Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth?, by Alan Weisman, is a fascinating proposal for saving the planet. Well received by both critics and general readers, it is been translated into 13 languages and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize (2013), a prize in the non-fiction category at the Paris Book Festival (2013), the Nautilus Gold Book Award (2014) and the Global Media Award for best book (2014). His previous work, The World Without Us, was an international bestseller, translated into 34 languages and named best non-fiction book of 2007 by a number of publications. This talk makes clear the human race’s devastating influence on our planet.
A literary performance in which the writers, on stage, talk through their own characters. In each session, a dialogue is established between the artist Ignasi Duarte and, in this case, Cristina Rivera Garza. Duarte will pose a number of questions asked by the characters of the other author’s books. The project seeks to dramatize writing, not by representing a text, but in order to obtain a new story based on the literature itself.
The implications of violence in a country’s social context are complex, even affecting those who are far from it. Cases such as gender violence in Peru, which was the trigger for the #NiUnaMenos movement, which organized the largest march for women’s rights in Peru’s history, in August 2016, are exemplary when it comes to understanding the awareness of a society beset by violence. Talking to Francesca Denegri about violence and different kinds of violence, are the Peruvian guests Sheila Alvarado, Verónica Ferrari and Teresina Muñoz-Nájar.
The 30th Hay Festival coincides with the 500th anniversary of the reforms proposed by Martin Luther. In the same spirit, we have asked a number of thinkers to present new reforms on matters that are relevant today. Lee Maracle is one of the most prolific Canadian aboriginal authors and is a recognized authority on indigenous Americans and their literature. An award-winning poet, novelist, storyteller, screenplay writer, actor and preserver of mythology and traditions in Stó:lō, she will talk to Ingrid Bejerman about the place of indigenous knowledge in university education programmes in the Western world.
The 30th Hay Festival coincides with the 500th anniversary of the reforms proposed by Martin Luther. So, we have asked a number of thinkers to present new reforms on matters that are relevant today. Gabrielle Walker, a Doctor of Chemistry from Cambridge University and presenter of the BBC programme Planet Earth Under Threat, proposes a change of approach to the “climate war”, considering a positive perspective for tackling the problem.
The Venezuelan fiction writer, poet and screenplay writer, Alberto Barrera Tyszka, is the author of Patria o muerte, which won the 11th Tusquets Novel Prize and which deals with Hugo Chávez’s battle against cancer, and later death. It is not the only time that he has written about the deceased President of Venezuela; together with Cristina Marcano he published Hugo Chavez: The Definitive Biography of Venezuela’s Controversial President. He has also published books, short stories and poetry, and has written screenplays for a number of soap operas, most recently Nada personal, for TV Azteca. He will share a stage with the Lima journalist and writer, Hugo Coya.
The novels and essays on art and photography of Teju Cole (United States/Nigeria) have been praised by publications such as The New York Times, The Guardian and Time magazine. In his most recent work, Blind Spot, Cole plays with a mixture of photography and text. Natalia Majluf is an art historian and director of the Museo de Arte de Lima. Lucho Lama is a curator and art critic for the El Comercio newspaper. These three experts will talk to Carlo Trivelli about the art of photography in contemporary culture.
In Jerusalem: The Biography, Simon Sebag Montefiore (United Kingdom) tells the story of the city that is holy for three religions. This book was a Sunday Times number one bestseller and also won a Book of the Year Prize from the Jewish Book Council (US). Sebag Montefiore is a Doctor in Philosophy and an expert in Russia and the Middle East, as well as the relations between both regions and the West. In this conversation with the BBC journalist Liliet Heredero, he will talk about aspects of his book and his particular relationship with Jerusalem.
All cultures are a response to the same question: what does it mean to be human and alive? The anthropologist and National Geographic Society resident explorer, Wade Davis, winner of a Samuel Johnson Prize, celebrates the wisdom of indigenous cultures in his latest book, The Wayfinders. From the sailors who settled in the Pacific ten centuries before Christ, to Borneo, where a nomadic way of life survived. In this way, the author encourages appreciation of cultural diversity.
Two preeminent writers from the Americas, whose works have also been well received in Europe, will talk to the founder of Buensalvaje magazine. They are Guadalupe Nettel and Alejandra Costamagna, in conversation with the publisher and author, Dante Trujillo, who has set himself the goal of helping literature to cross borders.
When it comes to the art of writing poetry there are as many truths as there are true poets. This event features the Dutch writer Cees Nooteboom, who says that poetry lies at the centre of all that he does. His body of work, which contains more than fifty books and includes novels and travel writing, has won him several international prizes. He is accompanied by the Peruvian poet Carmen Ollé, who was acclaimed by critics after the publication of her poetry book Noches de adrenalina in 1981. Both writers will talk to Martín Zúñiga (Peru), the author of a number of poetry books and who in 2011 published an anthology of young Arequipa poets entitled Rastros/Rostros.
The cataloguing, study, conservation and exhibition of a country’s artistic and archaeological heritage is a matter of great importance, given that what is at stake is the management of that country’s cultural history. Three experts with different approaches to their work will talk to Natalia Majluf about their experiences. With Jago Cooper, Curator of the Americas at the British Museum (United Kingdom), Deyan Sudjic, Director of London’s Design Museum (United Kingdom), and Antonio Huitrón Santoyo, expert in public archaeology at Mexico’s National Institute of Archaeology and History.
