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Jan Blake with Pete Eckford

The Calabash Children - Storytelling

Hay Festival 2012, 
The first show in a week-long residency for the great Storyteller. A childless woman prays to be a mother, a little sister refuses to do as she's told, and a wicked godmother tries to get rid of her goddaughter. Join Jan Blake as she tells tales of stubborn sisters, ungrateful mothers, and beautiful friendships.

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Leslie Phillips talks to John Walsh

Hello

Hay Festival 2007, 
The national treasure receives the 2007 Listening Books Award, celebrating outstanding contribution to the spoken word. Chaired by LBA Trustee Jim Naughtie.

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Alberto Ruy Sánchez en conversación con Pablo Jiménez Burillo

Dos respuestas al reto de las artes visuales

Segovia 2008, 
Pablo Jiménez Burillo, Director General de la Fundación MAPFRE, conversará con Alberto Ruy Sánchez, escritor mexicano y director desde 1988 de la revista Artes de México, que en dos décadas ha obtenido más de ciento cincuenta premios nacionales e internacionales al arte editorial.

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Shashi Tharoor

Tagore 150

Hay Festival 2011, 
The Indian novelist and politician celebrates the 150th anniversary of the great Nobel Prize-winning Bengali poet, musician and painter.

Read more about Shashi Tharoor

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Kirmen Uribe and Santiago Roncagliolo in conversation with Félix Romeo

Segovia 2010, 
The Basque poet and writer Kirmen Uribe, winner of the ‘Premio Nacional de Narrativa’ (‘National Narrative Award’) in 2010, and Santiago Roncagliolo, chosen at Bogotá39 as one of the most promising young writers in Latin American literature, will talk to the critic and writer Félix Romeo about their latest published novels, Bilbao-Nueva York-Bilbao, by Uribe, and Tan cerca de la vida, by Roncagliolo.

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Anne Somerset

Queen Anne

Hay Festival 2012, 
A revelatory portrait of the great Stuart monarch, whose reign encompassed union with Scotland, Marlborough’s victories in France, some sublime architecture and rancorous rows with some of the highest Ladies of Court.

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John Tusa, David Lammy, Jesse Norman, John Kampfner

Politics and the Arts

Hay Festival 2014, 

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.

John Tusa, David Lammy, Jesse Norman, John Kampfner

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Anne Enright talks to Anita Anand

Fictions – The Green Road

Hay Festival 2015, 

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

Anne Enright talks to Anita Anand

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Andrew Weale

Nora: The Girl Who Ate and Ate and Ate

Hay Festival 2012, 
Nora Fatima Buffet is a little greedy-guts. Join her creator for a revoltingly rumbustious event of rhymes and rockets.
 
5-7 years

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Gerry Gilmore

Cambridge Series 12: Past, Present and Infinite Future?

Hay Festival 2011, 
Was there anything before the beginning? Why does science claim to know the apparently unknowable? Where do I come from? What do we know about the infinite future?

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Nicky Clayton

Cambridge Series 16: The Ape On Your Bird Table

Hay Festival 2011, 
Crows are as smart as apes. They manufacture tools, they are socially sophisticated, and they plan where to cache tomorrow’s breakfast. These findings have led to a re-evaluation of avian cognition, and resulted in a theory that intelligence evolved independently in apes and crows.

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Martin Kemp

La Bella Principessa

Hay Festival 2010, 
The story of how his team pieced together the evidence, detailed historical research and technical analysis to uncover the New Masterpiece by Leonardo Da Vinci in October 2009.
Martin Kemp

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Tim Winton talks to Alex Clark

Fictions – Eyrie

Hay Festival 2014, 

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. 

Tim Winton talks to Alex Clark

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Michael Ondaatje in conversation with Juan Gabriel Vásquez

Cartagena 2010, 
Michael Ondaatje, the acclaimed author of The English Patient, talks to Juan Gabriel Vásquez, author of The Informers and The Secret History of Costaguana, about his latest work, Divisadero, and his experiences as a writer. 

This event is in English. Simultaneous translation from English to Spanish available.

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Jane Shilling talks to Sarah Crompton

The Stranger in the Mirror

Hay Festival 2011, 
‘I looked in the mirror one morning, and saw the face of a stranger. Who was she, this haggard, bun-faced woman with the softening jawline, the downturned mouth, the world-weary air of a woman who hasn’t had what she wanted from life, and knows she isn’t going to get it now? Why, it was no one else but me, myself and I.’

Duration 45 minutes.
 

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Andrea Wulf

The Brother Gardeners

Hay Festival 2008, 
Andrea Wulf tells the tale of the C18th friends who fired the origins of modern horticulture in her magnificent study Botany, Empire and the Birth of An Obsession.

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Jenny Valentine

Reformations 21: Adolescence

Hay Festival 2017, 

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.

Jenny Valentine

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Susie Dent

Words of the Year

Hay Festival 2009, 
Do you know your kettlebell from your knork? Countdown’s cult language guru parses the patois.

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Iain Hutchison

Face to Face

Hay Festival 2010, 
From facial transplants to cosmetic surgery the Facial Reconstruction surgeon discusses the challenges, ethics and issues of identity which arise from his groundbreaking work.

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Sigrid Rausing talks to Oliver Bullough

Everything is Wonderful: Memories of a Collective Farm in Estonia

Hay Festival 2014, 

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.

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Terri Apter

Cambridge Series: Sisters

Hay Festival 2010, 
The author of The Sister Knot discusses Why We Fight, Why We’re Jealous and Why We’ll Love Each Other No Matter What. Chaired by Claire Armitstead.
Terri Apter

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Prue Leith talks to Sarah Crompton

Relish: My Life on a Plate

Hay Festival 2012, 
The extraordinary, zestful life of the celebrated cook, restaurateur, food writer, businesswoman and lover.

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David Wilson

Wales: A Photographer’s Journey

Hay Festival 2013, 

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.

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Vince Gaffney

Doggerland

Hay Festival 2013, 

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.

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India Knight talks to Damian Barr

Fictions – Mutton

Hay Festival 2013, 

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.