Anne Enright escaped from a career in television to become one of Ireland’s national literary treasures. She won the Man Booker Prize in 2007 for her fourth novel The Gathering. The newly-appointed Irish Fiction Laureate will discuss and read from her latest novel The Green Road.
Photo by Hugh Chaloner
The world’s leading expert in forensic cyberpsychology analyses everything from the impact of screens on the developing child to the explosion of teen sexting. She examines the acceleration of compulsive and addictive online behaviours (gaming, shopping, pornography) and the escalation in cyberchondria (self-diagnosis online), cyberstalking and organised crime in the Deep Web. Cyberspace is an environment full of surveillance, but who is looking out for us?
Excavation of two quarries in the Preseli hills in Pembrokeshire by a UCL-led team of archaeologists and geologists has confirmed that they are sources of Stonehenge’s ‘bluestones’ and shed light on how they were quarried and transported. “We have dates of around 3400 BC for Craig Rhos-y-felin and 3200 BC for Carn Goedog, which is intriguing because the bluestones didn’t get put up at Stonehenge until around 2900 BC,” says Professor Parker Pearson. “It could have taken those Neolithic stone-draggers nearly 500 years to get them to Stonehenge, but that’s pretty improbable in my view. It’s more likely that the stones were first used in a local monument – somewhere near the quarries – which was then dismantled and dragged off to Wiltshire. Stonehenge was a Welsh monument from its very beginning. If we can find the original monument in Wales from which it was built, we will finally be able to solve the mystery of why Stonehenge was built and why some of its stones were brought so far…”
Reason, we are told, is what makes us human, the source of our knowledge and wisdom. But if reason is so useful, why didn’t it also evolve in other animals? If it is that reliable, why do we produce so much thoroughly reasoned nonsense? Mercier’s provocative and brilliant suggestion is that reason helps us justify our beliefs and actions to others, convince them through argument and evaluate the justifications and arguments that they address to us.
The second novel in the popular historian’s Six Tudor Queens series mines the story of Anne Boleyn, the young woman who changed the course of history. Fresh from the palaces of Burgundy and France, Anne draws attention at the English court, embracing the play of courtly love. But when the King commands, nothing is ever a game.
Chaired by Phil Rickman.
The author of Broken Soup, The Ant Colony and Finding Violet Park which was awarded the Guardian Prize for Children’s Fiction shares insights about her work and invites your questions.
All aboard The Leaky Battery! In Rise of the Slippery Sea Monster the ever-popular Steampunk Pirates are attacked by a sea monster hungry for gold. Will the pirates by able to defend themselves? The author reveals the amazing powers of these remarkable seafaring heroes with the help of his ukulele and accordion and the singing of some rousing sea shanties. Pirate dress optional.
On Sunday 31 May, BBC Radio 4’s Broadcasting House comes live from Hay Festival with presenter Paddy O’Connell, for an hour of interviews and entertainment.
Broadcast every Sunday morning on BBC Radio 4 at 9am.
In this first event celebrating the centenary of the Welsh poet Alun Lewis, Owen Sheers will read the poetry and Juliet Aykroyd will reveal how he and her mother, Freda, fell in love in India during World War II. Lewis’s letters to Freda, published in A Cypress Walk, prove him to be one of the great letter-writers.
Warsan Shire (Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth) won the Brunel University African Poetry Prize. Dr. Neal Hall (Nigger for Life) has won over 10 prizes for poetry in book festivals around the world. Mongane Wally Serote (Yakhal'Inkomo) has won the Ingrid Jonker Poetry Prize, the Noma Award for Publishing in Africa and was a Fulbright Scholar. These multiple-award-winning poets read from their work and talk to Kenyan Poet, Njeri Wangari (Mines and Mindfields) about asylum, war, love, loss, borders, insanity, race, identity and inequality.
From awe-inspiring Norman castles to the homes we live in, Thurley explores how the architecture of this small island influenced the world. He tells the fascinating story of the development of architecture and the advancements in both structural performance and aesthetic effect. Chaired by Justin Albert.
Atinuke collects stories, writes stories and tells stories, all of which originate in Africa. You will be spellbound by Atinuke’s traditional storytelling as she conjures up the sights, sounds and hustle and bustle of life in Nigeria, where she was born.
Back in 1930, the economist John Maynard Keynes prophesied that by the century's end, technology would see us all working 15-hour weeks. But instead, something curious happened. Today average working hours have not decreased but increased. And now, across the developed world, three-quarters of all jobs are in services or admin, jobs that don't seem to add anything to society: bullshit jobs. The LSE anthropologist explores how this phenomenon – one more associated with the 20th-century Soviet Union, but which capitalism was supposed to eliminate – has happened. In doing so, he looks at how we value work, and how, rather than being productive, work has become an end in itself; the way such work maintains the current broken system of finance capital; and, finally, how we can get out of it. Chaired by Hannah MacInnes.
Bragg’s novel is a hymn both to the landscape of Cumbria and to a disappearing farming world. Poetic, beautiful and tragic, it gives an account of the struggle to preserve traditions and beliefs in the face of change. It is a quietly bold indictment of the treatment of generations of British men, and an assertion of the power to be found in the rituals we pass down through our families. She talks to the poet, academic and former Archbishop of Canterbury.
Sent to Auschwitz on the first Jewish transport, Rena Kornreich survived the Nazi death camps for over three years. While there she was reunited with her sister Danka. Each day became a struggle to fulfill the promise Rena made to her mother when the family was forced to split apart – a promise to take care of her sister. New research informs this event, based on the original transport list that Macadam found in the archives of Yad Vashem with all 998 names of the first women in Auschwitz on it — 297 of whom were teenagers. Chaired by Sarah Crompton.