Jody Williams (United States) defines herself as a Vermont girl whose conscience and desire to contribute to the common good led to a life of activism and her winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for her work on the elimination of anti-personnel mines. She is currently a professor at the University of Houston and Chair of the Nobel Women’s Initiative. Particularly interested in women’s rights and peaceful activism, Williams will talk to Diego Rabasa.
Julia Carabias, a biologist and ecologist, is one of the country’s foremost authorities on environmental conservation policies. Environmental Secretary from 1994 to 2000, Carabias lectures at UNAM and is the director of Natura Mexicana, an NGO that carries out conservation programmes in the Lacandona Jungle and surrounding areas. He will talk to Gabrielle Walker about his work as an ecologist and the environmental challenges facing Mexico.
Jorge Volpi, one of Crack’s selected writers and the author of several novels and works of non-fiction, talks to Laura Revuelta about his latest book, Examen de mi padre, a personal, intimate work about the figure of his father which also reflects on Mexico, creating a relationship between the private sphere and the social context.
The pianist James Rhodes (United Kingdom) has found in music not only a profession but also a kind of safe space in which to develop his creativity and deal with the terrible events which, from age six, marked his life, when a school teacher began to sexually abuse him. In his extraordinary autobiography, Instrumental (2015), Rhodes tells how a relationship with music allowed him to keep on living and become a well-known pianist.
The Spanish writer Ignacio Martínez de Pisón presents his latest work, Derecho natural, in a conversation with Irma Gallo. The author of novels such as Carreteras secundarias (1996) and the award-winning non-fictional work Enterrar a los muertos (2005), winner of the Rodolfo Walsh and Dulce Chacón awards, tells the story of Ángel, a boy who passes from childhood to adult life during the Transition, the political process that restored democracy in Spain.
The renowned US writer and journalist David Rieff, author of A Bed for the Night: Humanitarianism in Crisis (2003), Against Remembrance (2012) and Swimming in a Sea of Death, in which he deals with the loss of his mother, the writer Susan Sontag, presents his new book, In Praise of Forgetting: Historical Memory and Its Ironies. In this work he reflects on historical memory and the voluntary option of forgetting with regard to traumatic historical events, questioning the ethical obligation to remember as the individual’s responsibility. In conversation with Jaime Abello Banfi.
The fascinating story of discovery, scientific curiosity and adventure by the German explorer and naturalist Alexander von Humboldt in the Americas is a story that is intimately linked to the history of Colombia, in whose territory he carried out some of his explorations. The British historian and writer Andrea Wulf gives a masterful version of this encounter with nature in The Invention of Nature: The Adventures of Alexander von Humboldt, the Lost Hero of Science. The book has received awards such as the 2016 Royal Society Science Book Prize and was selected by The New York Times as one of the ten best books of 2015. She will talk to Gabrielle Walker about this extraordinary work.
Carmen Pardo, author of En el silencio de la cultura, is a lecturer at the University of Girona and teaches on Barcelona University’s Sound Art Master’s programme. A specialist in contemporary music and author of a major study of John Cage (La escucha oblicua: Una invitación a John Cage), Pardo’s book is about the complex development of Western culture throughout the 20th century, directly linked to the aestheticisation of socio-political contexts.
The Bogotá39 2017 selection, promoted by the Hay Festival, seeks to focus attention on and celebrate Latin American fiction writers. At this event, the writers Gabriela Jauregui (Mexico) author of La memoria de la cosas, Eduardo Rabasa (Mexico), author of Cinta negra, and Diego Zúñiga (Chile), author of Niños héroes, will talk to Inés Martín Rodrigo about their latest books.
Two authors from different countries and regions that are not part of the hegemonic centres of literary production will talk to Ingrid Bejerman about their latest books and about how their locations on the periphery define their writing. With Roland Brival (France), author of Sato San, le maître des corsets, and Carlos Velázquez (Mexico), author of the recently published book of short stories La efeba salvaje.
The release of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is considered not only a milestone in terms of The Beatles discography, but also in 20th century pop music. With this concept album, in which the band experimented with very different rhythms and subjects, and full of references to the 1960s context, the Fab Four left a musical legacy that is still with us today. Three fans and admirers of The Beatles talk to Rulo about the album that revolutionised music history. With the musician and writer Joselo, the novelist and screenwriter Hanif Kureishi, and the academic and writer Carmen Pardo.
