Jennifer Johnston talks about her work and exploring the similarities between those who are very young and those who are old.

Jack White chats to the Dublin born novelist about her early work, in particular the award winning 'The Captains and the Kings' (1972) and 'The Gates' (1973).

Jennifer Johnston believes,

If you are trying to write seriously you're trying to explore what's inside your head. What you write about ... you clothe it in different ways so that people can understand what you're trying to say.

Jack White reads an extract from 'The Captains and the Kings' (1972) and asks Johnston to explain the central theme of a close relationships between two males in her first published novel and her third novel 'How Many Miles to Babylon?' (1974).

Jennifer Johnston sees that there are similarities between extreme youth and old age. All hang ups are cleared away when people age. Young people are not yet aware of the pressures of life.

Much more innocent. The lack of innocence is all to do with ... the paraphernalia of living.

Jennifer Johnston was born in 1930 in Dublin and was the daughter of dramatist Denis Johnston and actress and director Shelah Richards.

This episode of 'Writers in Profile' was broadcast on 16 August 1976. It was presented by Jack White and produced by James Plunkett.

‘Writer in Profile’ was a weekly series presenting interviews with well-known Irish writers. The first episode was broadcast on 29 October 1968 and featured the writer Sean O’Faolain.