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 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 first public interview with Lydia Davis, winner of the 2013 Prize, which was awarded in London on 22 May. Previous winners have been Ismail Kadare, Chinua Achebe, Alice Munro and Philip Roth.
Lydia Davis is an American writer who was born in Massachusetts in 1947 and is now a professor of creative writing at the University at Albany, the capital of New York State. She is best known for two contrasting accomplishments: translating from the French, to great acclaim, Marcel Proust’s complex Du Côté de Chez Swann (Swann’s Way) and Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, and writing short stories, a number of them among the shortest stories ever written. Much of her fiction may be viewed under the heading of philosophy, poetry or short story, and even her longer creations may be as succinct as two or three pages. She has been described by the critic James Wood in his latest collection, The Fun Stuff and Other Essays, as ‘a tempestuous Thomas Bernhard’. Most of all, as Craig Morgan Teicher of the Cleveland Plain Dealer wrote in 2009, the year that Davis’s Collected Stories appeared as a single volume: ‘She is the master of a literary form largely of her own invention.’
The Waterstones chief James Daunt and the chair of judges Sir Rodric Braithwaite host a discussion on writing about Russia with Douglas Smith (shortlisted author of Former People) and author and judge Rachel Polonsky. The shortlist was announced on 25 April.
What would you do if you had to power the UK? Kate, Marcus and Mark get to grips with how to generate enough energy to keep the lights on and power their appliances. Dependency on overseas supplies, volatile fossil fuel prices and the need for a low-carbon economy makes this one of the biggest challenges facing the country. Chaired by Mark Lynas and using the 2050 calculator.
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.
Twenty-five years after a bomb brought Pan Am Flight 103 down on the town, the novelist James Robertson, author of The Professor Of Truth, and Dr Swire, whose daughter Flora was killed in the bombing and who is a member of the Justice For Megrahi group, reflect on the tragedy.
In 2000, the member countries of the United Nations set themselves a challenge: achieve the targets of the Millennium Development Goals by the end of 2015, to improve the lives of the world’s citizens. What’s next for our global ambitions, our post-2015 goals? How can we describe the world we want, to achieve sustainable development, track our progress and hold governments everywhere to account? The former head of statistics at UNESCO, an adviser to the United Nations, and the CEO of Oxfam talk to Hetan Shah, the chief executive of the Royal Statistical Society.
Revered by ancient Egyptians, tortured by Medieval Catholics, cats have been human companions for thousands of years. Animal behaviour expert, Bradshaw explores cat history and behaviour from swivelling whiskers to talking tails – you’ll never look at your cat the same again.
At QI’s very core is the astonishing fact: painstakingly researched and distilled to a brilliant and shocking clarity. Pigs suffer from anorexia. Wagner always wore pink silk underwear. Rugby School’s first official rugby kit in 1871 included a bow tie. Lord Kitchener had four spaniels called Shot, Bang, Miss and Damn. It is impossible to whistle in a spacesuit. Join in the fun with the QI writing team.