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David Christian talks to Rosie Boycott

Origin Story: A Big History of Everything

Hay Festival 2018, 

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.

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Jeff Brazier

The Grief Survival Guide: How to navigate loss and all that comes with it

Hay Festival 2017, 

Jeff Brazier has experienced bereavement in many forms: in his childhood, helping his two boys through the devastating death of their mother, Jade Goody, witnessing the anguish of his own mum when she lost both of her parents and hearing the stories of his life coaching clients who are coming to terms with loss. Chaired by Carolyn Hitt.

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Shashi Tharoor, William Shawcross, Michael Rose, Jemery Bowen, Nik Gowing

All The Trouble In The World

Hay Festival 2000, 
BBC World anchor Gowing chairs this debate about international intervention, peacekeeping and the role of the UN. Tharoor is Director of Special Projects at the UN and has been Kofi Annan's special adviser with specific responsibility for the former Yugoslavia. William Shawcross is the author of Deliver Us From Evil. Retiring from the leading the UN Protection Force in Bosnia, General Sir Michael Rose wrote Fighting For Peace. Bowen is the BBC's Middle Eastern correspondent and frontline war reporter.

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Nandana Sen

Kangaroo Kisses

Hay Festival 2016, 

Join the award-winning actor, writer and child-rights activist for a fantastical interactive storytelling session, with fun games and animal masks. Nandana has starred in more than 20 feature films, is the author of Mambi and the Forest Fire  (Puffin, 2016), and works with children (and grown-ups) at UNICEF, Operation Smile, and RAHI to fight against child abuse. After studying literature at Harvard, she worked as a book editor, screenwriter, poetry translator, and as Princess Jasmine in Disneyland. Kangaroo Kisses, her debut children’s book in the UK, is a mix of fantasy and real life as one mischievous child delays getting ready for bed, and has some amazing wildlife encounters along the way.

3+

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David Almond

The Colour of the Sun

Hay Festival 2018, 

Join the author of Skellig in conversation with Jonathan Douglas, Director, National Literacy Trust as he introduces his moving, funny and magical new novel,The Colour of the Sun.“The day is long, the world is wide, you're young and free.”One hot summer morning, Davie steps boldly out of his front door. The world he enters is very familiar – the little Tyneside town that has always been his home – but as the day passes, it becomes ever more mysterious. A boy has been killed, and Davie thinks he might know who is responsible. He turns away from the gossip and excitement and sets off roaming towards the sunlit hills above the town. As the day goes on, the real and the imaginary start to merge, and Davie knows that neither he nor his world will ever be the same again.

12+
David Almond

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Jeanette Winterson

Ghost Nights and Christmas Days

Winter Weekend 2017, 

The novelist presents an evening of ancient and modern stories to meet the chill of a winter’s night. Winterson’s most recent novel was The Gap of Time, a reimagining of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale. Her new festive book is Christmas Days, 12 Stories and 12 Feasts for 12 Days from which she will be reading.

Jeanette Winterson

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David Crystal talks to Peter Florence

An Alphabet (and maybe some punctuation marks too)

Hay Festival 2018, 

An hour of glorious grammar as the fabulously entertaining language and linguistics guru plays with two-minute lectures. A is for Alphabet – why this order? O may well be Oxford Comma, but it might be Original Pronunciation... (ellipsis). What would you like to hear him explain?

David Crystal talks to Peter Florence

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Seamus Murphy

The Republic

Hay Festival 2016, 

One hundred years after Ireland’s 1916 Rising, who are the Irish and what has become of the republic they made? The award-winning photographer, exile and escapee, digs deep to discover the forces and mysteries that drive, and have often beguiled, the country since its birth. From the streets of Dublin and the suburbs of towns and cities adapting to new multicultural life, to the older habitats of Ireland’s wilder western shores, Murphy endeavours to capture the spirit of contemporary Ireland in this witty, closely observed and beautiful photographic story. Chaired by David Dwan.

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Kristina Stephenson

Sir Charlie Stinky Socks: The Pirate’s Curse

Hay Festival 2016, 

Shiver me timbers! Once upon a time, a mysterious message in a bottle said someone needed help; help from a certain bold, brave knight. So the brilliant Sir Charlie Stinky Socks, his cat Envelope and his good grey mare find a ship to rescue the messenger. Join the author for a musical, storytelling journey complete with pirates, a sea monster, and a delicious surprise.

3+

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Kate O’Hearn

Fantastic Tales and Epic Adventure

Hay Festival 2014, 

Join the bestselling fantasy author and her entourage of Knights and Dark Searchers. Enter the world of Valkyrie and Pegasus, find out about the magical creatures in Kate’s world, and hear how writing fantasy can remove all limits to the imagination. Knights, monsters and even rubber ducks may appear!
Duration 45 minutes
10+ years

Kate O’Hearn

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Alexis Jenni talks to Francine Stock

The French Art of War

Hay Festival 2017, 

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.

Alexis Jenni talks to Francine Stock

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Wine & Cheese

Kells 2014, 

At this social event Kevin Sheridan of Sheridans Cheesemongers and Enrico Fantasia of Grape Circus present a selection of modern Irish cheeses and Old World wines. Tastings included.

