Hay Festival 2018 is now over – thanks for joining us.
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‘Strange’ is the new ‘normal’ for global events. Throughout history, folk tales emerged to help us come to terms with extreme events. With the world as it is today, might stories make better sense of things than news reports? Artist and playwright Sarah Woods is joined by Andrew Simms, editor of a new collection of tales There was a Knock at the Door, and Bill McGuire, Professor of Geophysical and Climate Hazards at UCL and author of Waking the Giant.
The beloved, bestselling author’s new novel is illustrated with photographs that make this journey around Greece, already alive in the imagination, linger forever in the mind. Hislop’s other Greek novels include The Island and The Thread.
The Egyptian novelist discusses her writing and her heroic Palfest festival, which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year with an anthology This Is Not a Border: Reportage and Reflection from the Palestine Festival of Literature. Soueif’s fiction includes In The Eye of the Sun and The Map of Love. Her non-fiction work includes Cairo: Memoir of a City Transformed.
This event will be recorded for broadcast on the BBC World News programme Talking Books
Discover the magic and myths hidden in the rolling hills of the Brecon Beacons. Find Arthur and his knights sleeping away the decades in a cave, and go on the search for the White Lady of Tretower Court with the award-winning author of Down To The Sea In Ships, The Prince’s Pen and Orison for a Curlew. Chaired by Peter Florence.
How and why do we survive, and what makes us unique? A conversation between a novelist and a scientist exploring the worlds they inhabit in Doctorow’s superb new speculative fiction Walkaway and Rutherford’s A Brief History of Everyone who Ever Lived: The Stories in Our Genes.
Join us to celebrate this prestigious literary prize for writers aged 39 and under, as Fiona McFarlane, 2017 International Dylan Thomas Prize winner talks to Dai Smith, Chair of the judges. The shortlist for this year’s prize is: Anuk Arudpragasm The Story of a Brief Marriage; Alys Conran Pigeon; Luke Kennard Cain; Fiona McFarlane The High Places; Sarah Perry The Essex Serpent; Callan Wink Dog Run Moon: Stories.
The new novel from the author of Olive Kitteridge and The Burgess Boys tells the story of the inhabitants of rural, dusty Amgash, Illinois, the hometown of Lucy Barton, a successful New York writer who finally returns, after 17 years of absence, to visit the siblings she left behind.
This event will be recorded for broadcast on the BBC World News programme Talking Books
Sudjic’s debut Sympathy tells the story of a young Englishwoman’s fixation with a Japanese writer living in New York. Inspired by three figures who lived at pivotal moments in Chinese-American history, Ho Davies’ The Fortunes explores what it is like to feel, and be treated, like a foreigner in the country you call home.
The prize aims to reward the best work of literature published in the UK in any given year, regardless of form. Chair of the judges, Ahdaf Soueif, will discuss the challenge of judging fiction against non-fiction and how the jury arrived at its decision. She’ll be in conversation with the newly inaugurated winner, who will have been announced just three days previously.
New novels by two of the world’s most gifted and exacting prose writers bring the past terrifyingly into the present. In Kunzru’s White Tears, two ambitious musicians are drawn into a dark underworld in contemporary New York. Schweblin’s Fever Dream explores the history of a young woman and the boy who sits at her death-bed. Fever Dream has been long-listed for the 2017 International Man Booker Prize.
18 July 1898 and the world-renowned novelist Emile Zola is on the run. His crime? Intervening in the Dreyfus case and taking on the highest powers in France with his open letter J’accuse. Forced to leave Paris with nothing but the clothes he is standing in and a nightshirt wrapped in newspaper, Zola flees to England with no idea when he will return. This is the little-known story of his time in exile. Rosen offers an intriguing insight into the mind, the loves, the politics and the work of the great writer.
Min Jin Lee’s novel Pachinko is an epic tale of identity and survival and love, set across four generations of a Korean family in Japan. Julianne Pachico’s stories collected as The Lucky Ones explore the riveting lives and stories of a huge range of people caught up in the violence of Colombia’s guerrilla insurgencies. They talk to Lena de Casparis of Elle magazine.
The actor and comedian introduces his debut novel Holding in which the loves and secrets and losses of an Irish community are exposed when human remains are found on a farm. Norton’s best-selling memoirs include The Life and Loves of a He-Devil and So Me.
The addictive new psychological thriller from the author of The Girl on the Train, the runaway No. 1 bestseller and global phenomenon.
Honouring the bicentenary of the novelist’s death, Worsley tells the story of Austen’s life and shows us how and why she lived as she did, examining the places and spaces that mattered to her. It wasn’t all country houses and ballrooms, but a life that was often a painful struggle.
Thrilling and terrifying, The Things We Lost in the Fire takes the reader into Enriquez’s world of Argentine Gothic: of sharp-toothed children, of women racked by desire, of demons who lurk beneath the river, of stolen skulls and secrets half-buried under Argentina’s terrible dictatorship. McInerney follows her Baileys Prize-winning debut The Glorious Heresies with The Blood Miracles. The novel is set again in Cork with her vital, brilliant language and storytelling playing out the life and misdemeanours of Ryan Cusack.
