This week on Backstory, host Mel Cranenburgh talks to author, Emily Brewen, about her latest novel, Small Blessings, ‘a poignant and uplifting tale of secrets, motherhood, innocence and heartache, and ultimately what we’re willing to do for love’. Small Blessings is Emily’s second book following up from her first novel, Hello, Goodbye, which was described as ‘a powerful debut that will capture your heart’. In the interview, she and Mel discuss the genesis of the novel, her writing process and what it takes to kill off a character before they make it to the final draft.
Mel is then joined by filmmaker Charlie Turnbull, whose documentary The Bikes of Wrath (http://bikesof.wrath.squarespace.com) retraces the journey the fictional Joad family undertook in John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. Armed with 420 dollars, 5 bikes and 2 guitars, Charlie, co-conspitator Leon Morton and several friends travelled 2600kms from Oklahoma to California talking to ‘real’ Americans about the same themes that characterised Steinbeck’s novel: migration, inequality, the wealth gap and their experiences of the so-called ‘American Dream’.