The winner of the 2017 Hay Festival Medal for Fiction returns to launch the paperback of her new book. Best known for her world-conquering How to Train Your Dragon series, Cressida will talk about her inspiration, give tips on becoming an author or illustrator, and share amazing behind-the-scenes details about how the Dragon books became films. Cressida has been an ambassador for the National Literacy Trust for a decade and The Wizards of Once won the Blue Peter Book Award for Best Story this year.
Following the drought of 2012, the community of Gumbi in rural Malawi decided they needed to diversify to protect their families from further famine and create a brighter future for their children. They decided that education was the key. Today, thanks to the support of the Gumbi Education Fund, Book Aid International and others, Gumbi has a small library, three villagers are qualified teachers, and three more are going to university. John Vidal, who covered the famine in the Guardian,and Patrick Kamzitu from Gumbi, will tell this inspiring story. They are joined by broadcaster and historian Bettany Hughes, a long-term supporter of the Gumbi Education Fund and Emma Taylor, Book Aid International’s Head of Communications.
Our panel assesses the Primaries season and looks forward to the Republican and Democrat Conventions in July. How might Clinton vs Trump pan out? Maddox is editor of Prospect magazine, Mayer a staff writer for the New Yorker, Naughtie a BBC anchor and Thompson is CEO of the New York Times. His Enough Said: What’s Gone Wrong with the Language of Politics? will be published in September. Chaired by Guto Harri.
In the early evening of 16 October 1834 a huge ball of fire exploded through the roof of the Houses of Parliament, creating a blaze so enormous that it could be seen by the King and Queen at Windsor. Rumours as to the fire’s cause were rife. Was it arson, terrorism, the work of foreign operatives, a kitchen accident, careless builders, or even divine judgement on politicians? Chaired by Jesse Norman.
North of Nowhere and Binny For Short are both set in seaside towns. These two acclaimed writers discuss the differences and similarities in their stories.
How did humans turn themselves from insignificant African apes into the rulers of planet earth? Our secret of success is that we are the only animals that can talk about things that exist purely in our own imagination, such as gods, nations, money, and human rights.
Antonio Lucas is a consummate poet, as well as a columnist of El Mundo; Peio H. Riaño has displayed his professional insight in the most prominent cultural publications in the country; Fernando R. Lafuente, former director of the Instituto Cervantes; and Jesús Ruiz Mantilla, with five novels in the bookshops, all declare their passion for Roberto Bolaño —already a legend—, justifying and even criticizing it.
Co-organised and produced by AC/E (Acción Cultural Española)
The Untold Story: The Environment in FictionThe impact of global warming is likely to be, ‘severe, pervasive and irreversible’, according to a recent UN report. Diana McCaulay, environmental activist and author from Jamaica, Michael Mendis, blogger and short story writer from Sri Lanka, and UK novelist Maggie Gee explore what happens when science and fiction meet, with Daniel Hahn.
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.
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