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Karen Armstrong

The Bible: The Biography

Hay Festival 2008, 
Karen Armstrong traces the gestation of the Bible to reveal a complex and contradictory document created by scores of people over hundreds of years, serving many constituencies and contexts.

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Perihan Magden and Alejandro Zambra talk to Daniel Hahn

Fictions – Damage

Hay Festival 2013, 

Zambra’s Ways Of Going Home is the tragic story of the collateral damage caused by the Pinochet regime, and the burden borne by the new generation as they come to terms with their fragile history. Magden’s Ali And Ramazan pitches its two friends out of the safety of their orphanage onto the streets of Istanbul with tragic consequences.

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Tom Asbridge

The Crusades - The Siege of Acre 1189-1191

Hay Festival 2012, 
The historian tells the story of the key turning-point of the Third Crusade, and the first clash of Saladin and Richard the Lionheart.

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Marcus Brigstocke, Saci Lloyd, Ed Gillespie and Juliet Davenport

I’m An Expert, Get Me Out of Here

Hay Festival 2017, 

Join enthusiastic host Ed Gillespie and two teams of the great and the good for this riotous and irreverent game show. Expect a heady mix of topicality, tomfoolery and randomness. No (live) insects will be hurt during the proceedings. We can’t guarantee the same for our heroic participants’ feelings, pride or reputation.

Marcus Brigstocke, Saci Lloyd, Ed Gillespie and Juliet Davenport

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Juan Cruz in conversation with Manuel Vicent

Segovia 2010, 
As well as being a well-known journalist, Manuel Vicent is a great writer. His numerous published works have earned him several awards, amongst which the following stand out: the ‘Premio Alfaguara de Novela’ (‘Alfaguara Award for Best Novel’) in 1966 for Pascua y naranja and the ‘Premio Nadal’ award in 1987 with La balada de Caín (he had also been short-listed in this competition in 1979 for El anarquista coronado de adelfas). Vicent will discuss the craft of writing with the writer and journalist Juan Cruz, also an award-winner and author of Egos revueltos, which received the ‘Premio Comillas’ award in 2009.

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Tamsyn Murray

Stunt Bunny

Hay Festival 2011, 
Ladies and Gentlemen, we’re delighted to introduce Harriet Houdini aka Stunt Bunny to Hay! Well, perhaps not in rabbit, but her wonderful creator will talk tricks and flips, with opera-singing poodles and giggling guinea pigs along the way.
 
5–7 years Rib Ticklers 

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Malorie Blackman

Children’s Laureate Talk

Hay Festival 2015, 
Join Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman in her final Laureate event as she discusses her award-winning books, including the bestselling Noughts and Crosses series and her most recent collection, Love Hurts. Malorie will talk about her Laureate highlights and about the legacy she hopes to leave behind. A must-see for all fans and a chance to ask Malorie all about her experience as the Children’s Laureate.
10+ years
Malorie Blackman

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John Harrison talks to Francesca Rhydderch

1519: Journey to the End of Time

Hay Festival 2015, 

In 1519 an arrogant and unscrupulous man sailed from the Caribbean with orders to find a missing Spanish expedition. He immediately set about carving himself an empire in modern Mexico, while the governor of Cuba sent a force out to kill him. Hernán Cortés explored the coast to Veracruz then struck inland, seduced by tales of a great empire rich in gold. He found the largest and best-run city on earth and reduced it to rubble.

Award-winning travel writer and historian John Harrison followed in his footsteps for four months, finding the jungle ruins and sophisticated hilltop cities which put the lie to the popular image of the Aztecs and their neighbours as bloodthirsty savages. Popular accounts always suggest Cortés was mistaken for a returning god; the truth is very different and far more interesting. Both the Spanish and the Aztecs thought that the world was coming to a close soon, and that they were pleasing their gods in performing vital last deeds.

John Harrison talks to Francesca Rhydderch

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Gareth Williams

The Viking Ship

Hay Festival 2014, 

The newly-conserved Roskilde 6 ship from Denmark measures over 37 metres. It is the longest Viking ship ever discovered and forms the core of the British Museum exhibition Vikings: Life and Legend. The Vikings used their shipbuilding skills to command the sea; their famous ships permitted the exploration, the colonisation and the raids with which they built their wealth. The curator explores the evolution of their sea-going vessels and celebrates this outstanding feature of the Viking Age.

Gareth Williams

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Margaret Anstee talks to Nik Gowing

The House on the Sacred Lake

Hay Festival 2010, 
The diplomat tells of a love affair with Bolivia that started when she was first posted there by the UN in 1960.
Margaret Anstee talks to Nik Gowing

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Gavin Hewitt

The Lost Continent

Hay Festival 2013, 

Rich in analysis and anecdote, the BBC’s Europe Editor examines the roots and routes of the economic crisis – Europe’s Darkest Hour Since World War Two.

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Adam Corner

Cardiff series 1: Geo-engineering – Plan B or Pandora’s Box?

