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.
A Victorian urinal and the Beatles’ childhood home have been given national protection, but there is no legal safeguard for our ancient trees. The broadcaster, Woodland Trust expert and director of the National Trust in Wales discuss whether buildings receive greater recognition than the landmarks of the natural world. Chaired by Kitty Corrigan.
The screenwriter and creator of the hit gangster drama talks about the Selby family, tribal war, and the crime-world of post-war Birmingham. Knight is screenwriter of Dirty Pretty Things and Locke. Introduced by Caryn Mandabach.
We will also be screening all six episodes of Series 2, starring Cillian Murphy, Sam Neill, Helen McCrory and Tom Hardy, from 1pm at Richard Booths Bookshop Cinema in Hay.
The Director of the British Library browses the infinite possibilities for Libraries and Creativity in an Age of Data. ‘These are times of historic disruption in the whole global system of information and publication, and it seems right that the great knowledge institutions – with their historic remit to think and act with a view far into the future – should play a full part in shaping the changes that lie ahead.’ Chaired by Gaby Wood, Head of Books at The Telegraph.
The founder of the iconic vintage clothing company WilliamVintage and Global Style Ambassador to American Express introduces his history of C20th couture, told through the designers who made the dresses and the women who wore them. His talk is illustrated with slides. William Banks-Blaney is Vogue’s 'Vintage King', and the Fashion Patron of Oxfam.
How does narrative shape the sciences and the arts? Booker Prize-winner Ben Okri, author of The Famished Road, Astonishing the Gods and The Age of Magic, is joined by mathematician Marcus du Sautoy, in conversation with novelist and academic Elleke Boehmer.
How can cultural exchange inform community regeneration? In 1974 John Gaventa met Hywel Francis and initiated an exchange between Welsh and Appalachian coalfield communities. This work was expanded by researcher Helen Lewis, cinematographer Richard Greatrex, and community organiser Mair Francis. Tonight they discuss the benefits, pitfalls and insights gained from a long-term cultural exchange over four decades. They are in conversation with Dai Smith.
You can book this event together with events  and  at a discounted price of £12. Please call the Box Office on 01497 822629 to proceed with this offer, and we will remove the £3 booking fee.
As you grow up, you are told to renounce most of the hopes and dreams of your youth, and resign yourself to a life that will be a pale dilution of the adventurous, important and enjoyable life you once expected. But who wants to do any of that? No wonder we live in a culture of rampant immaturity, when maturity looks so boring. The moral philosopher discusses childhood, adolescence, sex, and culture, and asks how the idea of travel can help us build a model of maturity that makes growing up a good option and leaves space in our culture for grown-ups. Chaired by Sarah Crompton.
The stepping stone between Europe and Africa, the gateway between the East and the West, at once a stronghold, clearing-house and observation post, Sicily has been invaded and fought over by Phoenicians and Greeks, Carthaginians and Romans, Goths and Byzantines, Arabs and Normans, Germans, Spaniards and the French for thousands of years. It has belonged to them all – and yet has properly been part of none. John Julius Norwich was inspired to become a writer by his first visit in 1961 and this study is the result of a fascination that has lasted over half a century. In tracing its dark story, he attempts to explain the enigma that lies at the heart of the Mediterranean’s largest island.
Little India, East London: Shyama, aged 44, has fallen for a younger man. They want a child together. Meanwhile, in a rural village in India, young Mala, trapped in an oppressive marriage, dreams of escape. When Shyama and Mala meet, they help each other realise their dreams. But will fate guarantee them both happiness? The author of Life Isn’t All Ha Ha Hee Hee launches her new novel.
The Arts have played a major role in changing views around gender, racial equality, poverty, etc. – but what have they done to change views about climate change? What role should the Arts play in telling stories, raising awareness and challenging the status quo? Smith – co-founder of Emergence, Neal – author and theatre-maker, and Davenport – director of Good Energy discuss with Marcus Brigstocke.
Franz Schubert’s Winterreise is one of the most powerful and enigmatic masterpieces in Western culture. One of the work’s finest interpreters, Bostridge, focuses on the context, resonance and personal significance of a work that is possibly the greatest landmark in the history of Lieder. He unpicks the enigmas and subtle meaning of each of the twenty-four songs to explore for us the world Schubert inhabited, bringing the work and its world alive for connoisseurs and new listeners alike.
Discover the good, the bad and intriguing world of online dating and rural matchmaking with Farmer Wants a Wife presenter Catherine Gee. Duncan Cunningham is founder of The Dating Lab, which has launched dozens of dating sites including Country Living Magazine’s own country-loving.co.uk. After seeing tens of thousands of dating profiles he knows the difference between eye-catching and off-putting. Country Living columnist and author Imogen Green, has written extensively about her personal experience of rural romance and will share her highlights and low points. Followed by a drinks reception to chat to the speakers and meet like-minded country singletons. Who knows where it might lead?