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Peter Porter

The Houseman Lecture: The Name and Nature of Poetry

Hay Festival 2000, 
The title of this lecture echoes that of one given by A.E. Houseman in Cambridge in 1933 when he had been Kennedy Professer of Latin at the University for some 25 years. For the third in the annual series of lectures sponsored by The Housman Society the distinguished Australian-born poet, reviewer, critic and journalist who has published over thirty books during his long sojourn in LOndon, will be giving his personal testament as to what poetry is.

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Muriel Spark

Hay Festival 1998, 
The novelist whose books include The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Memento Mori, The Ballard of Peckham Rye and Curriculum Vitae reads her autobiographal short story The Gentile Jewesses and takes questions from the audience. Chaired by Geordie Greig.

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Edith Grossman, Arturo Fontaine, Sergio Ramírez y Luisa Valenzuela y en conversación con Malcolm Otero Barral

Cátedra Interamericana Carlos Fuentes

Cartagena 2013, 
Cartagena recuerda al escritor mexicano más universal con una charla en la que estarán presentes varios de sus amigos y colegas, colaboradores de un libro co-editado por la Universidad Veracruzana y el Hay Festival como homenaje al autor.

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Max Hastings, Anthony Clare

Going to the Wars

Hay Festival 2000, 
The Evening Standard editor, and author of Bomber Command and Scattered Shots talks about his experience as a front-line War reporter in Cambodia, Vietnam and The Falklands.

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Viviane Schwarz

How to Find Gold

Hay Festival 2016, 

Join the picture-book creator on a journey through the imagination searching for hidden treasure. There’s gold to find and secrets to keep but, above all there is a wonderful story to celebrate. With live drawing, treasure maps and story time, this is perfect for little adventurers.

3+
Viviane Schwarz

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John Lewis-Stempel

Winter Weekend 2010, 
The historian examines the patriotism, self-sacrifice and tragedy of Six Weeks: The Short and Gallant Life of the British Officer in the First World War. Chaired by Paul Blezard. 'The single most moving book on the Great War that I have ever read' – Nigel Jones, Literary Review.

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Sarah Corbett talks to Jonathon Porritt

How to Be a Craftivist: The Art of Gentle Protest

Hay Festival 2018, 

If we want a world that is beautiful, kind and fair, shouldn’t our activism be beautiful, kind and fair? The campaigner and founder of the global Craftivist Collective shows how to respond to injustice not with apathy or aggression, but with gentle, effective protest. With thoughtful principles, practical examples and honest stories from her own experience as a once burnt-out activist, Corbett shows how activism through craft can produce long-lasting positive change.

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Helen Rappaport

The Race to Save the Romanovs

Hay Festival 2018, 

On 17 July 1918, the whole of the Russian Imperial Family was murdered. There were no miraculous escapes. The former Tsar Nicholas, his wife Alexandra, and their children – Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia and Alexey – were all gunned down in a blaze of bullets. On the centenary of these brutal murders, historian Helen Rappaport set out to uncover why the Romanovs’ European royal relatives and the Allied governments failed to save them.

Helen Rappaport

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Awesome Animals: Koala Calamity

Hay Festival 2013, 

Koala brothers Dude, Bro and Squirt love doing…nothing. They can do nothing all day. But their little sister has other ideas and soon leads them into another Koala Calamity.

Duration 45 mins.

7+ years

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Paul Murdin

Cambridge Series 16: Planetary Vistas, the Landscapes of Other Worlds

Hay Festival 2016, 

Recent advances in space exploration imaging have allowed us now to see landscapes never before possible. Murdin shows some of the greatest views and vistas of Mars, Venus’s Titan, Io and more in their full glory. Towering cliffs, icy canyons: the scenery is out of this world; all captured with the latest technology by landing and roving vehicles or by very low-flying spacecraft. Murdin is Senior Fellow Emeritus at the Institute of Astronomy at Cambridge.

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Francesca Rhydderch and Tyler Keevil talk to Penny Thomas

Fictions: New Welsh Short Stories

Winter Weekend 2015, 

The best of contemporary Welsh short-story writing, New Welsh Short Stories offers a wide-ranging view of a country from new and established writers. Stories range from the personal to the universal; from the streets of urban south Wales to the wilder reaches of small town and countryside; from film sets to the limits of time and space.

Francesca Rhydderch and Tyler Keevil talk to Penny Thomas

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Marina Lewycka talks to Georgina Godwin

The Lubetkin Legacy

Hay Festival 2016, 

North London in the C21st century: a place where a son will swiftly adopt an old lady and take her home from hospital to impersonate his dear departed mother, rather than lose the council flat. A time of golden job opportunities, though you might have to dress up as a coffee bean or work as an intern at an undertaker’s or put up with Champagne and posh French dinners while your boss hits on you. A place rich in language – whether it’s Romanian, Ukrainian, Russian, Swahili or buxom housing officers talking managementese... The award-winning author of A Short History of Tractors in Ukranian discusses her new comedy of modern manners.

Marina Lewycka talks to Georgina Godwin

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Rainbow Magic

Hay Festival 2013, 

Get out your wings and come dressed as a fairy for storytelling and lots of activities with the fairy queen.

6+ years