The day after the award is announced in London, the winner travels to Hay to talk to the chair of judges about her or his work. The shortlisted writers are Juan Tomás Ávila, Jenny Erpenbeck, Tomás González, Daniel Kehlmann, Erwin Mortier and Haruki Murakami.
Fame, that’s all Elektra, star of Waiting for Callback: Take Two, has ever wanted, and now she has a part in a film, but things don’t go quite to plan. Anna Huntly, star of The It Girl: Superstar Geek, has a different ambition. Join the creators of these girls as they discuss their witty and wise stories of teenage dreams and anxieties with Emily Drabble, Head of Booktrust’s children’s book promotion.
An actress, author, producer and working peer, Benjamin is best known for her work presenting children’s TV programmes such as Play School. Join her for a truly inspiring event as she talks about her childhood memoir and the journey she made as a youngster from Trinidad to embark on a very different life with her family in England in 1960. She shows how having the courage to believe in yourself can help you tackle new challenges and overcome adversity.
The editor of The Amorist magazine chairs a conversation about love and sex in fiction and asks: is erotic passion the hardest form of literary endeavour? Get one line wrong and there’s laughter, or disgust. Gardner writes erotic fiction under the pen name Wray Delaney. Delaney’s first erotic novel, An Almond for a Parrot, is set amidst the brothels of 18thcentury London. Huston is the author of Say My Name, an account of a love affair between a married woman and a much younger man, while Jacobson’s most controversial novel was The Act of Love.
Who really creates wealth in our world? And how do we decide the value of what they do? In her penetrating and passionate new book, the UCL Professor of Economics proposes that if we are to reform capitalism – radically to transform an increasingly sick system rather than continue feeding it – we urgently need to rethink where wealth comes from. Which activities create it, which extract it, which destroy it?
Every week seems to throw up a new discovery, shaking the foundations of what we know. But are there questions we will never be able to answer - mysteries that lie beyond the predictive powers of science? Marcus du Sautoy invites us to consider the problems in cosmology, quantum physics, mathematics, and neuroscience that continue to bedevil scientists and creative thinkers who are at the forefront of their fields. He challenges us to consider big questions - about the nature of consciousness, what came before the big bang, and what lies beyond our horizons - while taking us on a virtuoso tour of the great breakthroughs of the past. He celebrates the men and women who dared to tackle the seemingly impossible and had the imagination to come up with new ways of seeing the world. The mathematician holds the University of Oxford's prestigious Simonyi Chair for the Public Understanding of Science.
From the Yangtze to the Yellow River, China is traversed by great waterways, which have defined its politics and ways of life for centuries. Water and irrigation have been so integral to China’s culture, economy, growth and development that it provides a window on the whole sweep of Chinese history. Chaired by Oliver Bullough.
Knap Hall – a house isolated by its rural situation and its dark reputation. Seven people, nationally known, but strangers to one another, locked inside. But this time, Big Brother may not be in control. Phil Rickman reveals his latest novel to Adrian Rainbow.
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
Three writers of extremely popular fiction talk about the big themes with the best-selling author of Foetal Attraction. Rosie Thomas' writing is "as fascinating as an overhead" - Cosmopolitan. She talks about A Simple Life. Tim Waterstone's new novel An Imperfect Marriage continues the success of Lilley and Chase - "grappling with emotion, morality and wrinkles in the male" - Mail on Sunday.
Sally Brampton's Lovesick is a bittersweet novel and friendship in the late 80's under the shadow of AIDS, and confirms the storytelling flair she exhibited in Good Grief.
Marcus Sedgwick has established himself as a widely-admired writer of young adult fiction, and won several awards including the Printz Award, the Booktrust Teenage Prize and the Blue Peter Book Award. Sedgwick reflects on his popular, eclectic work with British Council Director Rod Pryde.
Simultaneous translation from English into Spanish
Araminta Spook lives in a huge haunted house with her Uncle Drac and Aunt Tabitha, and her greatest ambition is to meet a ghost. Join author Angie Sage for a spooky adventure.
The tree experts introduce the ancient yew at Runnymede, which may have been 1,700 years old when King John signed the Magna Carta under its branches in 1215; the existing Isaac Newton apple tree and other wonderful ancient trees from around England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Power is head gardener at Stourhead. Muelaner is co-author of Ancient Trees of the National Trust.
Do you have a tree you need identifying? Bring us a leaf or a photo and we’ll ask our experts Brian and Alan and The Woodland Trust’s tree guru Jill Butler. They’ll be at the Woodland Trust stall onsite during the day.
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.
In April 1917, the exiled leader of the Bolsheviks, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, travelled back to Russia by train. His country was at war and his route would take him through enemy territory; the plan was controversial from the start. The destination was the Finland Station and the first steps on the road to Soviet power. Merridale, the great Russia scholar, follows in the leader's tracks, creating a gripping account of events in Russia and Europe at one of the tensest moments of the First World War. Chaired by Peter Hennessy.
2017 marks 100 years since the Third Battle of Ypres, also known as Passchendaele. One of those who fell in battle was Ellis Humphrey Evans, the poet from Meirionnydd whose Bardic name was Hedd Wyn. He died before being announced winner of the Chair at the National Eisteddfod in Birkenhead. The empty chair was draped in black, and Hedd Wyn is still remembered throughout Wales, as he is in Flanders, as a potent symbol of bloodshed and loss. Ifor ap Glyn will talk about the life, work and remarkable legacy of Hedd Wyn.