BBC Radio 6 Music: Paperback Writers

BBC 6 Music’s Paperback Writers returned to the airwaves this week, diving into the musical influences of some of the UK’s most successful and best-selling novelists. Think Desert Island Discs but with a twist.

The interviewees in Paperback Writers are not just put in the hot seat to discuss their favourite music, but they also make striking and often sparkling connections between their musical passions and their literary craft.

Marlon James and Belinda Bauer have already graced the chair in this revealing and elegant series, with Stephen King kicking things off. King tells the listener of his eclectic music collection, and over the hour plays a selection of tracks, sharing the stories behind them, including spine-chilling tales of near-death experiences and attempts to ‘kill off’ enemies by writing their obituaries.

Paperback Writers has already featured Iain Banks (his episode is infectiously energetic, and a cracking listen), Esther Freud, and Charlie Higson, amongst a fun and consistently charming line-up.

Marlon James’ episode includes the writer introducing his stunning and Man Booker prize-winning A Brief History of Seven Killings, which is a fictional account of the attempted assassination of Bob Marley.

James plays the music that inspired him from his childhood in Jamaica. There’s something for everyone in this neat, colourful new series – and it reinforces the quality output of 6 Music that for too long has been in jeopardy.

Image: Joe Diaz

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