The winner of the 2013 Planeta Prize recreates in her novel El cielo ha vuelto something that underlies all her work: reality and personal relations, where the characters are taken to the limit, and where the people closest to us can hurt us most.
From the author of the bestselling memoir Reading Lolita in Tehran comes a powerful and passionate case for the vital role of fiction today. Blending memoir and polemic with close readings of her favourite novels, the scholar and teacher invites us to join her as citizens of her ‘Republic of Imagination’, a country where the villains are conformity and orthodoxy and the only passport to entry is a free mind and a willingness to dream.
Are themes of childhood and adolescence universal? How are they represented in fiction? Join a panel of YA writers from France, Zimbabwe, Estonia, Latvia and the UK as they discuss the opportunities and challenges of writing children’s and YA novels in their countries. Chaired by Daniel Hahn.
This event is supported by the British Council, the Latvian Literature Platform and the Cultural Endowment of Estonia
The curators of the two landmark exhibitions of the 400th anniversary celebrations share their treasures at Hay – from First Folios and the now famous handwritten plea for refugees, to Vivien Leigh’s Titania costume and some of the richest theatrical memorabilia of the last 400 years.
The classicist celebrates the spectacular anniversary of the birth of the ‘father of history’. Herodotus was a great, infinitely curious investigator and a digressive storyteller, whose Histories are the source of so much of what we know of the ancient world. Cartledge is AG Leventis Professor Emeritus of Greek Culture at Cambridge. His many books include The Greeks; Thermopylae: The Battle That Changed The World; After Thermopylae: The Oath of Plataea and the End of the Graeco-Persian Wars; The Spartans.
The writer, traveller and television programme-maker runs through the pleasures and pitfalls of travel writing.
The new novel about modern family lives by the author of Everything Is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. “Jacob and Julia Bloch are about to be tested: By Jacob’s grandfather, who won’t go quietly into a retirement home. By the family reunion, that everyone is dreading. By their son’s heroic attempts to get expelled. And by the sexting affair that will rock their marriage…"
History has pictured Elizabeth I as Gloriana, an icon of strength and power. But the reality, especially during her later years, was not as simple. In 1583 Elizabeth is 50 and beyond childbearing age, but her greatest challenges are still to come: the Spanish Armada; the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots; and relentless plotting among her courtiers. The pre-eminent Tudor historian presents a gripping and vivid portrait of Elizabeth’s life and times –often told in her own words (“You know I am no morning woman”) and reveals a monarch who is fallible, increasingly insecure and struggling to lead Britain. The London theatre, however, was thriving.
To mark the centenary of women in Britain first getting the vote, the women’s rights campaigner and great-granddaughter of suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst charts how women’s lives have changed over the past century and offers a powerful and positive argument for the way forward.
A stand-up comedy show for children, their parents and anyone who likes laughter without the rude words. Hold on to your socks, take the banana out of your ears and enjoy the best comedy for kids from the man who invented it. James’s show will find The Hilariously Funny Things about everything including pets, couscous, spaniels, making your own yoghurt, bees and why we have hair.
In times of instability and change, more and more African writers are turning to non-fiction. A new anthology, Safe House: Explorations in Creative Nonfiction, brings local perspectives to the stories behind the headlines, and highlights contemporary issues across the continent. It addresses the Chinese in Africa, the refugee crisis, and Ebola. Can creative nonfiction move readers where fiction falls short, or simply fails to inspire action? Rosie Goldsmith hosts South African-based author Mark Gevisser, Hawa Golakai from Liberia and Kevin Eze from Senegal.
In the camps the war was eternal. There was the war against the German military, fought with everything from taunting humour to outright sabotage. British POWs also fought a valiant war against the conditions in which they were mired. They battled starvation, disease, Prussian cruelties, boredom, and their own inner demons. And, of course, they escaped.
Whitney Brown was midway through her Masters thesis and on track for an exciting position at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington when a chance meeting with a Welsh dry-stone waller at a folklife festival changed the course of her life. Within weeks Whitney had left behind her secure world in the States and was living with him in rural Wales, learning the craft of dry-stone walling. She fell irretrievably in love with Wales and for what she found there – for stone, for the act of physical creation and accompanying physical exhaustion, for life in the countryside and days spent working in the sanctuary of a lonely hillside to repair structures older than the country of her birth, for windswept valleys and low hanging clouds and chilly nights by the wood stove and, much to her dismay, for a man 33 years her senior. She had no choice but to trust these things and see where they might lead her. It was, after all, the first time in her life she'd ever truly felt at peace.
The British oak is the iconic tree of Britain and its people. The specialist tree writer and photographer explores the environmental, cultural and economic aspects of oak, and reveals remarkable images and anecdotes of our greatest trees past and present.