Home > About reading > I did something fun and unexpected today

I did something fun and unexpected today

A few weeks ago, I received an email from BBC World Book Club saying they were preparing an interview of Andrey Kurkov, author of Death and the Penguin that I’ve reviewed here.

Kurkov_BBCIt’s a Ukrainian book set in Kiev where we meet Viktor who starts living with a penguin named Micha and at the same time starts writing obituaries of people who are still alive for a dubious newspaper. The said people start dying. And living with a penguin is…unusual.

BBC World Book Club wondered if I had questions to ask Andrey Kurkov, so I sent back several ones. Today, they phoned me and I recorded three questions that might be used during the interview. That was a first for me and the exercise is not easy when English is not your native language. Poor Andrey Kurkov might have to deal with my French accent. Thank God they didn’t pick the question that had the word python in it, I’m certain I can’t say that word properly. Ha ha, now you wonder how I came up with a question including the word python when the book is about a penguin. Bets are open, wild suggestions are expected in the comments.

So you might hear one of my questions if you listen to the show when it’s broadcasted. If you’re curious about Death and the Penguin and curious to hear my …hmmm… lovely French accent, rendezvous on September 6th, 2015.

If they cut my questions from the program, it’s no big deal. I had fun doing and it’s an opportunity to remind you that Death and the Penguin is worth reading.



  1. June 23, 2015 at 10:54 pm

    How unusual, Emma! And fun too, it sounds like.


    • June 24, 2015 at 7:57 pm

      It was fun – and totally out of my usual line of work.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. June 24, 2015 at 6:47 am

    That is such a hilarious book, almost surreal, in the best tradition of Bulgakov. Well done you – and you have a beautiful accent, not at all heavy!


    • June 24, 2015 at 7:58 pm

      I’ve never read Bulgakov. I should try him.
      And if you liked this one, you’ll like Gros Câlin by Romain Gary.


  3. June 24, 2015 at 7:03 am

    congrats! does the python end up swallowing the dolphin?? lol


    • June 24, 2015 at 7:58 pm

      Thanks. Nice try but no, the python didn’t eat the penguin…(he loves to take baths, that penguin…)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. June 24, 2015 at 9:27 am

    Fantastic! What a great opportunity…I hope they use your questions. As I mentioned last night, I love this book and have very fond memories of reading it. Have you read the sequel, Penguin Lost? I enjoyed it, but it didn’t have quite the same impact for me as the original.


    • June 24, 2015 at 8:00 pm

      I haven’t read the sequel, I rememeber Guy being a bit disappointed too. Once the novelty of the penguin wears off, it’s not the same.


  5. June 24, 2015 at 10:33 am

    That’s great! So you’re going into mainstream media now Emma…will have to keep an eye out for the output. I expect to hear you on Radio 4 in the not-too-distant future as well….


    • June 24, 2015 at 8:01 pm

      Ha ha. Who knows. I was so surprised that they contacted me.


  6. June 24, 2015 at 11:01 am

    How neat and exciting that you got this opportunity Emma.

    I look forward to hearing the interview.


    • June 24, 2015 at 8:02 pm

      Thanks Brian, it was a real surprise.
      I’m looking forward to hearing Kurkov’s interview.


  7. June 25, 2015 at 5:32 pm

    This is so wonderful, Emma! Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the BBC. I also wish they upload the program on their site and you can provide a link here.


    • June 27, 2015 at 3:30 pm

      Thanks Vishy. I think the shows are available on podcast.


  8. deschampsseverineseverine
    June 26, 2015 at 9:01 am

    Congratulations, Be sure I’ll hear you on september !


    • June 26, 2015 at 9:16 am

      Thanks. I’ll lend you Le pingouin if you want.


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