In an intimate portrait of a single countryside community, the historian traces in vivid detail the lives of the twenty-two men and one woman from the Dartmoor village of Lydford who made the supreme sacrifice fighting for Britain in the two World Wars, the Falklands and Iraq.
The inspirational teacher, Phil Forder, brings the two writers in residence and the Director of HM Parc Prison, Bridgend to discuss the literary programme he’s pioneered and our sister Festival there that’s now in its ninth year. They discuss the impact of education and empathy, literacy and literature, and offer a vision of a successful reformation of prison experience. They talk to Peter Florence.
Winner of the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize for her debut novel The Art of Being Normal, Williamson’s All About Mia is a story about sisters, accepting your strengths and weaknesses, and learning to forgive the people you love. Join her as she discusses creating her insightful family stories.
The author of The Bletchley Girls interviewed six centenarians for this wonderful collection of tales: The Final Word From the Women Who’ve Lived the Past Hundred Years of British History. Through the prism of their own experiences and memories, she tells the human story of how women gradually began to build independent lives for themselves in the modern world of post-Great War Britain, by re-telling what their actual day-to-day reality was like, through the decades.
The funniest, craziest book featuring bananas that you’ll ever read. Anarchic, fun and clever – a proper, funny story for children to get their teeth into.
Ridley views the Peter Pan stories through the eyes of a neuroscientist and explores J M Barrie's interest in cognition, theory of mind and the nature of consciousness. Barrie's stories are rich in post-Darwinian questions about the origins of human nature and the mental abilities of animals, children and adults. Ridley was Head of the Medical Research Council Comparative Cognition Research Team in the Department of Psychology at Cambridge University.
Journalist and author Nativel Preciado discusses her latest novel Canta solo para mí, which won the 2014 Premio Fernando Lara de Novela. The novel depicts the journalistic profession in Spain in the 1970s, a very turbulent period during which huge changes took place. This provides the backdrop for a passionate love story. She talks to writer Fernando Delgado.
An interview with the novelist, winner of the 2015 Man Booker Prize.
“It’s like a Tarantino remake of The Harder They Come but with a soundtrack by Bob Marley and a script by Oliver Stone and William Faulkner, with maybe a little creative boost from some primo ganja. It’s epic in every sense of that word: sweeping, mythic, over-the-top, colossal and dizzyingly complex. It’s also raw, dense, violent, scalding, darkly comic, exhilarating and exhausting – a testament to Mr. James’ vaulting ambition and prodigious talent.” New York Times
Mathematics underlies everything – from how our universe holds itself together to how our cities run – and it sits at the forefront of discovery across topics such as AI, genetics and quantum mechanics. How do we make mathematics fun and inspire young people to want to pursue the world of numbers as a career? Join us at a special Spark Salon at Hay Festival for a very special alternative maths lesson. Pilcher is a science writer, maths champion and author of Bring Back the King: the New Science of De-Extinction. Steckles is a member of Matt Parker’s Think Maths team and an award-winning science communicator.
The author of The Butterfly Heart and The Sleeping Baobab Tree tells stories to fascinate and entertain.
Charlotte was a literary visionary, a feminist trailblazer and the driving force behind the whole Brontë family. She pushed Emily to publish Wuthering Heights and took charge of their precarious finances when her feckless brother turned to opium. In Jane Eyre she introduced the world to a brand new kind of heroine, modelled on herself: quiet but fiercely intelligent, burning with passion and potential. Harman is the award-winning biographer of Sylvia Townsend Warner, Fanny Burney and Robert Louis Stevenson, and the author of the best-selling Jane’s Fame: How Jane Austen Conquered the World. Chaired by Catherine Han of Cardiff University.
Democracy has died hundreds of times, all over the world. We think we know what that looks like: chaos descends and the military arrives to restore order until the people can be trusted to look after their own affairs again. However, there is a danger that this picture is out of date. Until very recently, most citizens of Western democracies would have imagined that the end was a long way off, and very few would have thought it might be happening before their eyes. Runciman, one of the UK’s leading professors of politics, answers all this and more as he surveys the political landscape of the West, helping us to spot the new signs of a collapsing democracy and advising on what could come next. Chaired by Sarfraz Manzoor.
Winner of the Roald Dahl Funny Prize and twice winner of the Blue Peter Book Award, Andy Stanton’s Mr Gum is a complete horror. He hates children, animals and fun, not to mention corn on the cob. This book is about him, an angry fairy who lives in his bathtub, Jake the dog and a little girl called Polly. Plus, there are heroes and sweets and adventures. Join to celebrate the 10th anniversary of You’re a Bad Man, Mr Gum!
The Indian author of the award-winning Folded Earth discusses her work and her new novel Sleeping on Jupiter, a masterpiece. In awarding the novel the DSC South Asian Literature Prize, Mark Tully said “The setting is described faithfully and evocatively. Among the issues raised are the power of memory and myth, religious hypocrisy, sexuality, abuse and other forms of violence. The novel contains powerful portraits of both major and minor characters. We believe this book will be a source of inspiration to other writers.”
Birmingham University Series
Film-makers are often attracted to Shakespeare’s plays with their vivid characters, exciting stories and scope for new takes on familiar subjects. But ever since the pictures started talking, the language has been a challenge both in quality and quantity; there isn’t the need for so much dialogue in a medium where showing trumps telling. Jackson has been text consultant for several feature films – including all of Kenneth Branagh’s versions of Shakespeare’s plays – and many stage productions. His books include Shakespeare and the English-speaking Cinema, Shakespeare Films in the Making, and The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare on Film.
The creator of the romantically troubled Grantchester priest and sleuth introduces his new novel in the series Sidney Chambers and The Dangers of Temptation.
A successful economy in the 21st century will be one that meets the needs of all within the means of the planet - but how can it be done? Raworth explores stories from cities and enterprises worldwide that are pioneering new economic designs. What does it take to make a city regenerative? Can business be designed to distribute, rather than concentrate, the value created? Where is it happening and what are the challenges facing the front-runners? Raworth is the author of Doughnut Economics.
Mary Shelley was brought up by her father in a house filled with radical thinkers, poets, philosophers and writers of the day. Aged 16, she eloped with Percy Bysshe Shelley, embarking on a relationship that was lived on the move across Britain and Europe, as she coped with debt, infidelity and the deaths of three children, before early widowhood changed her life for ever. Most astonishingly, it was while she was still a teenager that Mary composed her canonical novel Frankenstein, which was published exactly 200 years ago. In this fascinating dialogue with the past, Sampson sifts through letters, diaries and records to find the real woman behind the story.