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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.