Art has always been part of history. But we often think of it as outside history. When we look at a painting by Raphael, Rembrandt or Rubens it speaks to us directly, but it’s also an historical document, part of a living world. The Oxford art historian takes us on an extraordinary trip through art, from devotional works to the revolutionary techniques of the Renaissance, from the courtly Masters of the C17th through to the daring avant-garde of the C20th and beyond.
Imagine a jazz musician, improvising on a theme. Then imagine that he is able to play half a dozen instruments – not one after another, but almost simultaneously, switching effortlessly between instruments and musical styles with hardly a pause for breath. If you can countenance that, you are halfway towards appreciating the extraordinary song of the nightingale…
O’Connor’s The Thrill Of It All charts twenty-five years of friendship and music for the members of the band The Ships in the Night. Shipstead’s Astonish Me is the story of Joan, a young American dancer who helps a Soviet ballet star to defect in 1975. It’s a fiercely compelling glimpse into the demanding world of professional ballet and its magnetic hold over two generations. They read and talk to the actress and writer Lisa Dwan.
The digital-first publication of the Booker long-listed The Kills combines over forty multimedia elements (film, audio, animation and text) alongside a sequence of four novels. House will talk about the development of the project and the potential of digital publishing.
Home is where the herd is. Cow Girl is a dairy-inspired debut set in Wales, from Giancarlo Gemin. A heartwarming tale of friendship, community, family…and cows. You won’t see the bovine beasts in quite the same way ever again.
Mitchell has won the Blue Peter Best Book with Facts Awards twice, for Why Eating Bogeys Is Good For You and Do Igloos Have Loos? Here, the revolting rhymes expert treats his audience to a wickedly funny retelling of Hilaire Belloc’s Cautionary Tales for Children.
Celebrating the life and work of the Colombian writer, founder of the Foundation for New Journalism, author of One Hundred Years of Solitude, The Autumn of the Patriarch, Chronicle of a Death Foretold, News of a Kidnapping and Love in the Time of Cholera. He won the Nobel Prize in 1982 and was the Patron of Hay Festival Cartagena de Indias.
The award-winning novelist, author of Restoration, The Road Home, Music and Silence, and The Colour, awakens the senses in this diverse collection of short stories. In her precise yet sensuous style she lays bare the soul of her characters– the admirable, the embarrassing, the unfulfilled, the sexy and the adorable – to uncover a dazzling range of human emotions and desires. She reads, and talks to Peter Florence.
How are wars conducted today? What happens when you only see your enemy onscreen or driving past an IED? And what effect does digital warfare have on the long-term security of the West? Woods is the author of Sudden Justice – America’s Secret Drone Wars. The investigative journalist charts the deployment of the CIA Predator drones for targeted counterterrorism killings in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan. He challenges with damning evidence the assertion that drones minimize civilian casualties and are ‘the most precise weapon ever invented’. Major Hunter is the author of Eight Lives Down and Extreme Risk. He was awarded the Queen’s Gallantry Medal for his work in Iraq as a bomb disposal operative.
A conversation about risk and resurgence. Barrett is the co-author of Extreme: Why Some People Thrive at the Limits, which examines what we can learn from people who embrace high-risk work and life and are attuned to survival. Sian Williams, one the nation’s most trusted broadcasters, is also a trauma assessor. She is the author of Rise: Surviving and Thriving After Trauma (embargoed until 30 May).
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.
How does the green movement best respond to the collapse of the liberal consensus and the defunding of the American EPA? Is it a useful slap in the face to a movement that may have become a little too comfortably ensconced in the mainstream? Veteran environmentalist Jonathan Porritt joins Claire Fox from the Institute of Ideas and sustainability expert Ed Gillespie to talk with Forum for the Future’s Martin Wright.
The novelist discusses his wartime childhood, his early married life and academic career, and the development of his fiction – all of which he explores in his memoir, which covers the years up to the publication of Changing Places.
Roger Bushell was ‘Big X’, mastermind of the mass breakout from Stalag Luft III in March 1944, immortalised in the Hollywood film The Great Escape. Through exclusive access to his private papers – as well as fascinating new research from other sources – journalist Pearson has now written the first biography of this iconic figure. Chaired by Katrin Bennhold.
The war over private life spreads inexorably. Some seek to expose, invade and steal it, others to protect, conceal and withhold it. But what if what we call ‘private life’ is the one element in us that we can’t possess? Could it be that we’re so intent on taking hold of the privacy of others or keeping hold of our own only because we’re powerless to do either? Cohen is a psychoanalyst and professor of literature.