Edith Bowman: ‘Everybody falls in love with art.’

This week’s guest on the Women’s Prize Podcast is Radio DJ, television presenter and broadcaster Edith Bowman. Covering everything from Glastonbury to the BAFTAS and presenting on Sky Arts and Channel 4, Edith talks to our host Zawe Ashton about her passion for stories, both fictional and personal, and the varied ways of expressing them through music, cinema and literature. This episode reveals their shared teenage obsession with Marilyn Monroe and Edith’s own plans to start writing.

Listen to the episode in full here and find out which book changed Edith’s life.

The Marilyn Scandal: The Book Which Her Friends Asked Me to Write

In an attempt to get at the real woman behind the myth, the author interviewed Marilyn Monroe’s friends. These interviews,…

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‘As a teenager I had an infatuation with Marilyn. I would read everything about her, I was enamoured by her presence on screen which led me into wanting to try and find answers as to why she had died. I was looking for the real her.’

The Colour Purple

The classic, Pulitzer Prize-winning novel that made Alice Walker a household name. Set in the deep American South between the…

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‘I still have my copy of this book from school. It was such an important insight into the experience of women from a different culture. It spoke to me in a way that nothing ever had prior to it. I read it cover to cover, I didn’t want the women to leave me, its one of the most important books I have ever read.’


Sarah never admits that she’s his mother, but the beautiful boy has watched her survive as a “lot lizard”: a…

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‘I read it in one setting and thought, “woah.” It transpires it is a work of fiction by a work of fiction in a way. It is a fantastic read, its dark and troubling but it feels real. Its so fascinating, she plays Hollywood at it’s own game.’

Daisy Jones and The Six

For a while, Daisy Jones & The Six were everywhere. Their albums were on every turntable, they sold out arenas…

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‘I love both the era it is set in and the world of music, so I literally ate this book. I don’t think there’s any other book I’ve read that’s made me think that the people that I’m reading about are real people.’

This Is Not A Pity Memoir

One morning in June, Abi had her to-do list – drop the kids to school, get coffee and go to…

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‘It’s like Abi is sat next to you telling you this story, she has an amazing energy and specific way when she talks and this books is authentic in the way she speaks and thinks. She finds humour in difficult situations and is brutally honest in her thoughts. I think her courage should be applauded and celebrated.’

Listen to Edith’s wonderful episode in full here >

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The Women's Prize Podcast

Tune into host Vick Hope and a line-up of incredible guests on our weekly podcast full of unmissable book recommendations.