After a hedonistic decade in London that has descended into alcoholism, Amy returns to her native Orkney, where her childhood was shaped by the cycle of the seasons, birth and death on the farm, and her father’s mental illness. Spending early mornings swimming in the bracingly cold sea, the days tracking Orkney’s wildlife – puffins nesting on sea stacks, arctic terns swooping close enough to feel their wings – and nights searching the sky for the Merry Dancers, Amy slowly makes the journey towards recovery from addiction. The Outrun is shortlisted for the Wellcome Book Prize.
The role culture plays in European integration still has to be addressed by European institutions. Lawyer and Vice President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, José María Beneyto, Director of ABC Cultural, Fernando Rodríguez Lafuente, and Madrid correspondent for the Economist and contributing editor for the Guardian, Giles Tremlett discuss this issue which is crucial for Europe’s future.
Event in Spanish
The consultant transplant surgeon reviews how organ transplantation is being transformed by innovations in organ donation, stem cell technology, bio-engineered tissues and machine perfusion of organs. He explores what is now possible and discusses the ensuing ethical and legal dilemmas.
Genome editing has already been used clinically to treat AIDS patients by genetically modifying their white blood cells to be resistant to HIV. In agriculture, genome editing can be used to engineer species with increased food output, resistance to pests, drought and harsh environments. But these powerful new techniques also raise important ethical dilemmas. To what extent should parents be able to manipulate the genetics of their offspring? Can we effectively weigh up the risks from introducing synthetic life forms into complex ecosystems? Parrington is an Associate Professor in Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology at the University of Oxford.
Introducing a new literary geography based on the assumption that novels and stories cannot be confined by the covers of a book, but through the reader’s imagination become part of the lived experience of the world around us. Explaining how this new cartography of page and place will be developed is Jon Anderson from the School of Geography and Planning at Cardiff University.
The WI is fondly thought of in terms of ‘jam and Jerusalem’, but its roots are intertwined with the women’s suffrage movement and the many campaigns that have sought to articulate the needs of women since the First World War. The Professor of Cultural History will explore the political and social initiatives that helped define the radical organisation.
Craig Russell has worked as a police officer, proof-reader and creative director in a advertisement agency. He is the author of a popular series set in Hamburg featuring Jan Fabel and the only foreign author awarded the prestigious Polizeistern Prize given by the Police of Hamburg. He has been finalist of the CWA Duncan Lawrie Golden Dagger, as well as the SNCF Prix Polar in France. He speaks with Rod Pryde, Director of The British Council in Spain.
Co-organised with The British Council and the collaboration of Editorial Roca.
As his 50th birthday dawned, Peter Dunne set out to leave a trail of metaphorical breadcrumbs for his three children, so that if they ever needed to know what their father might have had to say they would have him to hand: from compromise to compassion, and democracy to sacrifice, Dunne explores the social mores and morality of our time and tries to answer the eternal questions that line the path to peace of mind. He talks to Sarah Crown.
Operation Market Garden, the plan to end the war by capturing the bridges leading to the Lower Rhine and beyond, was a bold concept: the Americans thought it unusually bold for Field Marshal Montgomery. But the cost of failure was horrendous, above all for the Dutch who risked everything to help. German reprisals were cruel and lasted until the end of the war. The pre-eminent war historian looks into the very heart of the conflict.
What is the best Booker winner? To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the fiction prize, five judges have each selected what they think is the best winner of each decade since 1968. The shortlist result will be announced at Hay on 26 May. Wood, the Literary Director of the Booker Prize Foundation, hosts an all-star panel who will have read the shortlisted books and will pick a Hay winner. Sands won the non-fiction Baillie Gifford Prize for East West Street. Turkish author Shafak’s novels include Honour, The Forty Rules of Love and Three Daughters of Eve. The Colombian novelist Gabriel Vasquez won the Premio Alfaguara and the IMPAC award for The Sound of Things Falling. His latest novel is The Shape of the Ruins.
The author of Cables From Kabul unpacks his diplomatic bag and spills the beans on how the world works in his riveting memoir Confessions Of A Foreign Office Mandarin.
Creeping climatic upheaval and corrosive global inequality are like two threads pulling apart civilisation’s fabric. To survive and thrive, we face an unprecedented challenge of rapid transition. But the way we live is locked-in by an economic system, dominated by finance and obsessed with growth. Andrew Simms of the New Weather Institute discusses whether orthodox economics can effect change with Richard Murphy, the architect of Corbynomics.
The Countryfile star and visionary farmer explores his bond with his life-long hero: his father, Joe. In the 1940s and ’50s Joe, the son of stage and film star Leslie Henson, chose a completely different path and decided to pursue a career as a farmer. Joe overcame a serious stammer to become a regular broadcaster on Country Matters. He became the saviour of Britain’s rare breeds and opened the world’s first Farm Park.
Who was Thomas More, the author of Utopia? The distinguished historian of Tudor England parses the propaganda and More’s writings to read behind the myth. He examines the ways in which More’s legacy has been contested or resisted. And he suggests which aspects of his thought are likely to continue to influence the world in the future.
Why are the ‘junior doctors’ calling an all-out strike? What do the PFI hospital contracts mean? How much of the NHS is privatised already? How could it all be better? And what can we do about that? The physician, philosopher and writer Raymond Tallis is the author of NHS SOS; Donley is Clinical Vice President, Royal College of Physicians; Grigg is a GP in the Hay Medical Centre practice.
When it comes to the trials and triumphs of becoming a grown-up, journalist and former Sunday Times dating columnist Dolly Alderton has seen and tried it all. In her memoir, she vividly recounts falling in love, wrestling with self-sabotage, finding a job, throwing a socially disastrous Rod-Stewart-themed house party, getting drunk, getting dumped, realising that Ivan from the corner shop is the only man you've ever been able to rely on, and finding that that your mates are always there at the end of every messy night out. Alderton’s captivating memoir is about bad dates, good friends and – above all else – about recognising that you and you alone are enough.
Life is at once wonderful and appalling, beautiful and horrific. How can we live with this contradiction? And how can we believe in a just and loving God in the face of all the evils of the world? Lord Harries was Bishop of Oxford for 19 years.
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