Odran Yates enters Clonliffe Seminary in 1972 after his mother informs him that he has a vocation to the priesthood. He goes in full of ambition and hope, dedicated to his studies and keen to make friends. Forty years later, Odran’s devotion has been challenged by the revelations that have shattered the Irish people’s faith in the church. He has seen friends stand trial, colleagues jailed, the lives of young parishioners destroyed and has become nervous of venturing out in public for fear of disapproving stares and insulting remarks. When a family tragedy opens wounds from his past, he is forced to confront the demons that have raged within a once respected institution and to recognise his own complicity in their propagation.
A conversation with the winner of the 2015 prize. Chair of judges, Bill Bryson: 'Marion Coutts' account of living with her husband's illness and death is wise, moving and beautifully constructed. Reading it, you have the sense of something truly unique being brought into the world – it stays with you for a long time after.'
In 2008 the art critic Tom Lubbock was diagnosed with a brain tumour. The tumour was located in the area controlling speech and language, and would eventually rob him of the ability to speak. He died early in 2011. Marion Coutts was his wife. In short bursts of beautiful, textured prose, Coutts describes the eighteen months leading up to her partner's death. This book is an account of a family unit, man, woman, young child, under assault, and how the three of them fought to keep it intact. Written with extraordinary narrative force and power, The Iceberg is almost shocking in its rawness. It charts the deterioration of Tom's speech even as it records the developing language of his child. Fury, selfishness, grief, indignity and impotence are all examined and brought to light. Yet out of this comes a rare story about belonging, an 'adventure of being and dying'. This book is a celebration of each other, friends, family, art, work, love and language.
The parliamentary sketch-writer looks back at the Coalition government more in ridicule than in sorrow. Horrible, hilarious truths about Westminster, the greasy pole and the indiscreet charm of the chamber…
Shifty McGifty and his accomplice Slippery Sam, a pair of notorious robber dogs, have recently swapped their life of crime for a career in cupcakes. Join their creators as they entertain with the comic rhymes and illustrations from their most recent hit.
Meet the Children’s Laureate, who will live-draw the answers to your questions. The children he chooses can take their doodle-answers home with them and own a unique piece of art from one of our greatest illustrators.
The poetry curator's latest anthology is a journey through a calendar year, highlighting key moments and dates with a poem for every day, by writers including Wordsworth, Lewis Carroll, Maya Angelou and Emily Dickinson. Join Allie and a host of actors including Tobias Menzies (The History Boys, Game of Thrones, starring as Prince Philip in The Crown season three and four), Ophelia Lovibond, Tony Robinson, Toby Jones and Gina Bellman (star of Coupling, currently streaming to a new generation of fans on Netflix, and Ophelia in Peter Hall’s Hamlet opposite Stephen Dillane) in a highly entertaining hour as they perform their favourite poems from the book, a humorous journey through history and human experience.
As chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 campaign, Brazile had a front-row seat to the wildest, craziest, and most disturbing presidential race in American history. She was called to take over a party riven by scandal and allegations of corruption, and then thrust into the international spotlight after the DNC email system was hacked by the Russians, a brazen and wholly unprecedented attempt by a foreign power to influence a presidential election. She talks about the roles played by Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and President Obama with an insider’s knowledge and looks forward to the 2018 November mid-terms and the potential Democrat runners for 2020.
The charismatic storyteller takes us on a journey into obsession. Inspired by Perrault’s classic Gothic horror story, it’s magnificently dark, erotic and disturbing. But it’s also fiercely life affirming – a celebration of the love of sisters and the resilience of women. This is a defiantly female version of the tale, in which the sister and mother of the bride, Eva, are given far greater prominence. Eva is awarded infinitely more emotional complexity than usual, as she explosively transforms from a victim into a survivor who will not “rake through the ashes for half burned hopes”.
With simultaneous live drawing by Chris Riddell
Humans are rather weak when compared to many other animals. We are not particularly fast and have no natural weapons. Yet we have influenced almost every part of the ecosystem and as a consequence we are changing the global environmental and evolutionary trajectory of the Earth. So how did we become the world’s apex predator and take over the planet? Maslin is Professor of Geography at UCL. He talks to Sarfraz Manzoor.
The novelist discusses his superbly controlled emotional thriller – a tale of passion, betrayal and conscience set in post-war Germany. Perfect for anyone who loved Atonement, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin or Anna Karenina.
Heavy workloads, constantly changing government policies, and ‘media bashing’ are just some of the reasons cited in a 2015 survey of new teachers which showed that 73 per cent have considered leaving the profession. How do we make our teachers feel valued and better supported to enable them to educate our children for the future? Godfrey is Principal of Hereford Sixth Form College, Gaston is Headteacher of Fairfield High School, Ed Dorrell is Head of Content at Times Educational Supplement; Professor Green is Vice Chancellor of University of Worcester, from where Cornes recently graduated as a teacher.
Comics and animation entrepreneur Chief Nyamweya explores the many unexpected lessons learned while trying to re-invent an industry in Kenya. Chief is best known for the prolific crime-fiction comics Roba (syndicated daily in The Star newspaper) and Emergency - both of which popularized the Kenya Noir style of art characterized by abundant use of black ink, high contrasts and dark themes.
A funny, frank conversation about embracing both feminism and our imperfections with the host of the hit comedy podcast The Guilty Feminist (22 million downloads). From confidence to the secret power of rom-coms, from effective activism to what poker can tell us about gender, Nat and Yassmin explore what it means to be a 21st century woman, and encourages us to make the world better for all women. guiltyfeminist.com
Leaving her garden to the mercy of the slugs, award-winning writer Alys Fowler set out in an inflatable kayak to explore Birmingham’s canal network, full of little-used waterways where huge pike skulk and kingfishers dart. Her memoir is about noticing the wild everywhere and what it means to see beauty where you least expect it. What happens when someone who has learned to observe her external world in such detail decides to examine her internal world with the same care? Chaired by Lucy Cotter.