Set in 1960s Ireland, Tóibín’s new novel Nora Webster introduces one of the most complex and captivating heroines of contemporary fiction. He discusses the book and his new study On Elizabeth Bishop. He creates a vivid picture of the American poet while also revealing how her work has helped shape his sensibility as a novelist and how her experiences of loss and exile resonate with his own.
Photo: Brigitte Lacombe
The Economist Platform
The British-American economist examines the formation of policy in the post-truth world, and reconfigures how expertise is mediated and how we manage the boundaries between advisors and politicians. Shafik was Deputy Governor of the Bank of England and is the incoming Director of the London School of Economics. Chaired by Zanny Minton Beddoes.
We are in the midst of a global refugee crisis. Sixty-five million people are fleeing for their lives. The choices are urgent, not just for them but for all of us. What can we possibly do to help? With compassion and clarity, Miliband shows why we should care and how we can make a difference. He takes us from war zones in the Middle East to the heart of Europe to explain the crisis and to show what can be done, not just by governments with the power to change policy but by citizens with the urge to change lives. Miliband is President of the International Rescue Committee.
The authors attempt to avert a potential global catastrophe by showing that the grounds for war do not exist, that there are no Iranian nuclear weapons, and that Iran would happily come to a table and strike a deal. They argue that the military threats aimed by the West against Iran contravene international law, and argue that Iran is a civilised country and legitimate power across the Middle East. Chaired by Bronwen Maddox.
Three of the writers shortlisted for this year’s prize read from their work. Davis (USA) will read from her Collected Stories. N’Diaye (France) reads from Three Strong Women. Husain (Pakistan) reads from his novel Basti.
Intizar Husain was born before Partition in Uttar Pradesh, India, on 21 December 1925. He emigrated to Pakistan in 1947 and now lives in Lahore.
He gained a Master’s degree in Urdu and another in English literature. An author of short stories and novels, he worked for the Urdu daily, Imroze, and for the Urdu daily Mashriq for many years. He now writes a weekly column for the Karachi-based English language newspaper Dawn.
A chronicler of change, Husain has written five novels and published seven collections of short stories. Only one of his novels is translated into English and there are five volumes of his short stories published in English translations. Naya Gar (The New House) paints a picture of Pakistan during the ten-year dictatorship of General Zia-ul-Haq. Agay Sumandar Hai (Beyond is the Sea) contrasts the spiralling urban violence of contemporary Karachi with a vision of the lost Islamic realm of al-Andalus, in modern Spain. Basti, his 1979 novel, which traces the psychic history of Pakistan through the life of one man, Zakir, has just been republished as one of the New York Review of Books Classics. Keki Daruwalla, writing in The Hindu in 2003, said ‘Intizar Husain’s stories often tread that twilight zone between fable and parable. And the narrative is spun on an oriental loom.’
Marie N’Diaye, born on 4 June 1967, is a French novelist and playwright. Her father, who was Senegalese, returned to Africa when she was a baby, and she was raised by her French mother, a secondary-school science teacher, in a town called Pithiviers, south of Paris. She began writing at the age of 12. Her first novel, Quant au Riche Avenir (Regarding the Rich Future) was published when she was 18 by Jérôme Lindon, who had been Samuel Beckett’s great champion. Rosie Carpe (2001) won the Prix Femina, and Papa Doit Manger (Daddy’s Got To Eat), a play she wrote ten years ago, was only the second play by a woman to be taken into the repertoire of the Comédie Française. Her most recent novel, translated into English as Three Strong Women and published in the summer of 2012, won France’s most respected literary prize, the Prix Goncourt in 2009. Fernanda Eberstadt in the New York Times described it as ‘the poised creation of a novelist unafraid to explore the extremes of human suffering’, and said that N’Diaye is ‘a hypnotic storyteller with an unflinching understanding of the rock-bottom reality of most people’s lives.’
Lydia Davis is an American writer who was born in Massachusetts in 1947 and is now a professor of creative writing at the University at Albany, the capital of New York State. She is best known for two contrasting accomplishments: translating from the French, to great acclaim, Marcel Proust’s complex Du Côté de Chez Swann (Swann’s Way) and Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, and writing short stories, a number of them among the shortest stories ever written. Much of her fiction may be viewed under the heading of philosophy, poetry or short story, and even her longer creations may be as succinct as two or three pages. She has been described by the critic James Wood in his latest collection, The Fun Stuff and Other Essays, as ‘a tempestuous Thomas Bernhard’. Most of all, as Craig Morgan Teicher of the Cleveland Plain Dealer wrote in 2009, the year that Davis’s Collected Stories appeared as a single volume: ‘She is the master of a literary form largely of her own invention.’
What is the alternative to religion as a view of the world and foundation for morality?
José Carlos Martínez, recognized as one of the world’s best dancers and currently serving as choreographer and artistic director of Spain’s National Dance Company, and Enrique Loewe Lynch, Honorary President of the Loewe Foundation, lecturer and active patron of the arts, will be talking to Julieta Martialay, who writes for the lifestyle section of Elle magazine, about art, culture and dance on the 35th anniversary of the National Dance Company. Introduced by luxury expert Susana Campuzano.
Simultaneous translation from French into Spanish
Co-organised with Elle magazine, the Loewe Foundation and the Programa Superior de Dirección y Gestión Estratégica del Universo del Lujo de IE Business School in collaboration with the French Embassy and the Institut Français in Spain