We are pleased to announce the full programme for Hay Festival 2018.
The multi-award-winning teen innovator and scientist overcame the skepticism of the academic world, depression and homophobic bullying to invent, at the age of 15, an early-detection test for pancreatic, ovarian, and lung cancers. It has the potential to be over four hundred times more effective than the medical standard and it costs only 5p per use. Chaired by Alice Key.
Photo: Mark Tucker
The award-winning biographer describes the passionate relationship between Benjamin and Mary Anne Disraeli and shows how they rose to the top of the British establishment in an age of conformity – in spite of their lack of it. Mary Anne was twelve years older than Benjamin, eccentric, liable to misbehave, and overdressed for grand society. He was a mid-ranking novelist of Jewish descent, and often mired in debt. They were fiercely devoted to one another. Hay has used the passionate letters they wrote to each other, held by the Bodleian Library, to piece together their story. Chaired by Sarah Crompton.
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.
Sophia was born to Maharajah Duleep Singh, heir to a huge territory that stretched from the Kashmir Valley to the Khyber Pass. The territory was plundered by the British and the Maharajah was exiled to Britain. Sophia was raised a society lady and goddaughter to Queen Victoria. However, after a secret trip to India she returned a revolutionary to fight for Indian independence, the welfare of Indian soldiers in World War I, and, above all, for the cause of female suffrage. Anita talks to Stephanie Merritt.
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.
You could say there are two kinds of virtues in the world: résumé virtues and eulogy virtues. The résumé virtues are the ones you list on your CV, the skills that contribute to external success. The eulogy virtues are deeper. They’re what get talked about at your funeral and they are usually the virtues that exist at the core of your being – whether you are kind, brave, honest or faithful; what kind of relationships you formed over your lifetime. We live in a culture that encourages us to think about how to be wealthy and successful, but which leaves many of us inarticulate about how to cultivate the deepest inner life. Brooks connects us once again to an ancient moral tradition, a tradition that asks us to confront our own weaknesses and grow in response, rather than shallowly focus on our good points. He talks to Sarfraz Manzoor.
The rock writer and GQ editor talks about the life, death and the enduring legends of Elvis Presley and Jim Morrison. These two men changed the course of popular music and culture forever and are the subjects of his two biographies Elvis Has Left The Building and Mr Mojo. He is joined by Mark Ellen, author of Rock Stars Stole My Life.
Set in 1960s Ireland, Tóibín’s new novel Nora Webster introduces one of the most complex and captivating heroines of contemporary fiction. He discusses the book and his new study On Elizabeth Bishop. He creates a vivid picture of the American poet while also revealing how her work has helped shape his sensibility as a novelist and how her experiences of loss and exile resonate with his own.
Photo: Brigitte Lacombe
‘I have discovered a truly marvellous proof, which this margin is too narrow to contain…’ Twenty years after a mild-mannered Englishman solved Pierre de Fermat’s 350-year-old theorem, Singh tells the true story of how mathematics’ most challenging problem was made to yield its secrets in a thrilling tale of endurance, ingenuity and inspiration.
John Aubrey loved England. From an early age, he saw his England slipping away and, against extraordinary odds, committed himself to preserving for posterity what remained of it – in books, monuments and life stories. His Brief Lives would redefine the art of biography yet he published only one rushed, botched book in his lifetime and died fearing his name and achievements would be forgotten.
Scurr’s biography is an act of scholarly imagination: a diary drawn from John Aubrey’s own words, displaying his unique voice, dry wit, the irreverence and drama of a literary pioneer. Aubrey saw himself modestly as a collector of a vanishing past, a ‘scurvy antiquary’. But he was also one of the pioneers of modern writing, a journalist before the age of journalism, who witnessed the Civil War and the Great Fire of London in the company of some of the influential men and women, high and low, whose lives he would make his legacy.
On 2 August 1947 a young man gets off a train in a small Swedish town to begin his life anew. Having survived the ghetto of Lodz, the death camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau, and the harrowing slave camps and transports during the final months of Nazi Germany, his final challenge is to survive the survival. In his intelligent and deeply moving book, Rosenberg returns to his own childhood in order to tell the story of his father; walking at his side, holding his hand, trying to get close to him again. It is also the story of the chasm that soon opens between the world of the child, permeated by the optimism, progress and collective oblivion of postwar Sweden, and the world of the father, darkened by the long shadows of the past.
