What’s been happening in the environmental world during Festival week? We pick through the best and worst, sort the bizarre from the banal and generally sift the global media. The comedian and the journalists discuss. Chaired by Andy Fryers.
The historian traces his adventures in history from Stalin and the Borgias to Catherine The Great and Mrs Thatcher.
Three of the debut novels selected for the 2013 Waterstones Eleven: Maher’s lyrical and funny The Fields tells of an interrupted adolescence in 1984 Dublin. Selasi’s Ghana Must Go is the story of the simple, devastating ways in which families tear themselves apart, and of the incredible lengths to which a family will go to put itself back together. Extence’s The Universe Versus Alex Woods is a funny and heartbreaking tale of an unexpected friendship, an unlikely hero and an improbable journey.
This is the story of how paper, a simple Chinese invention, has wrapped itself around our world, with history’s most momentous ideas etched upon its surface. The author discusses An Unexpected History of the World’s Greatest Invention with Liz Thomson.
Plants changed the face of the planet – and fossils from Hay and around the world have revealed how this happened. Edwards tells the story of these ancient plants, which led to the gardens, forests and landscapes we know today.
Forna’s The Hired Man is a powerful novel about the indelible effects of war and the memories which stir beneath the silence of a quiet Croatian town. Meek’s The Heart Broke In is a rich, ambitious family drama of love, death and money in the era of gene therapy and internet exposés.
The poet celebrates the work of the canonical poets and discusses his literary philosophy: that the greatest verse arises from a harmony of mind and body, and that poetic forms originate in human necessities – breath, heartbeat, footstep, posture.
Climate change is no laughing matter, but when all else fails, perhaps it’s time to take humour a bit more seriously? We really do need something to laugh about.