In her autobiography, the novelist brings us face to face with a literary life of high drama and contemplation. And along the way there are encounters with Hollywood giants, pop stars and literary titans – all of whom lend this life, so gorgeously, sometimes painfully remembered here, a terrible poignancy.
The Book Of My Lives is a love song to Sarajevo and to Hemon’s adopted Chicago; it is a heart-breaking paean to the bonds of family; it is a stirring exhortation to go out and play football. Halfon’s mesmerising stories in The Polish Boxer blur the lines between memoir and fiction. Barr’s Maggie & Me is a touching and darkly witty memoir about surviving Thatcher’s Britain; a story of growing up gay in a straight world and coming out the other side in spite of, and maybe because of, the Iron Lady. They talk to Tiffany Murray.
We know we love the NHS. It’s up there with Shakespeare and the Olympics. And we all want to improve it. Prof Tallis argues that the Government’s Health And Social Care Act will result in the death of some of the members of the audience, will cause others to suffer, and will financially ruin many more – and asks what can be done… Chaired by Julie Grigg GP.
In an age of obesity where sugary, fatty food is available 24/7, will it ever be possible to control our appetites? The Professor of Metabolism and Medicine describes how the brain and not the stomach controls what and how much we eat; and how scientists are working to conquer the many triggers for overeating. Chaired by Rosie Boycott.
The authors attempt to avert a potential global catastrophe by showing that the grounds for war do not exist, that there are no Iranian nuclear weapons, and that Iran would happily come to a table and strike a deal. They argue that the military threats aimed by the West against Iran contravene international law, and argue that Iran is a civilised country and legitimate power across the Middle East. Chaired by Bronwen Maddox.
One in eight people in the world still go to bed hungry despite our planet providing enough food for everyone. With the UK hosting the G8 Summit in June, what will they deliver to tackle this scandal? Resurgence & Ecologist editor, Satish Kumar; author and journalist Roger Thurow; Concern Universal's Esther Mweso; and Oxfam’s Head of UK Campaigns (and chair of IF’s Organising Committee) Sally Copley suggest ways forward.
In Manning’s My Notorious Life By Madam X the headstrong daughter of Irish immigrants, forced to beg for pennies as a child on the brutal streets of New York City, grows up to become the most successful – and controversial – midwife of her time. The story chimes perfectly with Kate Summerscale’s tale of Victorian scandal and divorce Mrs Robinson’s Disgrace.
Zambra’s Ways Of Going Home is the tragic story of the collateral damage caused by the Pinochet regime, and the burden borne by the new generation as they come to terms with their fragile history. Magden’s Ali And Ramazan pitches its two friends out of the safety of their orphanage onto the streets of Istanbul with tragic consequences.