Winter Warmers

Welcome to Winter Weekend 2021 and the Winter Warmers – five special events to whet your festival appetite!

All the Winter Warmer events are free for everyone to watch and there is no chat or Q & A. They will be available online on this page from 9am on 15 November, through to 29 November.

If you intend to watch the rest of the festival online, the best value option is the Online Festival Pass for £25, which will allow you to watch all streamed events either live or on replay for the duration of the festival. Individual online event tickets cost £5 each.

Winter Warmer

Bill McKibben in conversation with Fatima Ibrahim

The End of Nature

What McKibben writes is as relevant today as it was when The End of Nature was first published in 1989. More than simply a handbook for survival or a doomsday catalogue of scientific prediction, it is a ground-breaking plea for radical and life-renewing change. The author argues that our view of nature and its role in our lives has irretrievably altered, arguing that we have to rethink this relationship. He talks about how much has changed, both for better and for worse, since he wrote the book, and what we must do now.

Bill is in conversation with Fatima Ibrahim, Co Executive Director of Green New Deal and a climate activist and social justice campaigner.

This event will be free to watch from 9am on 15 November.

This event will be pre-recorded. There will be no Q&A at the end.

Winter Warmer

Matt Haig talks to Emma Gannon

The Comfort Book

“It is a strange paradox, that many of the clearest, most comforting life lessons are learnt while we are at our lowest. But then we never think about food more than when we are hungry and we never think about life rafts more than when we are thrown overboard.”

The Comfort Book is a collection of consolations learned in hard times and suggestions for making the bad days better. Drawing on maxims, memoir and the inspirational lives of others, the meditations celebrate the ever-changing wonder of living. This book is for when we need the wisdom of a friend or a reminder that we can always nurture inner strength and hope, even in our busy world.

Matt Haig is the author of Reasons to Stay Alive, Notes on a Nervous Planet and the novel The Midnight Library.

Emma Gannon is a Sunday Times bestselling author, speaker, novelist and host of the award-winning creative careers podcast Ctrl Alt Delete. Her new book (Dis)Connected: (how to stay human in an online world) will be published in January 2022.

This event will be free to watch from 9am on 15 November.
This event will be pre-recorded. There will be no Q&A at the end.

Winter Warmer

Siri Hustvedt talks to Razia Iqbal

Mothers, Fathers and Others

The author’s expansive intellect is evident in this stunning collection of essays, whose subjects range from the nature of memory and time to what we inherit from our parents, the power of art during tragedy, misogyny, motherhood, neuroscience, and the books we turn to during a pandemic. Drawing on family history and her own experiences, she examines the boundaries we take for granted – between ourselves and others, between art and viewer –are far less stable than we imagine.

This event will be free to watch from 9am on 15 November.

This event will be pre-recorded. There will be no Q&A at the end.

Winter Warmer

Steven Pinker talks to Gillian Tett

Rationality: What It Is, Why It Seems Scarce, Why It Matters

In the 21st century, humanity is reaching new heights of scientific understanding – and at the same time appears to be losing its mind. How can a species that discovered vaccines for Covid-19 in less than a year produce so much fake news, quack cures and conspiracy theorizing?

In Rationality, the cognitive psychologist rejects the argument that humans are simply an irrational species – cavemen out of time fatally cursed with biases, fallacies and illusions. After all, we discovered the laws of nature, lengthened and enriched our lives and set the benchmarks for rationality itself. Instead, he explains, we think in ways that suit the low-tech contexts in which we spend most of our lives, but fail to take advantage of the powerful tools of reasoning we have built up over millennia: logic, critical thinking, probability and decision-making in times of uncertainty. These tools have never been on a national curriculum. Yet rationality leads to better choices in our lives and in the public sphere, and is the ultimate driver of social justice and moral progress. Written with insight and humour, this book aims to enlighten, inspire and empower. He talks to the author and Financial Times journalist Gillian Tett.

This event will be free to watch from 9am on 15 November.

This event will be pre-recorded. There will be no Q&A at the end.

Winter Warmer

The Booker Prize Winner talks to Ellah P. Wakatama

Join us to celebrate the winner of the 2021 Booker Prize.

The leading literary award in the English speaking world, the prize has brought recognition, reward and readership to outstanding fiction for over five decades.

The 2021 winner will be announced on 3 November, from a shortlist of six books:

  • A Passage North by Anuk Arudpragasam
  • The Promise by Damon Galgut
  • No One is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood
  • The Fortune Men by Nadifa Mohamed
  • Bewilderment by Richard Powers
  • Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead

This virtual event will feature an in-depth interview with one of the six authors whose book is chosen by the judges as the winner of this year’s prize.

Ellah P. Wakatama, OBE is Editor-at-Large at Canongate Books. She has judged the Dublin International Literary Award and Man Booker Prize, and has been Publishing Director at The Indigo Press, Deputy Editor of Granta magazine and Senior Editor at Jonathan Cape.