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THE BIBLIO FILE is a leading podcast that examines "the book" and book culture. Hosted by NIGEL BEALE it features wide ranging conversations with writers, poets, book publishers, booksellers, book editors, book collectors, book makers, book scholars, book critics, book designers, book publicists, literary agents and other best practitioners who busy themselves with the world of books.

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Apr 4, 2022

James Wood is a literary critic, essayist and novelist.

He was The Guardian's chief literary critic between 1992 and 1995, and a senior editor at The New Republic between 1995 and 2007. Since roughly that time he's taught the Practice of Literary Criticism at Harvard University and has been a staff writer and book critic at The New Yorker magazine. In 2009, he won the National Magazine Award for reviews and criticism. Books include How Fiction Works, the novel Upstate, and essay collections The Irresponsible Self, The Broken Estate and most recently Serious Noticing. 
 
We talk about James's role as a book critic - how and why he does it - about realism, the canon, 'lifeness', sameness, his intro to Serious Noticing, our shared love of the Russians, looking for great writing everywhere, Virginia Woolf, Joyce, Zadie Smith; Vasily Grossman's Stalingrad, what writers do when they walk into a room...plus, I quote Clifton Fadiman and Henry James at far too great a length.