At the age of 38, a Danish scientist, wife and mother of three, is struck down by an acute bout of bacterial meningitis. She awakes from a coma in intensive care to find herself locked in, unable to show she is conscious except by blinking her eye. It becomes her only form of communication as in the months that follow, Kjærgaard's husband Peter sits beside her helping to interpret every eye movement. She struggles with every basic of life – painfully learning how to breathe, move, eat and speak again. Despite being given a five per cent chance of survival, she works intensively to recover and to achieve every small breakthrough. We are thrilled to welcome her to the Hay stage with Bill Bryson, who has called this “the most spellbinding and harrowing story I believe I have ever heard”.
The economic crisis offers an opportunity for capitalism to re-imagine itself again, to maximise efficiency, entrepreneurship and new sectors for growth. Chaired by Jesse Norman.
The Infinite Monkey Cage stand-up maths star takes an hilarious tour through the world of numbers. Expect everything from debunking number nonsense and flagrant sudoku abuse to the mysterious patterns in the locations of ancient monuments and defunct Woolworths’ stores.
Lucy Saxon is just 20 years old and the author of Take Back the Skies. She signed her contract with Bloomsbury when she was just 16. She’s a cosplayer, Con-goer and fangirl of all things sci-fi and fantasy. Taran Matharu’s The Summoner became a Wattpad sensation with over three million reads in three months, leading to a publishing deal with Hachette. And Helena Coggan saw her debut novel The Catalyst published at the age of only 15. Find out what makes three extraordinary young writers tick, and be inspired to write a novel before you are 20.
The gardening historian and travel writer embarks on extraordinary journeys through Italy, exploring the curious past and present of citrus fruit, uncovering the origins of the Mafia among Sicily’s lemon groves and meeting Orthodox Jewish citron merchants in Calabria.
Angie Sage, author of the internationally bestselling Septimus Heap series takes up the story of TodHunter Moon seven years on and so begins a magykal new adventure in Pathfinder. She is joined by the highly acclaimed Catherine Fisher, a Welsh writer and broadcaster whose latest book The Door in the Moon continues her Chronoptika Quartet, weaving science, myth and time travel. They are two of our best fantasy writers. Join them for a conversation about creating fantastical worlds, mixing good and bad magic and bringing superlative storytelling to lucky readers.
Honouring the bicentenary of the novelist’s death, Worsley tells the story of Austen’s life and shows us how and why she lived as she did, examining the places and spaces that mattered to her. It wasn’t all country houses and ballrooms, but a life that was often a painful struggle.
Did Britain stumble blindly into two world wars? The war historian compares preparations for both conflicts and argues that the lessons learned from the First were crucial to survival in the Second.
There are huge differences in how childhood is experienced in various cultures. One central riddle, in particular, has captured Griffiths’ imagination: Why are so many children in Euro-American cultures unhappy – and why is it that children in many traditional cultures seem happier?
Lyrical, haunting and exquisitely rendered, Samson’s second novel The Kindness explores a deception that comes wrapped as a gift, a betrayal clothed in kindness, and asks if we can ever truly trust another. She’s written an unforgettable story of love, grief, betrayal and reconciliation, masterfully plotted and beautifully told. In Norris’ debut Five Rivers Met on a Wooded Plain, the peace of a quiet evening in Salisbury is shattered by a serious car crash. At that moment, five lives collide – a flower seller, a schoolboy, an army wife, a security guard, a widower – drawn together by connection and coincidence into a web of love, grief, disenchantment and hope that perfectly represents the joys and tragedies of small-town life.
Meeting the captain, the F-18 pilots and the dentists, experiencing everything from a man-overboard alert to the Steel Beach Party, Dyer guides us through the most AIE (acronym intensive environment) imaginable. Underlying Dyer’s efforts to overcome the disadvantages of being the oldest, tallest (actually, second tallest), and most self-conscious person on the boat is an intense fascination with the military world.
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The Spectator and Observer journalist looks back at the General Election, and discusses the future of political alignment and the relationship between politics and the media. Chaired by Sarfraz Manzoor.