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Suzanne O’Sullivan

It’s All in Your Head: True Stories of Imaginary Illness

Hay Festival 2015, 

A third of men and women visiting their GP have symptoms that are medically unexplained. In most, an emotional root is suspected and yet, when it comes to a diagnosis, this is the very last thing we want to hear, and the last thing doctors want to say. The consultant neurologist takes us on a journey through the very real world of psychosomatic illness.

Suzanne O’Sullivan

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Levison Wood

Walking the Nile

Hay Festival 2015, 

The adventurer’s journey is 4,250 miles long. He is walking every step of the way, camping in the wild, foraging for food, fending for himself against multiple dangers. He is passing through rainforest, savannah, swamp, desert and lush delta oasis. He traverses seven, very different, countries and comes face to face with the story of Africa. No one has ever made this journey on foot.

Please click here to prebook dinner at Relish Restaurant on site.

Levison Wood

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Carlos Ruiz Zafón talks to Peter Florence

Prince of Mist

Hay Festival 2010, 
The author of The Shadow of the Wind launches his new crossover thriller.
 
13+ years

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Janne Teller talks to Marian Hens

Segovia 2011, 
Meeting with Janne Teller, Danish writer and author of the novel Nothing, a work which questions the meaning of life and the limits of tolerance that have engendered heated debates in various European countries about existential matters. The tale begins when the young Pierre Anthon leaves school when he discovers there is no point in doing anything because life has no sense.
 
Simultaneous translation will be available from English into Spanish.

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Samuel Turvey

Witness to Extinction

Hay Festival 2009, 
Political apathy, environmental neglect and cultural crash inform this illustrated lecture about How We Failed to Save the Yangtze River Dolphin.

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Thomas Buergenthal talks to Philippe Sands

A Lucky Child: A Memoir of Surviving Auschwitz as a Young Boy

Hay Festival 2015, 

Liberated from the death camps of Auschwitz at the age of eleven, in adulthood Buergenthal became a judge at the International Court in The Hague, investigating modern day genocides. He returns to the festival with a new postscript to his memoir.

Thomas Buergenthal talks to Philippe Sands

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Chris Riddell

The Hay Library Lecture: The Laureate’s Goodbye

Hay Festival 2017, 

This will be Chris Riddell’s final public event as UK Children’s Laureate. On his appointment, he promised to show everyone how much fun they could have with a pencil, and today he will demonstrate this by live-drawing his answers to questions. Chris will pick his favourite questions to illustrate and give an insight into his world and the journey he has been on over the last two years as Laureate. The lucky questioners he picks can take their doodle-answers home as a unique piece of art from one of our greatest illustrators.

6+
Chris Riddell

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Lyn Gardner

Friends and Footlights

Hay Festival 2012, 
Join the theatre critic and storyteller as she launches Olivia’s Enchanted Summer, the latest in her much-loved series. Fans of Malory Towers and Ballet Shoes will adore this.
 
9+ years

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Robin Ince

Happiness Through Science

Hay Festival 2012, 
The Uncaged Monkeys star asks if you can be happy and rational at the same time. Join him in a world of Schrödinger cats, multiverses and evolutionary conundrums as he orienteers through the craggy landscape of evolution while plumbing the depths of his own murky consciousness, all without the aid of a safety net.

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Wadah Khanfar talks to William Sieghart

Hay Festival 2012, 
The co-founder of the Sharq Forum and the former Director General of the Al Jazeera Network reflects on the momentous changes in the Arab world, and the effect of free media and new technology across the Middle East.

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David Day

Antarctica

Hay Festival 2013, 

A compelling history of the southern-most continent from the C18th voyages of discovery to the fierce rivalries of today, as governments, scientists, environmentalists and oil companies compete for control. Chaired by Oliver Balch.

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The Federation Presents Darren Shan

Hay Festival 2008, 
The dark one takes us on a jolly trip through this fresh hell from the Demonata, Death's Shadow. Only the unshakebale should attend.

Hay Fever 10 yrs +

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Felipe Fernández-Armesto

The problem of change: Why do we live in an unstable world?

