Keen’s incisive critique The Internet is Not the Answer traces the development of the net through the waves of start-ups and the rise of the big data companies to the increasing attempts to monetize almost every human activity. He shows how the Web has had a deeply negative effect on our culture, economy and society. Phillips’ Trust Me, PR is Dead asks whether we can ever really trust companies and their stories in an age when technology not only allows transparency, but demands it. Keen is executive director of the Silicon Valley salon FutureCast and the author of Digital Vertigo and The Cult of the Amateur. Phillips was CEO of Edelman, the world’s largest PR company, before leaving to set up Jericho Chambers.
Spanish society’s recent massive political and economic challenges represent one of the all-time lows of Spanish culture. Glaring problems in the field of education coupled with infrequent public debates, especially on television, demonstrate the need for ‘high culture’ to be promoted more than ever. Spain’s present and Spain’s future depend to a large degree on acknowledging Spain’s past and realising what Spanish culture has to offer the rest of the world. Other problems cannot be overcome without actively promoting Spain’s great culture. Writer and politician César Antonio Molina and philosophers Javier Gomá and Gabriel Albiac talk to the Director of ABC, Bieito Rubido.
Echo Boy is the first novel for young adults from acclaimed author Matt Haig and is a poignant and beautifully-written story about love, loss and what makes us truly human, set in a future world where humans are served by ‘echoes’ – sophisticated, emotionless machines. He is joined by Alyssa Brugman whose groundbreaking novel Alex As Well is a confronting and heartfelt story of adolescent experience – of questioning identity, discovering sexuality, navigating friendships and finding a place to belong.
12+ years (YA)
A classicist and a neuroscientist explore the Ancient Greek words Liberty, Comedy, Charisma, Xenia, Wisdom and Peace and travel both forwards and backwards in time, investigating how these ideas have been moulded by history and have made an impact on history and the human experience. Hughes is the author of Helen of Troy – Goddess, Whore and The Hemlock Cup. Critchlow is named as a British Council's Top 100 UK Scientist for her work in communication.
Fierce, astringent, profoundly tender - and spanning the twentieth century, this beautifully orchestrated novel explores the big themes of betrayal and the struggle for happiness, and above all, the passionate love of a childhood friendship as it is tested over a lifetime. Tremain’s award-winning fiction includes Music and Silence, The Road Home, Sacred Country, Restoration and The Colour. She talks to Peter Florence.
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.
In 2010 Sir Andre Geim FRS was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for his groundbreaking work on the material graphene. More unusually, he’s also known for inventing an adhesive tape based on geckos and for levitating live frogs. Geim talks about his prize-winning work and how his atypical approach to science and life led him to it.
In Glow Beauman conjures a contemporary conspiracy with global repercussions that converges on one small flat above a dentist’s office in Camberwell. Gong Ji-Young’s Our Happy Time is a redemptive love story from Korea’s rising star novelist – Yujeong is a beautiful, bright and wealthy suicide attempter, Yunsu a convicted murderer on death row. The authors talk to Ted Hodgkinson.
The chair of judges interviews the winner of the £60,000 2015 Prize, who was announced on 19 May in London.
Born in 1954, László Krasznahorkai gained considerable recognition in 1985 when he published Satantango, which he later adapted for the cinema in collaboration with the filmmaker Bela Tarr. In 1993, he received the German Bestenliste Prize for the best literary work of the year for The Melancholy of Resistance and has since been honoured with numerous literary prizes, amongst them the highest award of the Hungarian state, the Kossuth Prize.
Krasznahorkai and his translator George Szirtes were longlisted for the 2013 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize for Satantango and Krasznahorkai has won the Best Translated Book Award in the US two years in a row, in 2013 for Satantango and in 2014 for Seiobo There Below. Seiobo There Below was published in the UK on 7 May by Tuskar Rock Press.
The judging panel for the 2015 Man Booker International Prize was chaired by celebrated writer and academic Marina Warner. The panel also comprised Wen-chin Ouyang, Professor of Arabic and Comparative Literature at SOAS, University of London; acclaimed author Nadeem Aslam; novelist and critic Elleke Boehmer, who is currently Professor of World Literature in English at Oxford University; and Edwin Frank, editorial director of the New York Review Books Classics.
The judges said of Krasznahorkai’s work: ‘In László Krasznahorkai’s The Melancholy of Resistance, a sinister circus has put a massive taxidermic specimen, a whole whale, Leviathan itself, on display in a country town. Violence soon erupts, and the book as a whole could be described as a vision, satirical and prophetic, of the dark historical province that goes by the name of Western Civilisation. Here, however, as throughout Krasznahorkai’s work, what strikes the reader above all are the extraordinary sentences, sentences of incredible length that go to incredible lengths, their tone switching from solemn to madcap to quizzical to desolate as they go their wayward way; epic sentences that, like a lint roll, pick up all sorts of odd and unexpected things as they accumulate inexorably into paragraphs that are as monumental as they are scabrous and musical.’
Announcing the winner, Marina Warner commented: ‘Laszlo Krasznahorkai is a visionary writer of extraordinary intensity and vocal range who captures the texture of present day existence in scenes that are terrifying, strange, appallingly comic, and often shatteringly beautiful. The Melancholy of Resistance, Satantango and Seiobo There Below are magnificent works of deep imagination and complex passions, in which the human comedy verges painfully onto transcendence. Krasznahorkai, who writes in Hungarian, has been superbly served by his translators, George Szirtes and Ottilie Mulzet.’