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Patrick Jones, Mari Strachan and Catrin Dafydd

Hay Festival 2009, 
The poet reads and discusses his new collection Darkness is Where the Stars Are. Strachan discusses her novel The Earth Hums in B Flat. Dafydd performs from her comic novel Random Deaths and Custard. Chaired by Jon Gower.

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William Hall

Brick

Hay Festival 2015, 
Acclaimed graphic designer William Hall presents his new book Brick – a fresh, insightful and surprising look at one of the world’s most familiar and popular building materials.

From the strange remains of the Ziggurat of Ur dating from 2100 BC, to the formidable mills of the industrial revolution, the humble brick has been an architectural staple for centuries.

The world’s best architects have explored the qualities of brickwork. Alvar Aalto, Antoni Gaudí, Jørn Utzon, Frank Gehry, and Mies van der Rohe all built with the material, and bricks were integral to Frank Lloyd Wright’s vision for an American vernacular in his Prairie Houses.

Lesser-known newcomers have created some equally striking and memorable structures, from the stunning Winery Gantenbein – built by robotic arm – to the audacious Kantana Institute, an unprecedented vision in a Thai rainforest.
William Hall

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Andrew Keen and Robert Phillips talk to Sarah Churchwell

What’s the Question?

Hay Festival 2015, 

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.

Andrew Keen and Robert Phillips talk to Sarah Churchwell

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Lisa Jardine

The 2009 Raymond Williams Lecture: Culture & Society

Hay Festival 2009, 
Williams’ Culture and Society became a cult book for liberal practitioners and critics in the humanities throughout the 1960s and 70s. The Professor of Renaissance Studies looks at his dreams and ambitions for mass culture, and the vital role of literature in the democratic process, and asks whether there is something important to be learned from his cultural analysis today.

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Breakfast at Hay with Nu Fiction

Presented by Tomos Owen

Hay Festival 2009, 
An early morning start for fifteen young writers hoping to become the next big thing in literature. Tomos Owen introduces first published work from James Smythe, Tyler Keevil, Bethan Michael, Robert Vaughan Hughes, Rebecca F John, Susie Wild, Becky Hunt, LP Mackenzie, Alys Conran, Cate Matthews, Alan Kellermann, ST Owen, Michael Oliver and Nick Mellors.

Entry to this event is free, but you must book a ticket.

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Adam Nicolson and Sarah Raven

Smell of Summer Grass: Pursuing Happiness – Perch Hill 1944–2011

Hay Festival 2011, 
The story of the years spent in finding and building a personal Arcadia, sometimes a dream, sometimes a nightmare, by the writer and his wife, cook and gardener Sarah Raven. Chaired by Rosie Boycott.

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Lori Anne Ferrell

The Bible and the People

Hay Festival 2009, 
From manuscripts to Gutenbergs and Gideons we trace how the Bible has been endlessly retailored to meet the changing needs of religion, politics and the reading public while retaining its special status as a sacred text.

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Jonathan Meades & Charles Fernyhough

MEMORY & PLACE

Hay Festival 2012, 
Idiosyncratic filmmaker, novelist and architecture critic Jonathan Meades in discussion with fellow novelist and child psychologist Charles Fenryhough. Meades is publishing Museum Without Walls, the product of thirty years writing and thinking about places: their ingredients, how and why they were made, their capacity to illumine the societies that inhabit them and the ideas they foment. Charles Fernyhough's new book, Pieces of Light, examines the neuroscientific basis of memory and how it makes us the people we are. Expect an intellectually no-holds-barred exploration of how we invent the outside world and it invents us. Chaired by John Mitchinson

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César Antonio Molina, Javier Gomá and Gabriel Albiac in conversation with Bieito Rubido

Spain Should Place More Value on its Culture

Segovia 2014, 

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.

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Julian Clary talks to Fiona Lindsay

Devil in Disguise

Hay Festival 2009, 
The new comedy thriller from the peerless entertainer. ‘They say keep your friends close and your enemies closer…’

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Jacqueline Wilson

Lily Alone

Hay Festival 2011, 
An enchanting visit from the most borrowed author in Britain’s libraries. 
 
Limited signing.
 
9+ years Knapsacks & Ginger Beer 

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Matt Haig and Alyssa Brugman

Closed Doors, Open Minds

Hay Festival 2014, 

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)

Matt Haig and Alyssa Brugman

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Bettany Hughes and Hannah Critchlow

The Raymond Williams Dialogue: The Ideas That Make Us

Hay Festival 2015, 

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.

Bettany Hughes and Hannah Critchlow

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Rose Tremain

The Gustav Sonata

Hay Festival 2016, 

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.

Rose Tremain

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Michael Deeley talks to Matthew Field

Blade Runners, Deer Hunters and Blowing the Bloody Doors Off

Hay Festival 2009, 
The A-list producer of The Italian Job, Blade Runner and The Deer Hunter tells his tales from a life in film.

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Kate Raworth

Doughnut Economics

Hay Festival 2017, 

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.

Kate Raworth

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David Bellos

Is that a fish in your ear?

Hay Festival 2012, 
From foreign films to the UN Security Council, the pre-eminent multi-linguist interprets Translation and the Meaning of Everything. Chaired by Daniel Hahn of the British Centre for Literary Translation.

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Andre Geim talks to Roger Highfield

The Royal Society Platform: Random Walk to Graphene

Hay Festival 2015, 

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.

Andre Geim talks to Roger Highfield

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Kathleen Turner talks to Peter Florence

Hay Festival 2008, 
The actress (Body Heat, War of the Roses, Romancing the Stone) talks about her life, loves and movies, wittily recounted in her memoir Send Yourself Roses.

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Ian Rankin talks to SJ Parris

30 Years of Rebus

Hay Festival 2017, 

The big tent morphs into the Oxford Bar for the afternoon, as we pull up a stool and celebrate the enduring brilliance of Rankin’s great Edinburgh detective creation.

Ian Rankin talks to SJ Parris

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Raymond Tallis

Hunger

Hay Festival 2009, 
To be human is to be hungry. Prof Tallis will take a biological, sociological, metaphysical, spiritual and political tour around the astonishing and disturbing metamorphoses of human hunger. Be prepared to have your soul X-rayed.

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Ned Beauman and Gong Ji-Young

Fictions – Others

Hay Festival 2014, 

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.

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Marina Warner talks to László Krasznahorkai

The Winner of the 2015 Man Booker International Prize

Hay Festival 2015, 

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.’

Marina Warner talks to László Krasznahorkai

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Michael Dobson

Shakespeare 2: Tragedy

Hay Festival 2012, 
Why do theatregoers enjoy watching people die? And why do modern audiences still prefer their destined corpses to speak in Elizabethan English? The Director of The Shakespeare Institute considers the persistence of Shakespearean tragedy, focusing on Richard II, Othello and King Lear. Chaired by Clemency Burton-Hill.
 

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Jocelyn Bell Burnell

The Royal Society Lecture: Astronomy and Poetry

Hay Festival 2012, 
There is a surprising amount of poetry with an astronomical theme. The celebrated astrophysicist, discoverer of radio pulsars asks: What areas have grabbed poets and how have they handled the topics?