The unanimous Supreme Court ruling today to lift the injunction on this extraordinary memoir means we are delighted and thrilled to launch the book at Hay on Saturday evening.
'Over the last five years James Rhodes has become my latest addiction...his wit on stage and concentration on the keyboard have earned him a new audience for whom classical music had always appeared stuffy and elitist. As for his life and personality – they transcend the imagination of the most vivid novelist. His story is one filled with unimaginable terrors and unconquerable triumphs. The unforgettable story of an unforgettable and remarkable man.' – Stephen Fry.
James Rhodes' passion for music has been his absolute lifeline. It has been the thread that has held him together through a life that has encompassed pain, conflict and turmoil. Listening to Rachmaninov on a loop as a traumatised teenager or discovering an Adagio by Bach while in a hospital ward – such exquisite miracles of musical genius have helped him survive his demons, and, along with a chance encounter with a stranger, inspired him to become the renowned concert pianist he is today.
This is a memoir like no other: unapologetically candid, boldly outspoken and surprisingly funny – James' prose is shot through with an unexpectedly mordant wit, even at the darkest of moments. An impassioned tribute to the therapeutic powers of music, Instrumental also weaves in fascinating facts about how classical music actually works and about the extraordinary lives of some of the great composers. It explains why and how music has the potential to transform all of our lives.
The astrophysicist, Queen guitarist and songwriter presents the astonishing results of his collaboration with Denis Pellerin and Paula Fleming with a sensational 3D screening of the C19th French visionary dioramas depicting life in a strange parallel universe called Enfer – Hell.
The novelist and essayist celebrates the work and gift of the playwright. Her latest novel The Gap of Time is a retelling of The Winter’s Tale. “A book of considerable beauty…a fine invitation into this deeply Shakespearean vision of imagination as the best kind of truth-telling” – Rowan Williams, New Statesman.
Why, when so many women are involved in reading, writing and publishing books, are female writers so consistently under-represented in prizes and reviews? What can be done about the problem? Join Kamila Shamsie, author of six novels including the 2015 Bailey's Prize shortlisted A God in Every Stone and Orange Prize shortlisted Burnt Shadows and Philip Jones, Editor of The Bookseller to discuss the gender bias in literature as well as some radical solutions as to how to fix it. A National Conversation debate chaired by Chris Gribble (Writers’ Centre Norwich).
Follow the pre-event warm-up and discussion on writerscentrenorwich.org.uk/thenationalconversation.aspx and on Twitter using #NatConv.
The comedian, writer, performer and mental health campaigner suffered bouts of depression throughout her life. She completed her Masters in Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy at Oxford in 2012. She explores how we sabotage our sanity, how our brains work and how we can rewire our thinking – often through simple mindfulness techniques – to find calm in a frenetic world.
Earthquakes in the last decade have revealed that rich nations have become resilient in terms of loss-of-life, while much smaller earthquakes have killed up to 30% of urban populations in countries that are far less well prepared. What is behind the sombre conclusion that ‘the rich pay and the poor die’?
The brilliant successor to Douglas Adams’ and John Lloyd’s 1983 classic The Meaning of Liff. A liff is a familiar object or experience that English has no words for. Afterliff corrects this disgraceful oversight: including ‘Ljubjana’ interj. – What people say to the dentist on the way out; ‘Eworthy’ adj. – Of a person: worth emailing but not worth phoning or meeting. John Lloyd is the legendary producer of Blackadder, Not The Nine O’Clock News and QI, and is joined by Jon Canter, Afterliff's co-author.
We review an extraordinary year for cycling – from the Olympic Velodrome to the heroes and villains of the Tour de France – with the authors of On The Road Bike: The Search For A Nation’s Cycling Soul, Merckx: Half Man, Half Bike and It’s All About The Bike: The Pursuit Of Happiness On Two Wheels.
How should we be talking about the crisis within our natural environment? How can we make nature as popular as sport and as politically relevant as health? Chaired by Hay-on-Earth Director Andy Fryers.