This will be Chris Riddell’s final public event as UK Children’s Laureate. On his appointment, he promised to show everyone how much fun they could have with a pencil, and today he will demonstrate this by live-drawing his answers to questions. Chris will pick his favourite questions to illustrate and give an insight into his world and the journey he has been on over the last two years as Laureate. The lucky questioners he picks can take their doodle-answers home as a unique piece of art from one of our greatest illustrators.
The final novel from Carnegie Medal-winning author Mal Peet is a sweeping coming-of-age adventure of a mixed-race boy transported to North America in the 1900s. Mal sadly passed away in 2015, leaving Meg Rosoff to complete the story. In conversation with Daniel Hahn she discusses the process of working with Mal’s idea, writing it in her own way, and about the reception to the book.
Brave explorer George has packed 25 muffins for his night-time adventure in the museum to catch the fabled thief. Can he and his faithful puppy Trixie track down the criminal without getting squashed by the great big mammoth? With storytelling and funny songs, the authors bring the entertaining adventure to life.
Baroness Warsi’s book The Enemy Within identifies British Muslims as the latest in a long line of ‘others’ to be feared and demonised. The UK’s first Muslim cabinet minister explores questions of cultural difference, terrorism, surveillance, social justice, religious freedom, integration and the meaning of ‘British values’ with Helena Kennedy. She proffers necessary and inconvenient truths and proposes new ways forward for British Muslims, politicians and society.
The new novel about modern family lives by the author of Everything Is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. “Jacob and Julia Bloch are about to be tested: By Jacob’s grandfather, who won’t go quietly into a retirement home. By the family reunion, that everyone is dreading. By their son’s heroic attempts to get expelled. And by the sexting affair that will rock their marriage…"
Keggie Carew grew up under the spell of an unorthodox, enigmatic father. An undercover guerrilla agent during the Second World War, in peacetime he lived on his wits and dazzling charm. But these were not always enough to sustain a family. As his memory began to fail, Keggie embarked on a quest to unravel his story once and for all. Dadland won the Costa biography award. It is funny and tender and utterly captivating.
Told over the course of one school day in 1970s Washington DC, New Boy is Tracy Chevalier’s take on Othello. It is a powerful modern drama about fitting in, standing out and knowing which friends to trust, from one of our most successful novelists. Tracy will be in conversation with Claire Armitstead.
A medieval centre of learning, Hay’s twin-town was home to tens of thousands of ancient manuscripts on subjects ranging from religion to poetry, law to history, pharmacology to astronomy. When al-Qaeda–linked jihadists surged across Mali in 2012, a remarkable thing happened: a team of librarians and archivists joined forces to spirit the manuscripts into hiding. This is their story. Chaired by Francine Stock.
Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz is a Professor of Mammalian Development and Stem Cell Biology. Her passion lies in understanding how cells decide their fate for the very first time and how embryos build their architecture. This passion allowed her and her team to reveal the remarkable self-organising properties of human embryos, pioneering the way for future studies of human and mouse embryogenesis. She created a technique that almost doubles the time scientists can culture human embryos in the lab so they can study the beginnings of human life. It raises ethical issues about research on embryos and when an embryo becomes a human. Chaired by Dan Davis.
Bragg’s novel is a hymn both to the landscape of Cumbria and to a disappearing farming world. Poetic, beautiful and tragic, it gives an account of the struggle to preserve traditions and beliefs in the face of change. It is a quietly bold indictment of the treatment of generations of British men, and an assertion of the power to be found in the rituals we pass down through our families. She talks to the poet, academic and former Archbishop of Canterbury.
Leaving her garden to the mercy of the slugs, award-winning writer Alys Fowler set out in an inflatable kayak to explore Birmingham’s canal network, full of little-used waterways where huge pike skulk and kingfishers dart. Her memoir is about noticing the wild everywhere and what it means to see beauty where you least expect it. What happens when someone who has learned to observe her external world in such detail decides to examine her internal world with the same care? Chaired by Lucy Cotter.
Join the acclaimed actress and anthologist for a sizzling reading of some of the joyous, magical and humorous poems from her anthology. In a dazzling display of poetry, the show journeys through a calendar year, with poems celebrating events such as Martin Luther King Day and the first day of Spring before ending with Michael Rosen’s The Car Trip.
Sir Tony Robinson and Beatie Edney of Poldark will be performing alongside Allie Esiri.
Chris Riddell will be live drawing the event. Tony Robinson and Beatie Edney will be performing poems.
How will health improvements and a declining birth rate, economic uncertainty and political turbulence affect an ageing population in Britain and around the world? There are new challenges here for states and for individuals. How might we re-imagine lives that run four score years and ten, and longer? Harper is Professor of Gerontology at Oxford University and Director of the Oxford Institute of Ageing. She is the author of How Population Change will Transform Our World. On 1 May she will be become the Director of The Royal Institution. Chaired by Guto Harri.
Economics is broken. It has failed to predict or prevent financial crises that have shaken the foundations of our societies and perpetuated austerity and poverty. The Oxford academic identifies the seven critical ways in which mainstream economics has led us astray, and sets out a roadmap for bringing humanity into a sweet spot that meets the needs of all within the means of the planet. En route, she deconstructs the character of ‘rational economic man’ and explains what really makes us tick. Raworth has worked as Senior Researcher at Oxfam, and was co-author of the UN’s Human Development Report.
The classicist celebrates the spectacular anniversary of the birth of the ‘father of history’. Herodotus was a great, infinitely curious investigator and a digressive storyteller, whose Histories are the source of so much of what we know of the ancient world. Cartledge is AG Leventis Professor Emeritus of Greek Culture at Cambridge. His many books include The Greeks; Thermopylae: The Battle That Changed The World; After Thermopylae: The Oath of Plataea and the End of the Graeco-Persian Wars; The Spartans.
Three stylistically diverse graduates of the partnership exchange between Hay, Literaturfestival Berlin and Festivaletteratura Mantova, now in its fifteenth year, meet again to discuss translation and Europe with Daniel Hahn. Niermann’s Solution 257 – Complete Love is an erotic treasure in which political activists argue for justice through intimacy. Lewis’s short story collection Y Gwreiddyn explores nature and loss. Longo’s Bramard’s Case is a revenge thriller.
Ticket to include Italian coffee, German biscuits and Welsh cakes.
Join a thrilling journey through time and imagination as Reeve talks about the inspiration for Black Light Express, a sequel to Railhead which continues the adventures of interplanetary thief Zen and the android Nova, in a future where intelligent trains can carry you between far-flung planets in the blink of an eye.
Calling all children and adults: Do you have a loud voice? Are you a giggler? Do you have an eardrum-shredding scream? If so, Lissa Evans, Carnegie-shortlisted author of Small Change for Stuart, Big Change for Stuart and Wed Wabbit, would like to recruit you for her Wimbley Woo Workshop. Along the way, you can also learn what Lissa’s real name is, and what it’s got to do with the plot of Small Change for Stuart, what she learned in Year 5 at Primary School (clue: nothing) and how to talk like a Yellow Wimbley.
A celebration of the enduring tales and myths of Northern and Mediterranean Europe that ask, brutally and beautifully – what it means to be human. Gaiman’s newly published Norse Mythology reaches back to the source stories that have inspired Tolkien, the Marvel comics and many others. His gods are irascible, visceral, playful, and passionate. The tales carry us from the beginning of everything, to Odin, Thor, Loki and Freya through to Ragnarok and the twilight of the gods. Fry is reimagining versions of the Greek myths with their contrary Olympian gods, tragic human heroes and ruinous family curses.