A walk on the dark side of globalisation and the all-pervasive organised crime that reaches from Russia to the banks and parliaments of the world, and to every personal computer networked to the web. Bradley is Buzzfeed’s Investigations Correspondent, Glenny is the author of McMafia, Harding is the author of Collusion and a foreign correspondent at the Guardian, Bullough’s forthcoming book is Moneyland: Why Thieves and Crooks now Rule the World and How to Take it Back.
‘Strange’ is the new ‘normal’ for global events. Throughout history, folk tales emerged to help us come to terms with extreme events. With the world as it is today, might stories make better sense of things than news reports? Artist and playwright Sarah Woods is joined by Andrew Simms, editor of a new collection of tales There was a Knock at the Door, and Bill McGuire, Professor of Geophysical and Climate Hazards at UCL and author of Waking the Giant.
We want to believe that there are some things we would never do. We want to believe that there are other things we always would. But how can we be sure? What are our limits? Do we have limits? The human rights lawyer examines the best and worst of our capabilities.
Step back in time and explore the amazing lost cities of Thonis-Heracleion and Canopus with the help of Xanthe Gresham Knight, one of the core Storytellers for the British Museum. Enjoy incredible tales of submerged deities and treasures and discover how these fantastic cities were rediscovered.
What is the best Booker winner? To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the fiction prize, five judges have each selected what they think is the best winner of each decade since 1968. The shortlist result will be announced at Hay on 26 May. Wood, the Literary Director of the Booker Prize Foundation, hosts an all-star panel who will have read the shortlisted books and will pick a Hay winner. Sands won the non-fiction Baillie Gifford Prize for East West Street. Turkish author Shafak’s novels include Honour, The Forty Rules of Love and Three Daughters of Eve. The Colombian novelist Gabriel Vasquez won the Premio Alfaguara and the IMPAC award for The Sound of Things Falling. His latest novel is The Shape of the Ruins.
Celebrating the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Beer sets the Alice books in a number of different contexts in the Victorian period – what was going on in Punch, in maths, in language theory, in evolutionary theory, in child development – and asks how the books both thrive on these presences and wriggle free of them. Beer is also the editor of Carroll’s poems Jabberwocky and Other Nonsense.
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 Medievalist and Fantasy scholar considers our interest in life without death – as vampires, zombies or in other forms, and as it appears in myth, folklore, literary novels and popular culture. What can these stories tell us about the desire for immortality?
Wolf illuminates a dramatic history – how a single English law in 1857 led to a maelstrom, with reverberations lasting to our day. That law was the Obscene Publications Act. Dissent and morality became legal concepts: if writers, editors, printers and booksellers did not uphold the law and the morals of society they faced serious criminal penalties. This was most dramatic regarding anything to do with love between men; homosexuality was linked to deviancy in the eyes of the law. Wolf portrays the dramatic ways this censorship played out among a bohemian group of sexual dissidents, including Walt Whitman in America and the English critic John Addington Symonds. Both a fascinating story and, crucially, an important way of understanding how the Act created homophobia and our ideas of ‘normalcy’ and ‘deviancy’, Outrages also shows the way it helped usher in the state’s purported need and right to police speech. Chaired by Matthew d’Ancona.
The statistician and data scientist offers an up-close and user-friendly look at artificial intelligence: what it is, how it works, where it came from and how to harness its power for a better world. A revolution of intelligent machines, from self-driving cars to smart digital assistants, is now remaking our world, just as the Industrial Revolution remade the world of the 19th century. Doctors use AI to diagnose and treat cancer. Banks use it to detect fraud. Power companies use it to save energy. AI is changing our lives at lightning speed. Many of these changes offer great promise, including freedom from drudgery, safer workplaces, better health care and fewer language barriers. But others elicit worry - whether about jobs, data privacy, political manipulation or the prospect of machines making biased decisions with no accountability. Scott shows how intelligent machines operating on massive data sets are changing the world around you, and how you can use this knowledge to make better decisions in your own life. Chaired by Hannah MacInnes.
How much do we keep from the people we love? Why is the truth so often buried in secrets? Can we learn from the past or must we forget it? O’Hagan’s fifth novel is a beautiful, deeply charged story about love and memory, about modern war and the complications of fact.
Photo: Tricia Malley Ross Gillespie
When it comes to the trials and triumphs of becoming a grown-up, journalist and former Sunday Times dating columnist Dolly Alderton has seen and tried it all. In her memoir, she vividly recounts falling in love, wrestling with self-sabotage, finding a job, throwing a socially disastrous Rod-Stewart-themed house party, getting drunk, getting dumped, realising that Ivan from the corner shop is the only man you've ever been able to rely on, and finding that that your mates are always there at the end of every messy night out. Alderton’s captivating memoir is about bad dates, good friends and – above all else – about recognising that you and you alone are enough.
Photo: Olivia Hemmingway
Passarlay was sent away from Afghanistan at the age of 12, after his father was killed in a gun battle with the US army. Smuggled into Iran, Gulwali embarked on a 12-month odyssey across Europe, spending time in prisons, suffering hunger, cruelty and violence. He endured a terrifying journey on a tiny boat in the Mediterranean, braved the brutality of those who should care for children and spent a desolate month in the camp at Calais. Somehow he survived and made it to Britain, no longer an innocent child but still a young boy alone. Here in Britain he was fostered, went to a good school, worked hard and won a place at a top university. Gulwali was chosen to carry the Olympic torch in 2012. Many refugees die along the way. Some are sent back to face imprisonment and possible death. Some survive and make it here, to a country that offers them the chance of a life of freedom and opportunity.