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Guardian Books podcast: Women writers - Austen, Plath, Olds and Segal

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Two hundred years after Pride and Prejudice was first published and 50 years after The Bell Jar first appeared in print, we look back to examine the legacy of Elizabeth Bennet and Esther Greenwood.

With women triumphing in every category of this year's Costa awards, Francesa Segal discuss her debut The Innocents, a novel that transports Edith Wharton's Age of Innocence to NW11.

The critic Sarah Churchwell joins us in the studio and argues that Austen's irony still exerts a powerful influence on the way we tell stories. The bravery with which Plath transforms material drawn from her own life has inspired women to tell the truth about their inner lives.

And in the week when the poet Sharon Olds won the TS Eliot prize with a collection exploring the pain of her divorce we hear from the award ceremony, where she performed two poems from Stag's Leap.


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