree in a wartime forest of bad things happening, which I could select out and then follow out the long-term consequences of through time.”
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  Egill Bjarnason visits the podcast to talk about “How Iceland Changed the World: The Big History of a Small Island.”

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Headlines

  • Reimagining the Aftermath of a Wartime Attack
  • Listen to ‘The Book Review Podcast’

Tags

  • Bjarnason, Egill
  • Books and Literature
  • How Iceland Changed the World: The Big History of a Small Island (Book)
  • Light Perpetual (Book)
  • Spufford, Francis