We are pleased to announce the full programme for Hay Festival 2018.
The former Chancellor and Prime Minister brings an extraordinary amount of experience to bear in considering the political moment, in a wide-ranging conversation about politics and hope. His memoir My Life, Our Times was published last year.
After Portnoy's Complaint launched him as a new literary voice, not to mention a scandalous one, Philip Roth went on to be hailed by many as America's greatest living writer. Never afraid to look hard at the extremes of human experience, he has been both consistently controversial and intensely private. But now, having celebrated his eightieth birthday in his home town of Newark, New Jersey, Roth, in conversation with Alan Yentob, is ready to tell the whole story in this special two part film for imagine... Philip Roth Unleashed.
In 387BC, Celtic warriors defeated a Roman army and sacked Rome. It was the bold act of a confident superpower, one that had dominated Europe for 300 years and whose influence stretched from Britain to Turkey, from Poland to Portugal. What do we know about the warriors that humiliated Rome 1,400 years ago? The Celts did not keep written records and so much of their story and many of their achievements were forgotten. And yet, their world is not entirely lost to us. Using the latest archaeological and scientific research, Roberts tells the story of a multicultural empire, built not just on military might and migration but also through a cultural conquest of trade and influence. It was a pioneering civilization, capable of teaching Rome about weapons and infrastructure; of producing exquisite jewellery and intricate royal tombs; and of acting with callous brutality. This is the story of a European culture that changed Britain for ever.
A conversation with two masters of fiction: Tóibín, author of Brooklyn and House of Names and the American novelist André Aciman, author of Call Me by Your Name, the story of a sudden and powerful romance that blossoms between an adolescent boy and a summer guest at his parents’ cliffside mansion on the Italian Riviera. The film of the book has made the love story a modern classic.
Who do we rely on to be there for us? Who are the people who actually deliver the National Health Service? We need to know. Elton is a psychologist, whose book Also Human: The Inner Lives of Doctors asks: What does it take to confront death, disease, distress and suffering every day? To work in a healthcare system that is stretched to breaking point? To carry the responsibility of making decisions that can irrevocably change someone’s life – or possibly end it? And how do doctors cope with their own questions and fears, when they are expected to have all the answers? Watson was a nurse for 20 years. Her book The Language of Kindness: A Nurse’s Story is an astonishing account of a profession defined by acts of care, compassion and kindness. They talk to doctor Julie Grigg.
This stunning long poem by Paul Henry with songs, set on a stretch of the Monmouthshire-Brecon canal, is brought to life in Brian Briggs’ clear tenor. The work breaks down the borders between the poem and the song lyric while offering a haunting elegy to the displaced. Two presences loom in the poem: Marconi, who conducted his experiments for radio on this particular part of the canal, and an old union workhouse, now converted into houses.
After his scandalous debut with Portnoy's Complaint, and the intensely personal novels of his early career, Philip Roth turned this same fearless vision to some of the great themes of the American century- Civil Rights, McCarthyism, the Vietnam War - as his characters become impaled on history. In a career spanning six decades Roth became one of the most controversial and influential writers of the modern age, and only now, with the advent of his 80th birthday, is he ready to reveal all. Part 2 of imagine... Philip Roth Unleashed in conversation with Alan Yentob.