A Cultural History of Insanity from the Bible to Freud, from the Madhouse to Modern Medicine examines the human encounter with Unreason in all its manifestations, the challenges it poses to society and our responses to it. Chaired by Stephanie Merritt.
This brilliant and bestselling creation is laugh-out-loud funny, from the winner of the Roald Dahl Funny Prize. Tom Gates is back in a brand new must-read adventure. Not to be missed!
The legendary screenwriter talks to Peter Florence about the craft of screenplay and the challenges of scale and intimacy in his six-part BBC television adaptation of Tolstoy’s classic novel.
After signing up for the US army in the 1850s, barely 17, Thomas McNulty and his brother-in-arms, John Cole, fight in the Indian Wars and the Civil War. Having both fled terrible hardships, their days are now vivid and filled with wonder, despite the horrors they both see and in which they are complicit. But when a young Indian girl crosses their path, Thomas and John must decide on the best way of life for them all in the face of dangerous odds. Barry’s novel won the 2016 Costa Book of the Year award. His previous fiction includes The Whereabouts of Eneas McNulty, A Long Long Way and The Secret Scripture.
Mahfouz introduces her vibrant anthology with two of her star contributors. Hear from users of Islamic Tinder, a disenchanted Maulana working as a TV chat show host and a plastic surgeon blackmailed by MI6. Follow the career of an actress with Middle Eastern heritage whose dreams of playing a ghostbuster spiral into repeat castings as a jihadi bride. Among stories of honour killings and ill-fated love in besieged locations, we also find heart-warming connections and powerful challenges to the status quo.
How I Live Now was published in 2004 to huge critical acclaim and has been made into a major feature film, starring Saoirse Ronan. Since then, the novelist has produced a spectacular body of work for teenagers and adults, and won numerous awards. She will talk about her writing including her latest novel, the highly acclaimed Picture Me Gone.
12+ years (YA)
Detailing all the buildings of significance in the historic counties of Montgomeryshire, Radnorshire and Breconshire, this final volume of the Pevsner Buildings of Wales series details hill-forts, ruined castles, medieval churches, manor houses and industrial buildings. In conversation with Justin Albert, Director of National Trust Wales.
Due to popular demand, a repeat of this event will take place on Sunday 1 December at 3.30pm – please see event 52.
The graphic novelist and comic strip creator talks about her latest novel, about the oddball tenants of a shared London house. ‘A brilliant gothic description of the atomized nature of city living’ – Metro.
This event is not suitable for children.
The eminent neurologist examines the stories of people whose symptoms are so strange that even their doctor struggles to know how to treat them. A man who sees cartoon characters running across the room; a teenager who one day arrives home with inexplicably torn clothes; a girl whose world turns all Alice in Wonderland; another who transforms into a ragdoll whenever she even thinks about moving. The brain is the most complex structure in the universe and neurologists must puzzle out life-changing diagnoses from the tiniest of clues – it’s the ultimate in medical detective work. O’Sullivan’s book about psychosomatic illness, It’s All in Your Head, won both the Wellcome Book Prize and the Royal Society of Biology Book Prize. She talks to Rosie Boycott.
Unlike Scotland and Northern Ireland, Wales voted to leave the EU. Is this an indication that the radical distinctiveness of Wales has eroded with the Welsh language or are there distinctive factors underlying the leave vote in Wales? Given the EU’s response to the referendum in Catalonia, was the Welsh Nationalist vision of ‘Wales in Europe’ built on wishful thinking? Is Wales on the verge of a final assimilation into an increasingly nationalist and isolationist England? Or is this far too dramatic a prognosis? What might be the ways ahead for Wales, Britain and Europe? Chaired by Welsh internationalist, actor and activist Michael Sheen.
Meet the authors of four of the most talked about YA books: Mind Your Head, Crush, Twenty Questions for Gloria and Orange Boy and hear how their books explore the complex and high-octane dramas of adolescence – including aspects of love, hate and psychological pressure.
To commemorate the centenary of the death of the suffragette Emily Wilding Davison, who was killed by King George V’s horse during the Derby, the historian and author of March, Women, March explores the women’s movement in Britain, from the passing of the Marriage and Divorce Act in 1857 to women attaining the vote in 1928. Chaired by Rosie Boycott.
Why did the size of the US economy increase by three percent on one day in mid-2013? Or Ghana’s balloon by 60 percent overnight in 2010? Why did the UK financial industry show its fastest expansion ever at the end of 2008 – just as the world’s financial system went into meltdown? The answers to all these questions lie in the way we define and measure national economies around the world: Gross Domestic Product.