Join three authors in contention for The Bookseller Young Adult Prize as they discuss the different ways in which their strong-minded and independent characters survive and thrive in their sometimes dark, always complex stories about adolescence. Chaired by Caroline Carpenter.
Discover new bird species, names and stories, and learn how to draw their markings at Matt Sewell’s Spotting & Jotting Club. Explore birdwatching guides, including Our Garden Birds and Owls, as he launches his first book specifically for children, The Big Bird Spot. Sewell, the author of the bestselling Our Garden Birds, has illustrated for The Guardian, Big Issue, and the V&A among many others.
This story spins from a chance find of an anonymous ‘love diary’ written by a young man in the 1940s. It recounts the everyday life of a generation of young men growing up in mid-20th century Cairo. Ryzova uses Hosni’s story as a point of entry to a particular historical experience: that of middle class modernity located outside the metropolitan centre in this historical ethnography. Ryzova is Lecturer in Middle East History.
Chevalier’s best-selling novel inspired many readers to look at Vermeer’s famous painting more closely. Now she has participated in a documentary film directed by Phil Grabsky – part of the pioneering series Exhibition on Screen. How did the writer help the award-winning film-makers to bring the work to life? How has the film affected her own understanding of a painting she thought she knew well?
Join top YA authors as they discuss their recent books, and the ways in which they capture the complex emotions of adolescence and the secrets that need to be kept hidden. Chaired by Jonathan Douglas, director of the National Literacy Trust.
The author of The Radleys, The Humans and Reasons To Stay Alive talks about his glorious, rollicking time-hopping novel. How to Stop Time is a wild and bittersweet story about losing and finding yourself, about the certainty of change and about the lifetimes it can take to learn how to live.
Stephanie Merritt is the comedy critic of The Observer and writes historical fiction as SJ Parris.
Civil war has been a recurring feature of human societies throughout history, and an essential catalyst for major international conflict. Focusing on the numerous civil conflicts that have occurred throughout the world since the Second World War, Kissane asks what the recent social science literature adds to what we already know about civil war. The LSE professor uses insights from historical sources from the ancient Greeks onwards, to explain the extreme violent experience of so many parts of the world today. Chaired by Sarfraz Manzoor.
Wagner presents her riveting biography of one of the most important figures in American civil engineering history, Washington Roebling, builder of the Brooklyn Bridge. Introduced by Philip Davies, Director of the Eccles Centre.
Join Adam Stower as he shows us one story and tells us another in an hilarious case of mistaken identity which will delight young readers.
The captivating Instagram gastro star and Roman native conjures up La Dolce Vita with her recipes for earthy breakfasts, alfresco lunches and sumptuous suppers. She is joined by historian and food fanatic Simon Schama. This is table talk in flagrante!
Three authors discuss the very different ways in which the power of magic and mystery enhance their stories with reference to their books The House with Chicken Legs, Twister and A Witch Alone. Chaired by Sian Cain.
A legendary singer, folklorist and music historian, Shirley Collins has been an integral figure in the English folk music scene for more than 60 years. In her autobiography, All in the Downs, Collins tells the story of that lifelong relationship with English folksong – a dedication to artistic integrity that has guided her through the triumphs and tragedies of her life.
The Iranian-Dutch writer’s previous novels include the European best-sellers The House of the Mosque and The King. He discusses his new novel The Messenger: A Tale Retold that retells the life of the prophet Mohammad and his new translation of The Qur’an.
A majestic distillation of our current understanding of the birth of the universe, of the solar system, of the oceans, of mountains and minerals, of all life on earth and of the driving dynamics of human culture and achievement. Christian is a Distinguished Professor in History at Macquarie University in Australia and the co-founder, with Bill Gates, of The Big History Project.
The French novelist introduces his masterpiece The French Art of War, which won the Goncourt Prize in 2011 and is published now in English. It’s a journey through France’s military history in Indochina, Algeria and at home. The novel is told through the eyes of a war veteran who becomes a painter, Victorien Salagnon, and the young man he teaches to paint in exchange for writing his story.
This event is part of a European Writers’ Tour, an initiative proudly delivered by EUNIC London in partnership with the Royal Society of Literature and the British Library. The programme is supported by the European Commission Representation in the UK and EUNIC Global.
In French with translation available.
Have you ever wanted to write a novel? How do you get it out of your head and onto the page? How do you handle structure, dialogue and plot? And once it’s written, what is the best way to get it published? These and more questions will be tackled in a new series in The Irish Times called ‘How To Write a Book’. Joining Sinead Gleeson of The Irish Times will be novelists from the festival programme.
The slender-billed curlew is one of the world’s rarest birds. A beautiful, fragile creature, it bred in Siberia and wintered in the Mediterranean basin, passing through the wetlands and estuaries of Italy, Greece, the Balkans and central Asia twice a year. Then, no-one knows why, the population crashed. The slender-billed curlew now exists as rumour, hope, unconfirmed sightings and speculation. The only certainty of its story is that it now stands at the brink of extinction. The author of A Single Swallow tells a story of beauty, triumph, mystery and struggle, in a homage to a creature that may never be seen again.
Taking us through the seasons in England’s apple-growing heartlands, Brown uncovers the stories and folklore of our most familiar fruit. An orchard is not a field. It’s not a forest or a copse. It couldn’t occur naturally but it demonstrates that man and nature together can create something beautiful.