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.
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.
From reconstructing Shakespeare’s accent to the rise and fall of Received Pronunciation, actor Ben Crystal and his linguist father David travel the world in search of the stories of spoken English. Witty, authoritative and jam-packed full of fascinating facts, You Say Potato is a celebration of the myriad ways in which the English language is spoken – and how our accents, in so many ways, speak louder than words.
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.
A conversation with two of Latin America’s biggest award-winning fiction stars, who were part of the landmark Bogota 39 Generation in 2006. In Gabriel Vasquez’ Reputations, Colombia’s great cartoonist star is at a big public celebration of his career when he is faced with a character from his past who calls into question everything about his life and work. Enrigue’s Sudden Death is a funny and mind-bending novel about the clash of empires and ideas in C16th, told over the course of one, dazzling tennis match in Rome. In England, Thomas Cromwell and Henry VIII execute Anne Boleyn, and her executioner transforms her legendary locks into the most sought-after tennis balls of the time. Across the ocean in Mexico, the last Aztec emperors play their own games, as Hernán Cortés and his Mayan translator and lover scheme and conquer, fight and fornicate, not knowing that their domestic comedy will change the course of history.
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.
The Fourth Revolution: How the Infosphere Is Reshaping Human Reality
As the boundaries between life online and offline break down, we become seamlessly connected to each other and surrounded by smart, responsive objects. We are all becoming integrated into an ‘infosphere’. Personas we adopt on social media, for example, feed into our real lives so that we begin to live in ‘onlife’. Following those led by Copernicus, Darwin and Freud, this metaphysical shift represents nothing less than a fourth revolution. Floridi is Professor of Philosophy and Ethics of Information at the University of Oxford. Chaired by Timandra Harkness.
Many people consider freedom of expression as a universal right that must not be compromised. In an age of cultural relativism and complex relations between religion, culture and the state, what is the right way to move forward on this debate? Three international heavyweights, Baroness Helena Kennedy (UK), Fawaz Traboulsi (Lebanon) and Hanif Kureishi (UK) discuss with John Kampfner.
Event in English
On 2 August 1947 a young man gets off a train in a small Swedish town to begin his life anew. Having survived the ghetto of Lodz, the death camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau, and the harrowing slave camps and transports during the final months of Nazi Germany, his final challenge is to survive the survival. In his intelligent and deeply moving book, Rosenberg returns to his own childhood in order to tell the story of his father; walking at his side, holding his hand, trying to get close to him again. It is also the story of the chasm that soon opens between the world of the child, permeated by the optimism, progress and collective oblivion of postwar Sweden, and the world of the father, darkened by the long shadows of the past.
From blackbirds, beavers and beetles to tawny owls, natterjack toads and lemon slugs, every day of the year, winter or summer, in every corner of the British Isles, there's plenty to see if you know where -- and how -- to look. The Springwatch star’s books include The Bumper Book of Nature and Tweet of the Day.
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.
A Ghanaian poet, novelist, editor, social commentator and broadcaster, Nii is an inspirational writer. Join him for this poetry workshop as he takes you through structure, metaphor and imagery to discover the similarities and differences between poetry and rap/hip hop.
The Vanity Fair journalist and biographer of Rupert Murdoch discusses and updates his classic work The Man Who Owns The News.