Hay Festival 2012, 
From tiny particles reflecting sunlight to giant machines capturing carbon, technological fixes might be the answer to climate change. But such manipulation is riddled with social, ethical and legal problems.
 
In association with Cardiff University

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Bronwen Maddox, Mark Fitzpatrick, Thomas Friedman and Wadah Khanfar talk to Nik Gowing

The Iran Question

Hay Festival 2012, 
As the US/Israeli anxiety about Iran’s nuclear ambitions grows and further sanctions are imposed, the editor of Prospect is joined by the International Institute for Strategic Studies expert, the New York Times Foreign Affairs editor and the former DG ofAl Jazeera to analyse the situation. BBC World News Anchor Nik Gowing chairs.
 
In association with Prospect

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Jimmy Cobb and Richard Williams talk to Hannah Rothschild

Kind of Blue

Hay Festival 2009, 
The drummer who played with Miles Davis and Bill Evans on the seminal jazz album celebrates its 50th anniversary with the author of the forthcoming The Blue Moment: Miles Davis’s Kind of Blue and the Remaking of Modern Music. Chaired by the film-maker and Artistic Director of Brecon Jazz.

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Julian Barnes talks to Claire Armitstead

Nothing to be Frightened of

Hay Festival 2008, 
The masterly novelist discusses his memoir: a meditation on death, God, his philosopher brother and French literature, with the literary editor of the Guardian.

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Wojciech Jagielski in conversation with Jaime Abello

Cartagena 2012, 
Wojciech Jagielski, well known Polish journalist has published Torres de piedra, a brilliant documentary about the violent history of Chechnya. Jagielski is a specialist in Caucasus, Central Asia and Africa. He works at Gazeta Wyborcza, the most important newspaper in Poland and collaborates with BBC and Le Monde. He will talk to Jaime Abello. 

Simultaneous translation from English to Spanish available

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Sarah Winman talks to Georgina Godwin

Fictions - A Year of Marvellous Ways

Hay Festival 2015, 

The author of When God was a Rabbit – selected for World Book Night 2015 – introduces her second novel. Marvellous Ways is 89 years old and has lived alone in a remote Cornish creek for nearly all her life. Lately she’s taken to spending her days sitting on a mooring stone by the river with a telescope. She’s waiting for something – she’s not sure what, but she’ll know it when she sees it.

Drake is a young soldier left reeling by the Second World War. When his promise to fulfil a dying man’s last wish sees him wash up in Marvellous’ creek, broken in body and spirit, the old woman comes to his aid. As an unlikely friendship grows between the two, can Drake give Marvellous what she needs to say goodbye to the world, and can she give him what he needs to go on?

Sarah Winman talks to Georgina Godwin

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Jeanette Winterson

Reformations 23: Marriage

Hay Festival 2017, 

The charismatic novelist, who explores love and passion and freedom in her fiction, re-imagines the union of loving human beings.  Her books include Why Be Happy?, The Passion, Oranges are Not the Only Fruit and most recently The Gap of Time.

Jeanette Winterson

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Chris Riddell and Paul Stewart

Muddleearth

Hay Festival 2012, 
Join us as we’re transported to Muddle Earth, where the wizards are mad and the pink hogs are stinky. Make sure you bring your Wellies of Power and Woolly Gloves of Determination.
 
9+ years

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Monty Don, Helen Browning, Joanna Blythman and Guests

Health, Beauty and Permanence: What is farming for?

Hay Festival 2012, 
Is it possible to feed a growing world population without resorting to large-scale, industrialised processes? Does human-scale, decentralised agriculture necessarily mean lower climate change impacts. Is Small always Beautiful? Chaired by Geoffrey Lean
 

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Simon Armitage

The Death of King Arthur

Hay Festival 2012, 
Our poet-in-residence reads from his astounding new version of the great medieval epic of warfare and politics.

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Nicholas Stern

The British Council Lecture: A Blueprint for a Safer Planet

Hay Festival 2010, 
The climate change authority talks to Rosie Boycott about Haiti, Darfur, Bangladesh and How We Can Save the World and Create Prosperity.
Nicholas Stern

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Peter Lord

The Pirates!

Hay Festival 2012, 
The director and stop-motion animation genius takes us behind the scenes on Aardman's swashbuckling blockbuster.

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Bettany Hughes

The Hemlock Cup: Socrates, Athens and the Search for the Good Life

Hay Festival 2011, 
The classicist and historian profiles the soldier, lover, democrat, philosopher, and vigorous citizen of one of the greatest capitals on earth, until his beloved Athens turned on him, condemning him to death by poison.
 
More about Bettany Hughes

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Lucy Hughes-Hallett

The Samuel Johnson Prize Lecture

Hay Festival 2014, 

The Pike: Gabriele D’Annunzio, Poet, Seducer and Preacher of War

The biographer talks about her riveting, genre-breaking and multi-award-winning portrait of the Italian poet, fascist and utopian. Introduced by Stuart Proffitt.

Lucy Hughes-Hallett