LRB Conversations

Various discussions on topics and writers drawn from the pages of the LRB.

Collapsing Time

Art Spiegelman and Thomas Jones, 11 June 2021

8 June 2021 · 57mins

Legendary cartoonist Art Spiegelman talks to Thomas Jones about his latest book, Street Cop, a collaboration with Robert Coover, and looks back on previous work including Maus and In the Shadow of No Towers, which was originally published in the LRB.

After the Ceasefire

Tareq Baconi, Henriette Chacar and Adam Shatz, 11 June 2021

21 May 2021 · 45mins

Adam Shatz talks to Tareq Baconi and Henriette Chacar about the crisis in Israel-Palestine, the significance of the ceasefire, the context of the war, the politics inside Israel and the Gaza Strip, and the response in Washington.

Perfect Circles

Claire Hall and Thomas Jones, 9 June 2021

18 May 2021 · 45mins

Claire Hall talks to Thomas Jones about Ancient Greek horoscopy, the Ptolemaic model, the mysteries of the Antikythera mechanism, and why astrology was the first data science.

Hydrological Uncertainty

Rosa Lyster and Thomas Jones, 21 May 2021

11 May 2021 · 30mins

Rosa Lyster talks to Thomas Jones about the global water crisis, from the severe droughts in her home city of Cape Town, to the sinking of Mexico City and the damming of the Nile, and the need for all countries to prepare for future shortages.

One Big Payday

Peter Geoghegan and Thomas Jones, 17 May 2021

4 May 2021 · 57mins

Peter Geoghegan talks to Thomas Jones about the Greensill lobbying scandal, the refurbishment of Boris Johnson’s flat, the unhealthy relationship between successive British governments and the private sector, and what it might all mean for the future of the Union.

Blind Spots

Jesse McCarthy and Adam Shatz, 26 May 2021

28 April 2021 · 59mins

Jesse McCarthy talks to Adam Shatz about his studies of Black diasporic culture, from Juan de Pareja to Audre Lorde, and his critique of Ta-Nehisi Coates’s case for reparations.

Abbess, Editor, CEO

Irina Dumitrescu and Thomas Jones, 8 June 2021

20 April 2021 · 40mins

Irina Dumitrescu talks to Thomas Jones about female authorship in early medieval England, and how the power and freedom that (some) women had in the eighth century challenges the idea of linear social progress.

The Long Way Round

John Lanchester and Thomas Jones, 8 June 2021

13 April 2021 · 36mins

John Lanchester talks to Thomas Jones about his experience of being on a cargo ship blocked from entering the Suez Canal in 1967, his subsequent journey round the Cape of Good Hope, and the modern-day business of containers.

Try, Try, Try Again

Diane Williams and Thomas Jones, 8 June 2021

6 April 2021 · 23mins

Diane Williams talks to Thomas Jones about her short stories, and reads her latest two published in the LRB.

Into the UbuVerse

Gill Partington and Thomas Jones, 8 June 2021

30 March 2021 · 51mins

Gill Partington and Thomas Jones explore Kenneth Goldsmith’s online avant-garde archive UbuWeb, listen to some of the things you can find on it, and consider what might not be found there.


Mouin Rabbani, Nathan Thrall and Adam Shatz, 8 June 2021

23 March 2021 · 56mins

Mouin Rabbani and Nathan Thrall talk to Adam Shatz about Israel’s vaccination programme, the system of apartheid that now effectively exists between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea, the legacy of Trump’s policies, and how the Biden administration may or may not exert its influence.

Peeping Pat

Terry Castle and Thomas Jones, 8 June 2021

9 March 2021 · 46mins

Terry Castle talks to Thomas Jones about Patricia Highsmith.

Optimistic Caution

Catherine Moore, Rupert Beale and Thomas Jones, 8 June 2021

2 March 2021 · 34mins

Catherine Moore, a consultant clinical virologist at Public Health Wales, and Rupert Beale, a clinician scientist group leader at the Francis Crick Institute, talk to Thomas Jones about the vaccine rollout for Sars-CoV-2, the new variant originally found in Brazil, and whether the virus might ever be eliminated.

Analogous Patisseries

Mary-Kay Wilmers and Andrew O’Hagan, 8 June 2021

23 February 2021 · 27mins

Mary-Kay Wilmers, who retired as editor of the LRB last month, talks to Andrew O’Hagan about her career, first at Faber and Faber, then the Listener, then for 42 years at the London Review of Books. She talks about working with T.S. Eliot, the importance of being teased, and how a joke by Alan Bennett changed her life.