Cartagena 2011, 
Change is the universal law that governs the world. However, we don’t know how to explain it. Concentrating on the problem of social and cultural change, as a historian, Felipe Fernández-Armesto will try to explain why our living systems change, why the changes are gathering speed and to what point the laws of evolution can be applied to the study of culture. He also tackles the question: if the changes are accelerating, how will we end up? Felipe Fernández-Armesto is one of the most brilliant British historians working today and author of works such as Civilizations and 1492: The Year the World Began.

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Raymond Tallis

NHS SOS

Hay Festival 2013, 

We know we love the NHS. It’s up there with Shakespeare and the Olympics. And we all want to improve it. Prof Tallis argues that the Government’s Health And Social Care Act will result in the death of some of the members of the audience, will cause others to suffer, and will financially ruin many more – and asks what can be done… Chaired by Julie Grigg GP.

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Chris Priestly

Tales of Terror

Hay Festival 2011, 
Join the master of macabre as he dwells on all things gruesome and grisly. It doesn’t get more nail-biting than this – no, seriously!
 
9+ years Goosebumps 

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Alex Bellos

Alex’s Adventures in Numberland

Hay Festival 2010, 
Dispatches from the Wonderful World of Mathematics. Open to all.
Alex Bellos

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Emma Darwin talks to Ruth Padel

A Secret Alchemy

Hay Festival 2009, 
The biologist’s great-great-granddaughter discusses her historical novel about the Princes in the Tower.

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Stephanie Dalley

The Mystery Of The Hanging Garden Of Babylon

Hay Festival 2013, 

An exciting story of detection, involving legends, expert decipherment of ancient texts, and a vivid description of a little-known civilization. Recognised in ancient times as one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the legendary Hanging Garden of Babylon and its location still remains a mystery steeped in shadow and puzzling myths.

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Colum McCann and Shani Boianjiu

Fictions – Beyond Borders

Hay Festival 2013, 

McCann’s masterpiece Transatlantic is a bravura weft of stories crossing between Ireland and the New World over 200 years. Boianjiu’s contemporary novel The People Of Forever Are Not Afraid conjures three Israeli girlfriends guarding physical and personal borders. Chaired by Ted Hodgkinson.

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Kevin Powers talks to Jenny Valentine

Fictions – The Yellow Birds

Hay Festival 2013, 

The poet and Iraq veteran Kevin Powers has composed an unforgettable account of friendship and loss. It vividly captures the desperation and brutality of war, and its terrible after-effects. But it is also a story of love, of great courage, and of extraordinary human survival.

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Sarah Hall talks to Sarah Crown

Fictions – The Wolf Border

Hay Festival 2015, 

For almost a decade Rachel Caine has turned her back on home, kept distant by family disputes and her work monitoring wolves on an Idaho reservation. But now, summoned by the eccentric Earl of Annerdale and his controversial scheme to reintroduce the Grey Wolf to the English countryside, she is back in the peat and wet light of the Lake District. Hall investigates the fundamental nature of wilderness and wildness, both animal and human. The novel seeks to understand the most obsessive aspects of humanity: sex, love, and conflict; the desire to find answers to the question of our existence; those complex systems that govern the most superior creature on earth. Hall’s other novels include The Electric Michelangelo, The Beautiful Indifference and Mrs Fox.

Sarah Hall talks to Sarah Crown

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Ed Stourton talks to Guto Harri

Cruel Crossing: Escaping Hitler Across The Pyrenees

Hay Festival 2013, 

The shocking, dramatic and intensely moving history of the hundreds who made the arduous and desperate climb through the Pyrenees during the Second World War. Chaired by Guto Harri.

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Thomas Heatherwick talks to Mariella Frostrup

Making

Hay Festival 2012, 
A conversation with the legendary British designer, heralded by Terence Conran as the ‘Leonardo da Vinci of our times’.

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Do Good Lives Have to Cost the Earth?

Hay Festival 2008, 
Do Good Lives Have to Cost the Earth? Andrew Simms of the New Economics Foundation, Big Issue founder John Bird and Tom Hodgkinson of The Idler find reasons to be cheerful about climate change and its opportunities to reframe our lives.

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Polly Samson and Barney Norris talk to Georgina Godwin

Fictions: Loves

Hay Festival 2016, 

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.

Polly Samson and Barney Norris talk to Georgina Godwin