Clara Usón’s latest novel, El asesino tímido, is set during the transition in Spain and is based on the real case of the controversial death of Sandra Mozarovski, an actress who helped to break down the barrier of nudity in the post-Franco era and who apparently committed suicide. The daughter of a Russian diplomat, she moved in the highest social circles and her case was never resolved and greatly moved Spanish society of the seventies. Usón, one of the most prestigious literary voices of the moment, talks with Concha Barrigós, Head of Culture at EFE. They participate in the framework of the Wom@rts project in which the Hay Festival takes part.
The author launches his new book, Fugitive, with a high-energy, immersive experience and live performance. Teen bodyguards Charley and Connor protect the world’s high-profile figures in the most testing of situations. But when the bodyguard is the target, who protects him or her? Learn bodyguard skills from the author (trained in karate, kickboxing and samurai swordsmanship) before putting these skills to the test. Will you spot the killer in the crowd?
The illustrator is a graduate of the Royal College of Art and the winner of the V&A Book Illustration Award. Her work has appeared iVogue, the Guardian and the New York Times. Her books include The Promise by Nicola Davies and The Iron Man by Ted Hughes, which was awarded an honourable mention in the Bologna Ragazzi Award fiction category.
The two friends celebrate the 20th anniversary of publication of their global bestselling novels Girl With a Pearl Earring and Tulip Fever. They discuss the resonance of the Dutch Golden Age, the gift of Amsterdam and the power of story with Georgina Godwin.
The emergence of low fertility rates in most high income countries has begun to concern governments. Some countries fear that their populations will start to decline in number, with negative consequences. Yet with world population currently over 7 billion and set to reach over 12 billion by the end of the century, low child bearing rates are good. They are leading to lower population growth and are thus good for the environment, good for addressing the climate emergency, and good for reducing pressure on the other species who inhabit the planet. This session will consider why there is now renewed pressure on women to have babies, and will argue the case for maintaining low fertility.
Harper is Professor of Gerontology at Oxford University and Director of the Oxford Institute of Ageing.
Barker’s astonishing post-post-apocalyptic novel has just won the Goldsmith’s Prize. “Imagine a perfect world where everything is known, where everything is open, where there can be no doubt, no hatred, no poverty, no greed. Imagine a System which both nurtures and protects. A Community which nourishes and sustains. An infinite world. A world without sickness, without death. A world without God. A world without fear. Could you...might you be happy there?”
The award-winning violinist presents BBC Radio 3's Breakfast, The Proms, and Young Musician of the Year. She introduces a beautiful engagement with classical music for every day of the year, whoever you are and wherever you’re from. In this session she celebrates the great sounds of spring and summer and mixes a Hay seasonal playlist.
An exploration of the concept of neurodiversity and what it means to society and the public sphere to be genuinely accepting and inclusive of all people. Rhi Lloyd-Williams is Director of the Autact Theatre Company, fresh from a successful tour of her play The Duck, which draws on her own experience as an autistic writer and director. Jon Adams is Director of the Flow Observatorium, a charity campaigning for parity within the arts and society for every neurodivergent person. Guy Shahar is CEO of the Transforming Autism Project, a charity committed to empowering the families and carers of children with autism to optimise their life prospects and unlock their true potential. Matthew Briggs helps to run training and development programmes for the Ruskin Mill Trust. The panel will be chaired by Grainne O’Reilly, Principal of Ruskin Mill College. Grainne and her team provide day and residential places for young people with complex needs, especially autism and ADHD.
D-Day and the 76 days of bitter fighting in Normandy that followed have come to be seen as a defining episode in the Second World War. Its story has been endlessly retold, and yet it remains a narrative burdened by both myth and assumed knowledge. Drawing on unseen archives and testimonies from around the world, the war historian challenges much of what we think we know. He reveals how the sheer size and scale of the Allies’ war machine ultimately dominated the strategic, operational and tactical limitations of the German forces.
A brief tour of lightning research, from generating powerful lightning bolts in Europe’s only university-based lightning laboratory, to the role of new materials in protecting commercial aircraft in flight from direct strikes, and to whether increased lightning due to global warming affects tree mortality in the tropics. Mitchard will bring us lots of exciting images and videos, from exploding piggy banks to the Nigerian rainforest, live Tesla coil demonstrations with music and the appearance of a tree struck nine times that survived.
Although the post-war period brought peace and prosperity, Europe was now a divided continent, living under the nuclear threat. Europeans experienced a roller-coaster ride, both in the sense that they were flung through a series of events which threatened disaster, but also that they were no longer in charge of their own destinies: for much of the period the USA and USSR effectively reduced Europeans to helpless figures whose fates were dictated to them depending on the vagaries of the Cold War. There were striking successes: the Soviet bloc melted away, dictatorships vanished and Germany was successfully reunited. But accelerating globalisation brought new fragilities. The impact of interlocking crises after 2008 was the clearest warning to Europeans that there is no guarantee of peace and stability.
Award-winning Meath-based playwright Deirdre Kinahan talks about her work, with a reading of her tender and funny hit play Halcyon Days (Irish Times Best New Play, Edinburgh Fringe First) with celebrated Abbey actors Maura Hastings and Des Cave, directed by David Horan.