How should culture be valued by politicians? What does it contribute to the GDP and Britain’s sense of identity? Tusa, the former Barbican chief, is the author of Pain in the Arts. Norman, a director of Hay Festival and the Roundhouse, is writing Soul Food – The Conservative Case for the Arts. Lammy was Minister for the Arts in the last Labour government and is a prospective candidate for London Mayor. Kampfner is Director of the Creative Industries Federation. Chaired by Liz Hunt.
A darkly glinting novel set on Ireland’s Atlantic coast, The Green Road is a story of fracture and family, selfishness and compassion – a book about the gaps in the human heart and how we learn to fill them. The children of Rosaleen Madigan leave the west of Ireland for lives they never could have imagined in Dublin, New York and various third-world towns. In her early old age their difficult, wonderful mother announces that she’s decided to sell the house and divide the proceeds. Her adult children come back for a last Christmas, with the feeling that their childhoods are being erased, their personal history bought and sold.
The Man Booker-winning novelist (The Gathering) is addicted to the truth of things. Sentence by sentence, there are few writers alive who can invest the language with such torque and gleam, such wit and longing – who can write dialogue that speaks itself aloud, who can show us the million splinters of her characters’ lives then pull them back up together again, into a perfect glass.
This event will be recorded for broadcast on the BBC World News programme Talking Books.
Photo: Hugh Chaloner
Tom Keely has lost his bearings and cut himself off. He intends to keep it that way, until one day he runs into some neighbours: a woman from his past and her introverted young boy…The author of Cloud Street, Dirt Music and the memoir Land’s Edge launches a heart-stopping novel written with breathtaking tenderness. It asks how, in an impossibly compromised world, we can ever hope to do the right thing.
Valentine is the 2017 Hay Festival International Fellow, and a multi award-winning writer of YA fiction. She explores ways in which teenagers might be better understood and empowered. Her novels include Finding Violet Park and Fire Colour One. She is joined onstage by young readers to discuss her reformation of adolescence.
In 1993–4 abandoned watchtowers dotted the coast line. The huge fields of the Lenin collective farm were lying fallow, waiting for claims from former owners, fleeing war and Soviet and Nazi occupation. The anthropologist reflects on history, political repression, and the story of the minority Swedes in the area.
Taking the audience on a spectacular, enchanting journey across Wales and its glorious landscape, Wilson uses photos from the book to talk about his work, his inspirations and how to set about capturing the perfect image. Chaired by Carolyn Hitt.
The incredible history of Doggerland, a country now sunk beneath the North Sea, which once, 6,000 years ago, linked the Yorkshire coast with a stretch of Continental Europe from Denmark to Normandy. The submersion of Doggerland was the last time inhabited areas of land were lost because of changes in climate.
An hilarious novel about the female midlife crisis from the star columnist, Twitter queen and author of My Life On A Plate, Don’t You Want Me and Comfort And Joy.