Who actually holds power in Britain? As the Prime Minister invokes Article 50 with parliamentary approval, what are we giving up and taking back? A free-ranging conversation with Gina Miller, who successfully led the legal challenge to the government over parliamentary prerogative and Henry Porter, host of the Convention on Brexit and the Political Crash.
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.
The author of the inspired tragi-comic novel Skippy Dies (long-listed for the 2010 Man Booker Prize) reads from that book and from his soon-to-be-published The Mark and the Void. He talks to Sinead Gleeson, presenter of The Book Show on RTÉ Radio 1.
Never in human history was there such an opportunity for freedom of expression. If we have internet access, any one of us can publish almost anything we like and potentially reach an audience of millions. And never was there a time when the evils of unlimited speech flowed so easily across frontiers: violent intimidation, gross violations of privacy, tidal waves of abuse. With vivid examples – from his personal experience of China’s Orwellian censorship apparatus to the controversy around Charlie Hebdo as well as a very English court case involving food writer Nigella Lawson – Garton Ash proposes a framework for civilized conflict in a world in which we are all becoming neighbours.
Owen’s The Quick is a macabre gothic mystery set in Yorkshire and fin de siècle London. Sedgwick’s A Love Like Blood is a dark, compelling thriller about how a man’s life can change in a moment; about where the desire for truth – and for revenge – can lead; about love and fear and hatred. And it is also about the question of blood. They talk to Sameer Rahim.
On the shrouded corpse hung a tablet of green topaz with the inscription: ‘I am Shaddad the Great. I conquered a thousand cities; a thousand white elephants were collected for me; I lived for a thousand years and my kingdom covered both east and west, but when death came to me nothing of all that I had gathered was of any avail. You who see me take heed: for Time is not to be trusted.’
Dating from at least a millennium ago, these are the earliest known Arabic short stories, surviving in a single, ragged manuscript in a library in Istanbul. Some found their way into The Arabian Nights but most have never been read in English before. Tales of the Marvellous and News of the Strange has monsters, lost princes, jewels beyond price, a princess turned into a gazelle, sword-wielding statues and shocking reversals of fortune.
Robert Irwin’s books include For Lust of Knowing: The Orientalists and Their Enemies, The Middle East in the Middle Ages, The Arabian Nights: A Companion and (as editor) The Penguin Anthology of Classical Arabian Literature. Azar Nafisi taught Western literature at the University of Tehran, the Free Islamic University and the University of Allameh Tabatabai in Iran. In 1981 she was expelled from the University of Tehran after refusing to wear the veil. In 1994 she won a teaching fellowship from Oxford University, and in 1997 she and her family left Iran for America. She is the author of Reading Lolita in Tehran and Things I’ve Been Silent About.
Join Holly Smale, winner of the Waterstones Children's Book Prize and creator of the bestselling Geek Girl series, talking to Damian Kelleher about smart and funny fiction for smart and funny readers. Guaranteed to get your geek on!
The Vanity Fair journalist and biographer of Rupert Murdoch discusses and updates his classic work The Man Who Owns The News.
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.
A crucial guide for parents and teens to the big issues of adolescence: from physical development, sexuality and sociability to cyberbullying and sexting. Professor Winston is the author of The Human Body, Superhuman, Walking with Cavemen and The Human Mind.
A warm and joyful look at a child’s world and all the things they love. Follow on from the Booktrust Early Years Award-winner I Love My Mummy.
Ideas about states of emergency went back to the politics of Ancient Rome in which it was said that ‘necessity knows no law’. This idea took on a series of different meanings during the early modern period and was employed by the Jacobins during the invasion scare of 1793–94. In 1848 the idea was employed again to justify emergency rule after the June uprising in Paris, but in its later usages, particularly by Marx, the idea was inverted. It was no longer emergency that justified dictatorship. Rather, dictatorship was posited as a desirable outcome in a transition to new forms of society.