Fuller studies the phenomenon of mass participation in reading events, through book clubs, city reads, festivals and online reading communities.
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.
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.
Who made the Mappa Mundi? How and why? Arrowsmith looks at the map through the eyes of a medieval visitor to the cathedral. She explains how a map that is very unfamiliar to us, with East rather than North at the top, populated with semi-human figures who may have four eyes or one foot and beasts like the defecating Bonnacon, would have made complete sense. You could tell your children the story of your pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, point out the winding trail taken by Moses and the Israelites and tell the Bible stories illustrated there and elsewhere. Or you could impress other bystanders with your knowledge of Alexander’s campaigns and the three races of Ethiopians illustrated near the map’s edges.
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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.
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
The risks and costs of climate change are worse than estimated in the landmark Stern Review in 2006; and far worse than implied by standard economic models. The science warns of the dangers of neglect; the economics and technology show what we can do and the great benefits that will follow; an examination of the ethics points strongly to a moral imperative for action. Why are we waiting? Chaired by the science correspondent of ITV News.
What really goes on in the long grass? Lewis-Stempel offers a hymn to pastoral beauty with an intimate account of an English meadow’s life from January to December. He records the passage of the seasons from cowslips in spring to the hay-making of summer and grazing in autumn, and the lives of the animals that inhabit the grass and the soil beneath: the badger clan, the fox family, the rabbit warren, the skylark brood and the curlew pair.
A conversation with the two greatest contemporary Spanish-language novelists of their respective generations. Cercas’ The Outlaws is a powerful novel of love and hate, of loyalty and betrayal, that explores true integrity and the prison that celebrity can become. Alternately narrated by a mother, father and son, Neuman’s Talking To Ourselves is a story about how we are transformed by loss, and how words and sex can serve as powerful modes of resistance. They talk to Daniel Hahn.