A conversation about the extraordinary biography that won the 2018 Costa Award. Little Lien wasn’t taken from her Jewish parents – she was given away in the hope that she might be saved. Hidden and raised by a foster family in Amsterdam during the Nazi occupation, she survived the war only to find that her real parents had not. Much later, she fell out with her foster family, and Bart van Es, the grandson of Lien’s foster parents, knew he needed to find out why. His account of tracing Lien and telling her story is a searing exploration of two lives and two families. It is a story about love and misunderstanding and about the ways that our most painful experiences, so crucial in defining us, can also be redefined. Philippe Sands’ East West Street won the 2017 Baillie Gifford Prize for non-fiction.
Does the writer have a commitment that must be put into action? If so, what are the spaces she or he can and should occupy? Three of Latin America’s most outstanding writers will talk to the journalist Marta Orrantia about the relation between writing and activism from their personal experiences. Mauro Javier Cárdenas (Ecuador), Juan Esteban Constaín (Colombia) and Emiliano Monge (Mexico).
With the support of the Mexican Embassy
The Oscar-winning director Steve Box (The Curse of the Were-Rabbit) and Tove Jansson’s niece Sophia introduce the new TV adaptation of the Swedish/Finnish writer-illustrator’s classic and much-loved stories about the Moomins. Directed at a family primetime audience, the drama fantasy series is full of life and laughter for lifelong Moomin fans and complete newcomers alike. The new animation series will be made using state-of-the-art 3D CGI to introduce Moomin to a new generation – and to screens in a way never seen before. Chaired by Francine Stock.
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.
This exploration of the evolution of policy and practice related to upland farming, the role science has played and related impacts on treasured landscapes will be accompanied by poetry and prose inspired by these places and activities. Fraser is Reader at the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences, Aberystwyth University. Elizabeth Jardine-Godwin is a writer and teacher who was Pwllpeiran Writer in Residence in 2013.
St Clair is the author of The Golden Thread: How Fabric Changed History. All textiles begin with a twist. From colourful 30,000-year-old threads found on the floor of a Georgian cave to what the linen wrappings of Tutankhamun’s mummy actually meant; from the Silk Roads to the woollen sails that helped the Vikings reach America 700 years before Columbus; from the lace ruffs that infuriated the Puritans to the Indian calicoes and chintzes that powered the Industrial Revolution, our continuing reinvention of cloth tells fascinating stories of human ingenuity. Clare Hunter’s Threads of Life: A History of the World Through the Eye of a Needle stretches from medieval France to contemporary Mexico, from a POW camp in Singapore to a family attic in Scotland. It is a chronicle of identity, protest, memory, power and politics told through the stories of the men and women, over centuries and across continents, who have used the language of sewing to make their voices heard, even in the most desperate of circumstances.
The award-winning author of The Eichmann Trial and Denial: Holocaust History on Trial gives us a penetrating and provocative analysis of the hate that will not die, focusing on its current, virulent incarnations on both the political right and left, in America, across Europe and in Britain. She addresses what can be done about it.