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The full programme is available for this year’s festival, 25 May to 4 June - you can download a PDF of the programme here. We very much look forward to seeing you in May.
Click here to see a list of sold out events
Bridget Jones’s Baby
Event 27 • • Venue: Oxfam Moot
The world’s favourite singleton is back with a bump. Fielding discusses the (gloriously different) book and film versions of her comic masterpiece.
There was a Knock at the Door – can modern folk tales help to understand these troubling times?
Event 51 • • Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage
‘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.
Cartes Postales from Greece
Event 56 • • Venue: Oxfam Moot
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.
BBC Talking Books 1: This is Not a Border
Event 57 • • Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage
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
Myths & Legends of the Brecon Beacons
Event 60 • • Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage
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.
Life: A Dialogue
Event 62 • • Venue: Good Energy Stage
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.
The 2017 International Dylan Thomas Prize
Event 63 • • Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage
Join us to celebrate this prestigious literary prize for writers aged 39 and under, as the 2017 winner (announced on 10 May) 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.
BBC Talking Books 2: Anything is Possible
Event 67 • • Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage
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
Fictions: Only Connect
Event 69 • • Venue: Cube
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 2017 Rathbones Folio Prize
Event 75 • • Venue: Starlight Stage
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.
Fictions: Bad Timing
Event 81 • • Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage
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.
The Disappearance of Emile Zola
Event 83 • • Venue: Oxfam Moot
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.
Event 86 • • Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage
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.
Event 88 • • Venue: Tata Tent
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.
Fictions: Into The Water
Event 91 • • Venue: Good Energy Stage
The addictive new psychological thriller from the author of The Girl on the Train, the runaway No. 1 bestseller and global phenomenon.
Jane Austen at Home
Event 92 • • Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage
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.
Fictions: Tales of the City
Event 94 • • Venue: Cube
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.
The Man Booker International Prize for 1988
Event 100 • • Venue: Cube
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
BBC Talking Books 3: The Boy Behind the Curtain
Event 112 • • Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage
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 Star Witness
Event 114 • • Venue: Good Energy Stage
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’.
Jane Austen 200
Event 118 • • Venue: Good Energy Stage
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.
House of Names
Event 120 • • Venue: Tata Tent
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.
The Index Platform: Fictions
Event 128 • • Venue: Starlight Stage
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.
Fictions: London Tales
Event 130 • • Venue: Cube
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.
Fictions: Funny Business
Event 133 • • Venue: Good Energy Stage
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.