Ahmed’s childhood was very British in every way – except for the fact that he was brown. Half English, half Sudanese, he was raised in 1970s London at a time when being mixed-race meant being told to go home, even when you were born just down the road. The memoir by the Editorial Director of BBC News makes the case for a new conversation about race in Britain through personal stories, political analysis and a passionate belief in the ultimate good of this country. He talks to Thea Lenarduzzi of the TLS.
In Eager, environmental journalist Ben Goldfarb reveals that our modern idea of what a healthy landscape looks like and how it functions is wrong, distorted by the fur trade that once trapped out millions of beavers. The consequences of losing beavers were profound: streams eroded, wetlands dried up, and species from salmon to swans lost vital habitat. Today, a growing coalition of ‘Beaver Believers’ – including scientists, ranchers and passionate citizens – recognises that ecosystems with beavers are far healthier, for humans and non-humans alike, than those without them. From the Nevada deserts to the Scottish Highlands, Believers are now hard at work restoring these industrious rodents to their former haunts. Ben Goldfarb is an environmental journalist and Eager has won the 2019 Pen/EO Wilson Prize for Literary Science Writing.
The illustrator reveals all the things that went wrong in the making of his picture-book. In this case, the author had a great idea for a story about a crocodile, but, even when he was writing it, the manuscript got soaked with tea and nibbled by snails. And that was just the start...
The horrors of two world wars and the Holocaust spurred the creation of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, decolonisation and the creation of what is now the EU. The era established principles and institutions of tolerance, equality, humanity and democracy that have guided successive generations since. Today those values are threatened by a rising tide of hostility, racism, nationalism and religious intolerance. How can we stem this tide and, through education, take action to promote inclusion, understanding and community cohesion? Barbara Winton, daughter and biographer of Sir Nicholas Winton, Auschwitz survivor Mindu Hornick and Jabba Riaz, the Mayor of Worcester, talk to University of Worcester Vice Chancellor David Green.
There are more than 14 million indigenous people in Mexico. However, these communities, scattered throughout the nation, and carriers of their own history and customs, have very little presence in the democratic system. The National Indigenous Council, the association that represents these communities, is working to increase the participation of indigenous citizens. María de Jesús Patricio, from the NIC, and journalist Hermann Bellinghausen will talk to the writer Emiliano Monge about these communities in Mexico and their importance as actors in strengthening civil society.
Welsh speakers with a lust for global communication, Super Furry Animals shot to fame on Creation Records. Wasting no time, they bought an army tank, equipped it with a techno sound-system, caused national security alerts with 60-foot inflatable monsters and went into the Colombian jungle with armed guerrilla fighters. Written by renowned music journalist Ric Rawlins, with the band’s participation, this is the remarkable story of their ascent to celebrity status.
The UK’s first black Cabinet minister discusses how books have influenced him. From reading donated books in sub-Saharan Africa’s first children’s library to working for the development of Africa at government level, Lord Boateng will share his unique perspective on how books can shape people, communities and countries’ futures. Chaired by bibliophile and actor, star of Bridget Jones, Drop the Dead Donkey and Between the Lines Neil Pearson.
Book Aid International is the UK’s leading international book donation and library development charity. Our vision is a world where everyone has access to the books that will enrich, improve and change their lives.
Europe has for two millennia been a remarkably successful continent. Jenkins tells the story of its evolution from a battlefield of warring tribes to peace, wealth and freedom – a story that twists and turns from Greece and Rome, through the Middle Ages, Reformation and French Revolution, to the two World Wars and the present day. He celebrates Europe’s makers – from Julius Caesar and Joan of Arc to Wellington and Angela Merkel, as well as cultural figures from Aristotle to Shakespeare and Picasso.
Moneyland is the secret country of the lawless, stateless, super rich. Over the past fifty years it has become the third largest economy in the world, and is annexing more every day. Investigative journalist Oliver Bullough explains how the City of London created this phenomenon, what damage it’s doing to the world and what Britain must do to stop being the problem.
There used to be an empty chair at the back of my class…’ – so begins Onjali Q Raúf’s Blue Peter Book Award-winning debut novel The Boy at the Back of the Class. Onjali portrays the refugee crisis through the eyes of a child in a way that is accessible, warm and funny. Told with heart, humour and hope, this is a story about friendship and how naturally children celebrate, rather than fear, all our differences. The Boy at the Black of the Class is winner of the 2019 Waterstones Children’s Book Prize.
The star of BBC Radio 4’s Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics brings her unique combination of stand-up and ancient history to the Winter Weekend. History has never been such fun! Haynes’ books include The Children of Jocasta and The Ancient Guide to Modern Life.
The former Children’s Laureate, highly-acclaimed illustrator, political cartoonist and bestselling children’s author of many brilliant books including the award-winning Goth Girl and Ottoline series will talk about his love of drawing. Chris will also lead a Q&A session where he will draw his answers live in front of the audience.