The trio of poets bill themselves as ‘conversations between a recovering love addict, a born again nihilist and an emotionally naked feminist’.They’re clever and inventive and they give good show.
The fabulous collections housed in the world’s most famous museums are trophies from an imperial age. Now the countries from which these treasures came would like them back. The Greek demand for the return of the Elgin Marbles is the tip of an iceberg that includes claims for the Benin Bronzes from Nigeria, sculpture from Turkey, scrolls and porcelain taken from the Chinese Summer Palace, textiles from Peru, the bust of Nefertiti, Native American sacred objects and Aboriginal human remains. Jenkins investigates why repatriation claims have soared in recent decades and shows that sending artefacts back will not achieve the desired social change nor repair the wounds of history. Chaired by Daniel Hahn.
Now revised for its fourth edition, Jancis Robinson’s wine book has achieved legendary status, winning every major wine writing award, because it’s properly authoritative and utterly captivating. She talks about and tastes a selection of wines provided by Tanners of Hereford.
How should we value the Arts in the schools curriculum? What do we learn from putting on plays, playing in bands, painting and dancing? The CEO of the Creative Industries Federation and his guests challenge the government’s focus on STEM subjects and examine the place of culture in British education and the national economy.
Initiator of Girls Not Brides: The Global Partnership to End Child Marriage Mabel van Oranje reflects on lessons learned from two decades of fighting for human rights and development, what it means to make the impossible possible and how to create coalitions for lasting social change. Mabel has co-founded numerous peace foundations and is a member of the Dutch royal family.
Ava’s always felt out of place: at public school, as a prison officer and a struggling teenage single mum. Luckily, the rising star of C4’s Kings Of Comedy and BBC2’s The Sack Race can laugh at her misfortunes. She’s consistently, delightfully, funny. ‘Vidal juggles the profound and the irreverent, rapidly alternating between the two.’
In a world where too often, it seems, only the economy matters, Fiona Reynolds argues that beauty should shape our lives. Dame Fiona is Master of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and was formerly Director-General of The National Trust.
Join European heritage experts as they tackle questions of local loyalties in relation to the cosmopolitan ideal of world citizenship: what does this all mean for how Europeans relate to Britain today? Dr Irena Edwards is Chairman of the Czech National Trust, Joep de Roo runs the European projects Innocastle and OpenHeritage, Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović is Secretary-General of Europa Nostra. Chaired by Justin Albert, Director of National Trust Wales and Trustee of the International National Trusts Organisation.
After three years of being on the statute books, what has the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act 2015 achieved? Has the groundbreaking, world-leading legislation achieved world-beating results? Has the legal responsibility put on the Welsh public sector, including Welsh Government, to consider sustainability in all of its actions, actually made a difference? Jane Hutt, Welsh Assembly Deputy Minister and Chief Whip, Jane Davidson, the original architect of this Act, and Sophie Howe, the independent commissioner responsible for delivery, discuss progress.
The arts as a competitive industry that contributes to the development of a country’s economy; literature, visual arts, music and film thought as lucrative, creative and employment-generating activities. The so-called “orange economy” has been identified as one of the areas to be developed within Colombia, a very culturally-rich country with a full calendar of activities such as festivals and art and literature fairs. Two experts in linking creativity and business talk about the orange economy and its possibilities: Eugenio García (Chile), creative director who created the legendary “No” campaign in Chile, which was pivotal in the democratic transition after the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet; and Nir Hindi (Israel), founder of The Artian, a consulting company joining creativity and business, with a training programme based on the renaissance model created for companies and cultural ventures. They will talk with the vice minister of culture David Melo
Simultaneous English to Spanish translation available
Supported by the Embassy of Israel and PROCOLOMBIA
Writer Theodor Kallifatides was born in Greece in 1938 and emigrated to Sweden in 1964, where he began his literary career. He has published more than forty works comprising fiction, essays and poetry, which have been translated into several languages and have received multiple awards over the decades. At seventy-seven, suffering from writer’s block, he makes the difficult decision to sell his Stockholm studio and travels to his native Greece with the hope of rediscovering the easy flow of language. He gathers his observations and emotions in Another Life and explores the relationship between a meaningful life and meaningful work, and how to reconcile himself with ageing. Kallifatides exchanges impressions about life in exile and the impact on identity with translator, writer and journalist Monika Zgustova, who was born in Prague and settled in Barcelona four decades ago. Zgustova has sixty translations from Czech and Russian, for which she has received the City of Barcelona Award and the Angel Crespo Prize. She is also author of six novels, with the latest, Un revólver para salir de noche (‘A handgun to go out at night’) due to be published this autumn. Her work of fiction revolves around exile, the loss of identity and the intimate life of people in times of totalitarianism.Monika Zgustova photo ©: Antoni Sella