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This week: two novels exploring love, trauma and the legacies of war. Both are based on true stories from World War II.
First, Jai Chakrabarti tells us about his novel A Play for the End of the World. It centers around a play written by Rabindranath Tagore that was put on by orphans in Warsaw just before they were taken to the death camp. Then, the same play is re-staged decades later, in India, as another act of resistance against tyranny.
Then, personal trauma and collective trauma intersect with a love story. We talk with Caroline Lea about her new novel The Metal Heart. It’s set on an Orkney Island during WWII, where Italian prisoners and British islanders find conflict and common ground.