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Patricia Duncker, James Wood, Steven Sherrill

Hay Festival 2003, 
Duncker reads from her short stories Seven Tales of Sex and Death and introduces Sherrill's invenitve and brilliant  The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break, in which the Minotaur, or M as he is known to his colleagues, is working as a line chef at Grub's Rib in the American Deep South, keeping to himself, keeping his horns down, trying in vain to put his past behind him. The first novel by the critic James Wood is The Book Against God, which introduces readers to the irrepressible presence of it's narrator, Thomas Bunting, liar, doubter, and the strangest philosopher in contemporary fiction.

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Karen Armstrong

Islam

Hay Festival 2003, 
One of the world's foremost commentators on religious affairs introduces her history of the world's most misunderstood religion. Armstrong explores the Sunni-Shi'ite schism, the rise of Persian influence, the clashes with Western cusaders and Mongolian conquerors, the contemporary rise of fundamentalism, and the spiritual explorations that traced the route to God.

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Adam Nicholson

Power and Glory

Hay Festival 2003, 
Nicholson examines Jacobean England and The Making of the King James Bible, the most influential and admired version ever produced. A century after the Reformation, out of the clash between Catholic, Anglican and Puritan came a Bible that combined scholarly skill, exalted language and an exquisite homeliness.

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Nicola Shulman talks to Anna Pavord

A Rage for Rock Gardening

Hay Festival 2003, 
Shulman discusses her book A Rage for Rock Gardening: The Story of Reginald Farrer, Gardener, Writer and Plant Collector. "Half poet, half botanist', as Vita Sackville West described him, he became one of the very greatset in the last great age of plant-hunters, and wrote books of unforgettable method and style. Through their influence, he did for English gardening what half a century later Elizabeth David would do for cooking, and changed it all for ever

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Nick Clarke, Bernard Ingham, David Cannadine and Simon Hoggart

Eminent Elizabethans

Hay Festival 2003, 
The politics and personalities of the last fufty years with the BBC anchor, Clarke, author of The Shadow of a Nation; Thatcher's former Press Secretary and now author of The Wages of Spin, Ingham; Cannadine, the eminent historian and author of In Churchill's Shadow and Hoggart, who has collected his parliamentary sketches from The Guardian in Playing to the Gallery.

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John Hegley

Hay Festival 2003, 
The poet-comedian and national treasure performs songs, stories, sideshows, potatoes and even a bit of dancing. 'A technical virtuoso, a left-field imaginative genius, Hegley is nothing short of priceless.' (The Scotsman)

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Margaret Atwood talks to David Aaronovitch

Hay Festival 2003, 
The great Canadian novelist and poet discusses her ingenious and savage biotech fantasy Oryx and Crake with David Aaronvitch

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Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall talks to John Mitchinson

The River Cottage Year

Hay Festival 2003, 
The iconoclastic chef and author of The River Cottage Cookbook and The River Cottage Year talks food and country with John Mitchinson, gastronome and Publisher of QI.

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Jon Snow, Billy Childish, Chris Smith, Jude Kelly, Michael Jacobs, Jason Cowley

The Fabian Society Debate

Hay Festival 2003, 
Britain's senior think tank and forum for progressive argument examines the extent to which culture is capable of addressing, challenging and even changing the issues of the day. Can the novel affetc political and social change? Is there such a thing as political art? Is political theatre simply self-indulgent or can it facilitate productive and important debate?

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Richard Holloway talks to Joan Bakewell

On Forgiveness

Hay Festival 2003, 
How forgiveness works and where it came from. How it can enrich our humanity, wether or not we have religious beliefs. The former Bishop of Edinburgh and Gresham Professor of Divinity, Holloway draws on philosophers and writers such as George Steiner, Frederick Nietzsche, Jacques Derrida, Hannah Arendt and Nelson Mandela, throwing light on conflicts around the world today. He discusses his thinking with the broadcaster Joan Bakewell

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Phil Rickman and Barbara Erskine

To the Witching Hour

Hay Festival 2003, 
Discovering that their latest novels explore related themes involving witchcraft and exorcism, Barbara Erskine (hiding from the Light) and Phil Rickman (The Lamp of the Wicked) arrange a late-night tryst. Go on, spook yourselves ...

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Phil Nichol

Things I Like I Lick

Hay Festival 2003, 
I was bedridden in Australia, after rupturing my groin. Unable to move and fearing impotence, I was at an emotional low point. I rang a friend back in London for a pep talk. 'Why don't you just concentrate on something positive; the things you like!?!' I hung up on him. Jerk. But with nowhere to go and nothing to do, I started making a list of all the things I like. Music. My home town. Making girls cry. John Travolta's legs. Suicide. My friend Shannon. The list became the show ...

