We are delighted to launch the next instalment in the ‘three great tales’, which began with The Children Of Hurin, painstakingly pieced together by the author’s son, Christopher. Tolkien began work on the story in early 1917 when he returned from the Somme. Set in Middle Earth, at the heart of the tale is a love story between a mortal man and an immortal elf, seen as the precursor to the Aragorn/Arwen story in the Lord of the Rings. The illustrator Alan Lee has created some iconic Middle-Earth imagery, and worked on the Peter Jackson films, for which he won an Oscar.
In 2012 after being sexually harassed on London public transport a young journalist started to collect stories for a piece she was writing on the issue. Astounded by the response she received and the wide range of stories that came pouring in from all over the world, she quickly realised that the situation was far worse than she’d initially thought. Sexism is endemic – socially, politically and economically. And enough is enough. Welcome to the fourth wave of feminism.
Set in 1960s Ireland, Tóibín’s new novel Nora Webster introduces one of the most complex and captivating heroines of contemporary fiction. He discusses the book and his new study On Elizabeth Bishop. He creates a vivid picture of the American poet while also revealing how her work has helped shape his sensibility as a novelist and how her experiences of loss and exile resonate with his own.
Photo: Brigitte Lacombe
The super-verbal and brilliantly inventive journalist and author discusses his Booker-shortlisted novel Umbrella, films of his work and the possibilities of digital form.
In October 2011 James Cracknell, two-time Olympic gold-medal rower and one of the greatest endurance athletes the world has ever known, suffered a seizure at home as his young son looked on in horror. A man who had known no limits, a man who had practically achieved the impossible, was now struggling to master life’s simple challenges.
A year earlier, as James undertook yet another endurance challenge in Arizona, he was knocked off his bike by the wing mirror of a petrol tanker. It had smashed into the back of his head at high speed, causing severe frontal lobe damage. The doctors weren’t sure if he would recover and, if he did, whether he would ever be the same again.
Touching Distance is an extraordinary, honest and powerful account as James and his wife Bev confront for the first time the lasting effects that the accident has had on their lives. It is the story of a marriage, of a family and of one man’s fight back to be the best husband and father he can be.
Alfredo Di Stéfano is one of the few people in footballing history who have embodied so many of the positive aspects of the game – be it as a player, a manager or as a member of various international sports associations and clubs. Sports experts pay tribute to ‘the blonde arrow’ in this event: former football player and coach Jorge Valdano, Óscar Campillo, Director of MARCA, journalist Santiago Segurola and sports marketing expert Eduardo Fernández-Cantelli.
Forests, castles and canals help to define Britain’s historic and living landscapes – but how should they be cared for? Where does the role of the state end and that of charities begin? This discussion looks at the politics and passions behind perhaps the biggest shake up of the UK’s heritage in a generation. Simon Thurley (English Heritage), Simon Hodgson (Forest Enterprise England), Richard Parry (Canal and River Trust), Simon Murray (National Trust) and Lisa Nandy MP discuss with the Festival’s Sustainability Director Andy Fryers.
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.
‘The supreme tragedy is when theory outstrips performance’ – Leonardo da Vinci. Does contemporary art celebrate concept without skill? What is the value of a Fine Art degree? The Welsh Academy of Art presents a debate on the state of contemporary art and art education.