A jury of Man Booker alumni judge who might have won a version of their new prize in the first year of the Hay Festival. It was really an exceptionally good year for translated fiction that could have shortlisted Haruki Murakami: Hear the Wind Sing; Isabel Allende: Eva Luna; Gabriel García Márquez: Love in the Time of Cholera; Primo Levi: The Wrench; Ismail Kadare: Chronicle in Stone; José Saramago: Baltasar and Blimunda. #nopressurethen2017
The great novelist, author of Dirt Music and Cloudstreet, is publishing two non-fiction books. Charged with love for the huge, besieging force of Australia’s wild spaces, Island Home: A Landscape Memoir is a passionate call for their conservation. His deeply personal The Boy Behind the Curtain: Notes from an Australian Life shows how moments from his childhood and life growing up have shaped his views on class, faith, fundamentalism, the environment, and literature.
The comedy-writer’s first novel is the hilarious story of one self-regarding man’s descent into disgrace and his journey back to join the human race. It’s a pin-sharp satire on the shallows of modern media culture and the dysfunctional relationship we all have with the idea of ‘celebrity’.
The author of What Matters in Jane Austen celebrates the bi-centenary of the great novelist and talks about what defines her genius with the novelist, Colm Toíbín and Sarah Churchwell.
The novelist launches his new book, a re-telling of the classic tales of the House of Atreus: the stories of Agamemnon and Iphigenia, of Clytemnestra, Orestes and Electra. It’s a masterpiece.
A conversation with the Canadian novelist whose Do Not Say We Have Nothing was shortlisted for the 2016 Man Booker, and who is now publishing her early novel Certainty. Her humane and exacting writing often explores the Asian diaspora. She has won many awards including the Governor General’s Award and The Giller Prize. She talks to the deputy editor of Index on Censorship who has reported from and written extensively on China.
Presented by James Naughtie, Bookclub invites the world’s great authors to discuss their best known novel with readers. Jim is joined at Hay by Hari Kunzru to discuss Gods Without Men. One of Granta’s 2003 selection of young British novelists, Hari Kunzru is one of our most socially observant and skilful novelists. Gods Without Men is set in a remote town in the Californian desert and tells the story of an autistic child who vanishes. It was widely regarded as one of the best novels of 2011.
To read the novel and participate in the discussion, apply through the Bookclub website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006s5sf, otherwise book through the Hay Box Office as normal.
This will be broadcast on Sunday 4 June at 5PM and Thursday 8 June at 3.30PM on BBC Radio 4
John presents her novel The Haunting of Henry Twist – a mysterious love story set in 1926 that recalls the power and strangeness of Stevenson’s Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Arnott’s The Fatal Tree is set 200 years earlier and is about the true story of Edgeworth Bess, which mesmerised C18th society: a riveting, artful tale of crime and rough justice, love and betrayal. Rich in the street slang of the era, it vividly conjures up a murky world of illicit dens and molly-houses; a world where life was lived on the edge, in the shadow of that fatal tree – the gallows.
The writers introduce their two delightful comic novels: Rosoff’s Jonathan Unleashed is a blisteringly funny, touching story of a man whose love life is going to the dogs. Khorsandi’s Nina is Not OK is a darkly funny coming-of-age novel.
Rooney’s debut Conversations with Friends is an exquisitely clever and perceptive novel about relationships; about identity and infidelity and love.
After signing up for the US army in the 1850s, barely 17, Thomas McNulty and his brother-in-arms, John Cole, fight in the Indian Wars and the Civil War. Having both fled terrible hardships, their days are now vivid and filled with wonder, despite the horrors they both see and in which they are complicit. But when a young Indian girl crosses their path, Thomas and John must decide on the best way of life for them all in the face of dangerous odds. Barry’s novel won the 2016 Costa Book of the Year award. His previous fiction includes The Whereabouts of Eneas McNulty, A Long Long Way and The Secret Scripture.
We are delighted to launch the paperback of Nikesh Shukla’s award-winning collection of essays and stories with three of the contributing writers. Inspired by discussion around why society appears to deem people of colour as bad immigrants – job stealers, benefit scroungers, undeserving refugees – until, by winning Olympic races or baking good cakes, or being conscientious doctors, they cross over and become good immigrants, Shukla has compiled a collection of essays that are poignant, challenging, angry, humorous, heartbreaking, polemic, weary and – most importantly – real.
A conversation about how their Quaker faith has informed the life and work of three writers: the actor Sheila Hancock’s books include the memoir Just Me and the novel Miss Carter’s War; award-winning poet Philip Gross’s collections include The Water Table, Deep Field and the forthcoming A Bright Acoustic; Tracy Chevalier’s novels include Girl With a Pearl Earring, At the Edge of the Orchard and now New Boy.