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Rebecca Swift, Hannha Griffiths

The Literary Consultancy

Hay Festival 2003, 
The late Auberon Waugh wrote 'The best advice to anyone wishing to write a novel is "don't do it"'. The second best is, 'send it to the literary consultancy'. Swift and Griffiths, co-founders of the leading manuscript appraisal service, explore the question of why people write and the tensions between creativity and commerce. They explore what they have found to be common pitfalls for new writers.

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D.J Taylor

George Orwell

Hay Festival 2003, 
The critic and novelist celebrates the centenary of the iconic creator of Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four.

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Sandy Balfour, Araucaria

Pretty Girl in Crimson Rose

Hay Festival 2003, 
The author of the ingenious memoir Pretty Girl in Crimson Rose: A Memoir of Love, Exile and Crosswords discusses his life's work and obsession with The Guardian's cryptic crossword doyen Araucaria. 'A mesh of journeys and destinations, politics and romance, it touches what is beyond words.'

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Captives: Britain, Empire and the World 1600 - 1850

Linda Colley talks to Christopher Hitchens

Hay Festival 2003, 
The historian discusses her stories of the flipside if Imperialisim: the soldiers and settlers seized in India and North America, the men and women captured from Devon and Cornwall by Moroccan slavers, or taken at sea by Barbarycorsairs. She explores the parallels with empire today, and the West's relationship with Islam.

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Gabrielle Walker

Snowball Earth

Hay Festival 2003, 
The science-writer explores the theory that 700 million years ago, the earth was a vast, whited-out iceball. Paul Hoffman, a brilliant and irascible Harvard scientist, claims that a climactic cataclysm 700 million years ago triggered the great Cambrian Explosion, the hitherto unexplained moment in geological time when a profusion of complex life forms first sprang from the primordial soup. Walker tells his story.

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Sian Busby

A Wonderful Little Girl

Hay Festival 2003, 
The true story of Sarah Jacob, the Welsh Fasting Girl who transfixed Victorian England as she lived on nothing but air for two years. Was she, as her father told the many thousands of visitors who flocked to her bedsdie, 'a gift from God'?

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Richard Price, T.C. Boyle

Hay Festival 2003, 
Price's most recent work is Samaritan, set in New Jersey. His fifth novel, Clockers, was made into a film directed by Spike Lee. He has also written numerous screenplays, including Sea of Love, Ransom, and The Colour of Money. Boyle, the author of the great American novel The Tortilla Curtain introduces the denizens of Drop City, a counterculture California commune the welcomes anyone wanting to live off the grid, use drugs and practise free love.

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Ruth Rogers, Rose Gray

River Cafe Easy

Hay Festival 2003, 
A tasting talk and demonstration from the two chefs inspired by Italy, launching their fourth book River Cafe Easy.

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Eric Hobsbawm talks to Christopher Hitchens

Hay Festival 2003, 
The great historian discusses his memoir Interesting Times: A Twentieth Century Life. 'Autobiography does not come much more sumptuous than this. Eric Hobsbawm writes with elegant, witty precision. His memory - not just for people and dates, but looks and sounds and the feel of things - is prodigious.' (The Observer)

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Anthony Julius

Transgressions: The Offences of Art

Hay Festival 2003, 
Since the mid-nineteenth century artists have compulsively rejected received ideas in order to test and subvert morality, law, society and art itself. But what happens when all boundries have been crossed, all taboos broken, all limits violated? Julius looks at the Young Artists and their forebears.

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Don DeLillo talks to James Naughtie

Cosmopolis

Hay Festival 2003, 
A unique opportunity to meet the American novelist, author of Underworld, Libra, White Noise and Mao II and hear him discuss his new novel Cosmopolis in conversation with the Today programme anchor.

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Stephen Poliakoff talks to Sheena McDonald

Hay Festival 2003, 
A conversation with one of Britain's most admired stage and television playwrights, creator of Shout Across The River, Breaking the Scilence, Caught on a Train, Close My Eyes  and most recentley The Lost Prince. He talks to the broadcaster and journalist Sheena McDonald.

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Polly Toynbee

Hard Work: Life in Low-pay Britain

Hay Festival 2003, 
The journalist examines her experience of life on the minimum wage in a counrty with the lowest social spending and the highest poverty in Europe.

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