The Brazilian writer Nélida Piñon, a member of the Brazilian Academy of Literature, is one of the most important voices in contemporary literature in her country. Winner of the 2005 Prince of Asturias Literature Prize and many other awards for her literary work, her latest book is A camisa do marido. She will talk to Inés Martín Rodrigo.
Salvador Novo is one of the most fascinating and enigmatic figures in contemporary Mexican literature, and has attracted the attention of figures as outstanding as Octavio Paz and Carlos Monsiváis. In Escribir con caca, the Mexican poet Luis Felipe Fabre looks at the figure of the author and his complex writing through an exhaustive yet playful review of Novo’s life and work. In conversation with Irma Gallo.
The Bogotá39 2017 selection, promoted by the Hay Festival, seeks to focus attention on and celebrate Latin American fiction writers. At this event, the writers María José Caro León (Peru) author of Perro de ojos negros, Carlos Fonseca (Costa Rica), author of Coronel Lágrimas, and Emiliano Monge (Mexico) autor of La superficie más honda, speak with Felipe Rosete.
Creators that work with language and with other creative media speak about how creative migrations and appropiative strategies can result in new creative forms athat call for the collective and the comunal. Edgardo Bermejo (Mexico) speaks with Malika Booker (UK), Johnny Payne (USA), Rocío Cerón (Mexico) and Gaspar Orozco (Mexico).
Paolo Giordano (Italy) rose to international fame with The Solitude of Prime Numbers, a novel that won the 2008 Strega Prize and which was made into a film in 2010. Author of The Human Body, Giordano was educated as a physicist and will present his recent work, Like Family. In conversation with Héctor Abad Faciolince.
Lionel Shriver is a writer and Guardian journalist. In 2005 she won the Orange Prize for Fiction for her seventh novel, We Need to Talk About Kevin. She is also the author of The Post-birthday World, So Much For That and Big Brother, which reflects on the cult of the body, obesity and junk food, while also dealing with family relationships and the struggle against the self-destruction of the people we love. She will talk to Kirsty Lang about her latest work, The Mandibles. A family: 2029-2047.
The 30th Hay Festival coincides with the 500th anniversary of the reforms proposed by Martin Luther. In order to celebrate this important milestone in Western critical thinking, we have asked a number of thinkers to give us a “reform” that would be applicable now. Andrea Wulf will talk about the traditional distinction between the arts and the sciences, proposing a reformation of this classic separation of disciplines and questioning why the imagination is not present in science. Followed by a question and answer session with Peter Florence.
José Woldenberg, a political scientist and expert on the Mexican political system, presents Cartas a una joven desencantada de la democracia, a book that, in epistolary form, tackles the challenges, problems and complexities of Mexican democracy. A vital, critical book given the current political situation in which millions of young people, particularly young people, do not feel represented by their political system and in which it is necessary to question and analyse citizens’ participatory systems and institutions. In conversation with Sergio Ortíz Leroux.
Music and literature go together in the work of Joselo Rangel (Mexico), member of and guitarist with the legendary rock group Café Tacuba, whose songs are in Spanish. Author of the book of short stories One Hit Wonder (2015) and an astute journalist, Joselo will talk to Rulo about his double life as a rock star and writer.
The Bogotá39 2017 selection, promoted by the Hay Festival, seeks to focus attention on and celebrate Latin American fiction writers. At this event, the writers Carlos Manuel Álvarez (Cuba), author of La tribu; Brenda Lozano (Mexico), author of Cómo piensan las piedras and Felipe Restrepo Pombo (Colombia), author of Formas de evasion. In conversation with Mariana H.
In a time when anybody can write and be published without the need for editors or criteria, we ask what are the impulses that drive writers and what is the relevance of literature, from an intimate point of view, but also social and transcendental. Despite of the massive consumption and the standardised thought, our daily experience is still been defined by local idiosyncrasies. What is the role of the writers within this contradiction? What can we say here, from here, that cannot be said in other places? The texts included on this anthology could be read as an collective thought essay that tries to answer this questions.