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Dave Eggers with Valentino Achak Deng

What is the What

Hay Festival 2007, 
The true story of the courage and endurance of a boy wrenched by conflict from his Sudanese family home and joining thousands of other orphans on the exodus to Ethiopia. Chaired by David Freeman.

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Lisa Dwan

The Josephine Hart Poetry Hour: Samuel Beckett; Live!

Hay Festival 2017, 

Dwan’s sensational performances of Beckett’s Not I and No’s Knife in London, on Broadway and around the world have perfectly captured the rhythms and beauty of his language.  In this specially commissioned Poetry Hour she introduces and reads his poetry and drama.

Lisa Dwan

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Steve Jones

Why Intelligent Design is Stupid

Hay Festival 2007, 
Scientists are professional pessimists, always dubious about what they find. Believers, in contrast, are certain: full of joy that their own Big Book contains the truth. The geneticist talks about science and faith as conflicting explanations of what we are; and how biology, in the end, is blind.

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Josh Lacey

The Dragonsitter

Hay Festival 2013, 

Josh Lacey packs a huge amount of fun and adventure into his stories, including the latest – The Dragonsitter Takes Off.

6+ years

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Marcus Sedgwick

The Raven Mysteries

Hay Festival 2012, 
Enter the barking world of the Otherhand family with all its oddballs, lunatics and fruitcakes - not forgetting the lethal cabbages…
 
9+ years

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Is Islam Incompatible With Democracy?

Michael Gove, Rageh Omaar, Ziauddin Sardar, Martin Bright, Tahmina Anam

Hay Festival 2007, 
From the beleaguered Iraqi parliament and Sharia courts in Karachi to Westminster’s ‘hearts and minds’ projects in Preston and East London, can Islam and democracy ever find common ground?

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Robert Tombs

Cambridge University Series 2: The English and their History

Hay Festival 2015, 

If a nation is a group of people with a sense of kinship, a political identity and representative institutions, then the English have a claim to be the oldest nation in the world. They first came into existence as an idea, before they had a common ruler and before the country they lived in even had a name. They have lasted as a recognizable entity ever since, and their defining national institutions can be traced back to the earliest years of their history.

Robert Tombs

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Francesca Martinez talks to Jasper Rees

What the **** is Normal?

Hay Festival 2014, 

What do you do when you’re labelled abnormal in a world obsessed with normality? If you grow up in a world where wrinkles are practically illegal, cellulite is cause for a mental breakdown and women over a size ten are encouraged to shoot themselves (immediately), what the **** do you do if you’re, gasp, disabled? The comedian discusses her memoir of growing up with cerebral palsy.

Francesca Martinez talks to Jasper Rees

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Roberto Ampuero y Leonardo Padura en conversación con Camilo Jiménez

Detectives de novela

Cartagena 2013, 
Dos escritores que han creado novelas protagonizadas por detectives nos hablarán sobre su interés en el género policíaco y sobre las libertades creativas que permite un género aparentemente muy definido. Con Roberto Ampuero (Chile), creador del detective Cayetano Brulé; y Leonardo Padura (Cuba), el autor detrás de la historias protagonizadas por el policía Mario Conde. Conversarán con Camilo Jiménez.

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Derek Niemann

Birds In A Cage

Hay Festival 2013, 

The remarkable untold story of a group of POWs who, through a shared love of birds, overcame hunger, hardship and boredom to bring purpose and dignity to their lives behind barbed wire. Under the gaze of Nazi guards, they founded a secret bird-watching society, and their legacy lives on in institutions such as the RSPB and the British Wildlife Trust.

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John Boyne talks to Peter Florence

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

Hay Festival 2015, 

Nine-year-old Bruno knows nothing of the Final Solution and the Holocaust. He is oblivious to the appalling cruelties being inflicted on the people of Europe by his country. All he knows is that he has been moved from a comfortable home in Berlin to a house in a desolate area where there is nothing to do and no one to play with. Until he meets Shmuel, a boy who lives a strange parallel existence on the other side of the adjoining wire fence and who, like the other people there, wears a uniform of striped pyjamas.

Bruno’s friendship with Shmuel will take him from innocence to revelation. And in exploring what he is unwittingly a part of, he will inevitably become subsumed by the terrible process.

The author revisits his 2008 novel, which is now read around the world. His latest book Stay Where You Are and Then Leave is the moving story of a boy’s search for his missing father during the First World War.

10+ years
John Boyne talks to Peter Florence

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Eddie Butler talks to Peter Florence

The Head of Gonzo Davies

Hay Festival 2015, 

Gonzo Davies, back-row forward and builder, knows the highs and lows of life; but as political and industrial corruption conspire to give parochial violence a national and international dimension, is he prepared to become the target of dark forces? The bestselling author of The Greatest Welsh XV Ever, best known now as the BBC’s voice of international rugby, brings us his first novel and looks forward to this autumn's Rugby World Cup.

Eddie Butler talks to Peter Florence

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Stella Tillyard and Andrew Miller talk to Peter Guttridge

Fictions: Then and Now

Hay Festival 2011, 
The historian’s first fiction Tides of War is an epic, panoramic novel about love and war, set in Regency England and Spain during the Peninsular War; Miller’s Pure is set in 1785, as a young engineer is charged with demolishing Paris’ oldest cemetery.
 

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Frank Close

Neutrino

Hay Festival 2011, 
What are these most enigmatic particles in the universe? And how may they have shaped the balance between matter and anti-matter?