A celebration of reading and books from the comedian, broadcaster and writer whose books include the novels Hitler’s Canary, Flying Under Bridges and Valentine Grey, children’s stories The Littlest Viking and The Troublesome Tooth Fairy, non-fiction best-sellers Peas & Queues and Girls Are Best and the play Bully Boy. Introduced by Sue Wilkinson.
Ninety-three-year-old Eileen Younghusband served as an officer in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force in WW2. She decided to volunteer at the age of 18, and her mathematical abilities led to her training as a Clerk Special Duties, a vital part of the Radar chain. She found herself working in the Filter Room, the lynchpin between the coastal Radar Chain and the successful defence of Britain. She tracked the V1s over Kent and London and gave the first ‘Big Ben’ warning of a V2, which landed on Chiswick on 8 September 1944. After losing two fiancés, she eventually married; only to be posted overseas six weeks later to Second Tactical Air Force in Belgium. There she became part of a team tracking and destroying V2 launching vehicles, responsible for the devastating raids on Antwerp – the Allies’ vital port for landing troops and supplies. She tells her story to The Telegraph’s Martin Chilton.
Retail and brand communication guru Mary Portas discusses her recently released memoir, Shop Girl, and shares her memories of growing up in Watford in the 70s and her first steps into the world of retail at Harvey Nichols and Harrods in the early 80s.
Born into a large Irish family, Mary’s childhood is full of love, laughter, fun and mischief. However when Mary is 16 tragedy strikes and her world is blown apart. New responsibilities at home mean her ambitions to act are pushed to one side. But things play out unexpectedly: after vowing she doesn’t want to work in a shop for the rest of her life Mary takes to the camp and glamour of dressing displays in Harvey Nichols and Harrods like a duck to water, and Mary, Queen of Shops is born.
She talks to Gaby Wood, the Telegraph’s Head of Books.
Bernard Hinault is one of the greatest cyclists of all time. He is a five-time winner of the Tour de France and the only man to have won each of the Grand Tours on more than one occasion. Hinault is the last ‘old-school’ champion: a larger-than-life character from a working-class background, capable of winning on all terrains, in major Tours and one-day Classics. Nicknamed ‘The Badger’ for his combative style, he led a cyclists’ strike in his first Tour and instigated a legendary punch-up with demonstrators in 1982 while in the middle of a race. Hinault’s battles with teammates Laurent Fignon and Greg LeMond provide some of the greatest moments in Tour history.
Sports writer and journalist William Fotheringham is the Guardian's cycling correspondent and author of a number of books about the cycling world, including the number one bestseller Merckx: Half Man Half Bike and biographies of Fausto Coppi and Tom Simpson.
Please click here to prebook lunch at Relish Restaurant on site.
Celebrating the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Beer sets the Alice books in a number of different contexts in the Victorian period – what was going on in Punch, in maths, in language theory, in evolutionary theory, in child development – and asks how the books both thrive on these presences and wriggle free of them. Beer is also the editor of Carroll’s poems Jabberwocky and Other Nonsense.
The award-winning novelist, author of Restoration, The Road Home, Music and Silence, and The Colour, awakens the senses in this diverse collection of short stories. In her precise yet sensuous style she lays bare the soul of her characters– the admirable, the embarrassing, the unfulfilled, the sexy and the adorable – to uncover a dazzling range of human emotions and desires. She reads, and talks to Peter Florence.
Please click here to prebook lunch/dinner at Relish Restaurant on site
Tallis is inspired by EM Forster’s thought that ‘Death destroys a man but the idea of it saves him’. He looks back on his world from the standpoint of his future corpse. He reflects on the senses that opened up his late world, the elements they reveal, the distances, divisions and intimacies of space, the multifarious activities that occupied his days; his possessions, his utterances, his relationship to others, the extinguished flame that was his self, his journey towards the end, and his afterlife either side of the grave.
Please click here to prebook lunch at Relish Restaurant on site