Andrea Marcolongo (Italy), a specialist on classical Greece, was also put in charge of writing speeches for the then Prime Minister of Italy, Matteo Renzi. She is the author of La lingua geniale: 9 ragioni per amare il greco, a beautiful book about classical Greek in which she shares with the reader the importance of this foundational language for Western culture. She will talk to Carlo Trivelli about this book.
An archaeologist who specializes in South America and the Caribbean, and particularly in the historical effects of climate change on insular communities, Jago Cooper is currently the curator of the Americas Department of the British Museum. As well as his work at the museum, he has written and directed a number of programmes for BBC Four in which he disseminates his fieldwork and reveals some of the ancient mysteries of Latin America. He will talk to Gabrielle Walker, a Doctor of Chemistry from Cambridge University and the author of four books about climate change.
The Peruvian María José Caro León, author of Perro de ojos negros, and the Chilean Eduardo Plaza, author of Hienas, are among the 39 Latin American writers aged under 40 chosen by the Hay Festival for the Bogotá39-2017 project. These authors will talk to Clara Elvira Ospina about their works, their literary process and the implications of being chosen for Bogotá39-2017.
In the 1980s, under the influence of Spanish punk, many of the young people of Peru expressed their anger. Some of their reactions involved drugs, music and violent action. Martín Roldán, who wrote Este amor no es para cobardes (2015), writes about a Lima of repression, scarcity and power cuts. He and Edurne Portela, who last year published El eco de los disparos, a book about the end of ETA’s armed struggle and which maintains a commitment to engaging with the past, will talk to the writer Alonso Rabí.
Two writers present their latest works. With the novelist and journalist, Renato Cisneros (Peru), author of the acclaimed La distancia que nos separa, a book that broke sales records in Peru and which has been translated into a number of languages. Cisneros will present his most recent novel, Dejarás la tierra, which also explores his family history. The writer José Ovejero (Spain) will talk about his latest book, La seducción, in which the author employs the idea of vengeance, with the protagonist leaving a monotonous life and being carried away by malice, something that the character considers throughout the book. Ovejero has written a range of novels, non-fiction works, short stories and poetry, including La invención del amor, 2013 Alfaguara Prize. They will talk to Clara Elvira Ospina.
The first book of short stories of Michael Collins speaks about Irish people and how they are and like to be seen as. His first two novels are very “Irish”. But as soon as he unpacked his luggage in Indiana (USA), his literature started mixing both worlds. Geoff Dyer is the author of four novels and several books that question genres, where he has written about subjects that go from yoga to jazz. Both will speak with Peter Florence about the place where their literatura begins.
The 30th Hay Festival coincides with the 500th anniversary of the reforms proposed by Martin Luther. In the same spirit, we have asked a number of thinkers to present new reforms on matters that are relevant today. The great Argentinean writer, Luisa Valenzuela, proposes a change in the value of money, that hollow promise that rules the world. She will talk about its origin, its sacred value and profound emptiness.
Geoff Dyer is one of the most outstanding contemporary British writers. A regular contributor to publications such as Esquire, The Guardian and The New York Times, he is also the author of books such as But Beautiful and Yoga For People Who Can’t Be Bothered to Do It. He will talk to Toby Litchtig about his latest book, White Sands: Experiences from the Outside World, in which he deals with the power of memory, a wonderful homage to art and literature.
Deyan Sudjic is a writer, design and architecture critic as well as the current Director of London’s Design Museum, a leading institution in the field of contemporary design. Furthermore, he is the author, among other works, of the influential monograph The Edifice Complex and The Language of Cities. On this occasion he will talk to the architect Álvaro Pastor.
Few family histories have captured the collective imagination as much as the history of the Romanovs. The family that governed Russia with an iron hand for four centuries disappeared abruptly with the Bolshevik revolution of 1917. The British historian Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of, among others, Jerusalem and Titans of History, talks about The Romanovs: 1613-1918, which tells the story of this unique dynasty in the Russian Revolution’s centenary year. In conversation with Peter Florence.
Science and fiction are two very different ways of understanding life, but sometimes making the distinction can be difficult. Wade Davis (United States), anthropologist, ethnobotanist, author and photographer who works with different indigenous cultures; and Miguel Pita, a Doctor of Genetics and Cellular Biology from UAM (Spain) and also director of a number of short films and documentaries, will talk about the situations and stories in which science seems stranger than fiction. In conversation with Gabrielle Walker.
The Spanish writer Luisgé Martín, the lawyer, politician and writer Alberto de Belaunde (Peru), and Verónica Ferrari (Peru) will talk with José Luis Ramos Salinas about a matter that divides many Latin American societies. The fiction of Martín, who also writes articles for various newspapers, in part deals with the complexity of sexuality from an intimate viewpoint. In 2016 de Belaunde presented a law to congress for the creation of civil union between people of the same sex and this year has published the book of interviews Más allá del arcoiris, Autoridades LGTBI en Hispanoamérica. Ferrari is considered an important figure in the LGBTQ struggles as in the peruvian feminist movement. In 2016 she actively joined the march Ni una menos in Lima. She is currently in charge of the Itinerant Feminist School, a pedagogical proposal that seeks to spread feminism throughout Peru, especially among young and adolescent girls.
Reading and literature are gaining ground in the social media. There are now literary critics on the Internet, and they work very differently from those who work in more traditional formats, using a fresher and less specialised language. They have their detractors and supporters. Two of Peru’s most followed booktubers will talk to the writer Iván Thays about this fascinating phenomenon.