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Matt and Dave

Yuck

Hay Festival 2010, 
Get ready for a total gross-out with the creators of the muckiest, yuckiest, naughtiest tales EVER!
 
6–10 years

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Kevin N. Laland

Darwin’s Unfinished Symphony: How Culture Made the Human Mind

Hay Festival 2017, 

How did the human mind – and the uniquely human ability to devise and transmit culture – evolve from its roots in animal behaviour? The truly unique characteristics of our species – such as our intelligence, language, teaching, and co-operation – are not adaptive responses to predators, disease or other external conditions. Rather, humans are creatures of their own making. The evolutionary biologist traces our rise from scavenger apes in pre-history to modern humans able to design iPhones, dance the tango and send astronauts into space.

Kevin N. Laland

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Elif Shafak – The Wellcome Book Prize Lecture 2019

How to remain sane in the age of populism, political uncertainty and pessimism?

Hay Festival 2019, 

Join us for a fascinating talk that weaves the personal and the cultural, the social and the political, and explores what it means to be human in our age of uncertainties and conflicts. The novelist reflects on identity, gender and belonging, looking at a range of nations and cultures from Turkey to Hungary, from America to Brazil and Russia. How can writing nurture the markers of democracy, tolerance, the acceptance of diversity and progress? Where do we look for balance and truth, for clarity and hope?

The Wellcome Book Prize lecture aims to celebrate the place of medicine, science and the stories of illness in literature, arts and culture, and how these stories add to our understanding of what it means to be human. Elif Shafak is chair of judges for the 2019 prize, which is celebrating its tenth anniversary, and an advocate for women’s rights, LGBT rights and freedom of speech. Shafak is an award-winning British-Turkish novelist and the most widely read female author in Turkey. She writes in both Turkish and English, and has published seventeen books, eleven of which are novels. Her work has been translated into fifty languages. In 2017 she was chosen by Politico as one of the twelve people who will "make the world better".

Chaired by Claire Armitstead.

Elif Shafak – The Wellcome Book Prize Lecture 2019

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Lauren St John

Laura Marlin Mysteries

Hay Festival 2011, 
Messages in bottles, forbidden caves; adventure is never far away when Laura moves to Cornwall in this new Blue Peter award winning series from the beloved creator of White Giraffe.
 
9+ years Knapsacks & Ginger Beer

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Cricket

Shehan Karunatikala, Kamila Shamsie and Khademul Islam chaired by Sandip Roy

Dhaka 2012, 
Shehan Karunatikala's novel Chinaman is about a legendary cricketer; Kamila Shamsie is a member of the Author's Cricket Club, and Khademul Islam is a lifelong fan of the sport. They talk about the allure of the game with Sandip Roy.

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How to Break into the Media

A BBC Event at Hay

Hay Festival 2015, 

A masterclass on how to get started in the media. Chaired by BBC Arts correspondent Rebecca Jones. Panellists include Head of Digital Development for Arts, Peter Maniura; Susie Worster, Head of Talent for Shed Media; Sally Garwood, one of the apprentices on BBC Radio’s Journalism scheme, and Creative Access Production trainee Ashley Francis-Roy.

Not for broadcast.

BBC
Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult over 18 years
Duration: 50 mins

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Henrietta L. Moore and Ricken Patel

Cambridge University Series 9: The Future of Civic Activism

Hay Festival 2014, 

Relationships between state and society have undergone a significant shift over the last decade. On both sides promises have been made and broken, expectations raised and shattered, partnerships brokered and roles reversed. Moreover, the influence of non-state actors has become impossible to discount. Professor Moore will talk about changes in ‘politics from below’ and ask whether there is something genuinely new in kind about the way in which civil society is now operating. She is joined by video link by the co-founder of the global protest movement AVAAZ. 

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Bryony Gordon talks to Clemency Burton-Hill

Mad Girl

Hay Festival 2016, 

On the surface it seems that Bryony Gordon has the perfect life. One of the UK’s most successful journalists, she is married to a man she loves with a two-year-old daughter she adores. Yet things inside Bryony’s head are never as straightforward as they seem. Is it possible that she’s murdered someone and can’t remember? Why did her hair fall out when she was a teenager? Is she capable of hurting her daughter? Has she mysteriously contracted an STD? Why is she always so fat? For while Bryony does have a life many would envy, she is also engaged in a daily battle with mental illness. Fighting with OCD, bulimia and depression, like millions of others in this country, sometimes she finds it a struggle just to get out of bed.

Bryony Gordon talks to Clemency Burton-Hill

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Anthony Horowitz

Never Say Die

Hay Festival 2017, 

Alex Rider is back. Join the author as he reveals what’s in store in the next chapter of his legendary character’s life as he is forced to leave his home in San Francisco and head back east. There are some old friends and old enemies and, above all, there is plenty of action, adrenaline and adventure.

9+
Anthony Horowitz

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Holly Webb

The Water Horse

Hay Festival 2015, 
When the waters start to rise, flooding the streets of Venice and causing chaos, Princess Olivia realizes that only her magic can prevent disaster befalling the city. Join bestselling author Holly Webb as she introduces her new book and takes you on a magical tour of historic Venice.
7+ years
Holly Webb

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John Boyne

This House Is Haunted

Kells 2013, 

The author of The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas and The Absolutist introduces his new novel. Eliza Caine arrives in Norfolk to take up her position as governess at Gaudlin Hall on a dark and chilling night… He talks to Sean Rocks, presenter of Arena on RTÉ Radio 1.