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Hay Festival 2020 was cancelled and replaced by Hay Festival Digital 2020

We deeply regret that Hay Festival 2020 was cancelled due to the Coronavirus/Covid-19 pandemic. Read more here.
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WorkshopPlanet Assembly 1: A Circular Economy for the Future

Event 59

Planet Assembly 1: A Circular Economy for the Future

A Thought Laboratory

–  Creative Hub
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Bring your best ideas to this solutions-focused workshop session. Facilitated by sustainability entrepreneur Andy Middleton and joined by key speakers to be announced, we’ll look at the key issue of the economy, discussing the scale of the issue and a range of solutions.

Speakers include remarkable individuals leading climate and biodiversity resilience projects, igniting hope and progress in their neighbourhoods and the wider community. We want you to share your ideas and to be inspired by those making a difference. Be part of the change in this two-hour thought laboratory.

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ConversationBBC Radio 4: Now You’re Asking

Event 426

BBC Radio 4: Now You’re Asking

–  Exchange Marquee
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Now You’re Asking with Marian Keyes and Tara Flynn is the hit BBC Sounds and Radio 4 podcast where two Irish legends of page and screen solve the problems their listeners have emailed in. Or try to, anyway. For one day only (until they ask us again, next year) the podcast moves from Marian’s ‘good front room’ in Co Dublin and is live at Hay Festival.

From dilemmas about life, love and grief, to the perils of laundry or knowing what to say at a boring dinner, we’ll find out what Marian and Tara would recommend…which might not solve the problem exactly but will make us all feel a bit better.

Free – drop in
ConversationCharlotte Church talks to Mary Loudon

Event 60

Charlotte Church talks to Mary Loudon

–  Discovery Stage
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Charlotte Church’s childhood and teenage years were a jumble of global superstardom, financial wealth, tabloid intrusion and the accompanying personal strain. Now, she has taken her experiences of chaos and her passion for wellbeing and is a tenacious campaigner for climate action, economic equity, integrated education and political accountability. Church talks to writer and theatre producer Mary Loudon about her campaigning and The Dreaming, her house in mid-Wales which hosts retreats to provide healing, inspire change and cry hope in a troubled world.

Price: £15.00
ConversationCatherine Ashton, Ivan Krastev and Rafał Trzaskowski talk to Misha Glenny

Event 61

Catherine Ashton, Ivan Krastev and Rafał Trzaskowski talk to Misha Glenny

Europe: Reluctant Superpower No More?

–  Global Stage
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Surrounded by a necklace of crises from Ukraine via the Middle East to the Maghreb, Europe has been signalling that it must play a more active role on the global stage, but it has sat passively as China and the US direct the course of events. As we approach the US presidential election, does Europe have the strength, ability and will to assert itself against an unpredictable mixture of populism, war, technological advance and economic uncertainty? Misha Glenny, journalist and Rector of the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna, asks the EU’s former Vice-President, Baroness Catherine Ashton, political scientist Ivan Krastev and Rafał Trzaskowski, Polish politician and current city mayor of Warsaw, whether Europe can weather the approaching storms.

Price: £11.00
ConversationInternational Booker Prize Winner

Event 62

International Booker Prize Winner

Romesh Gunesekera, the Winner and the Translator talk to Gaby Wood

–  Meadow Stage
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The International Booker Prize celebrates the world’s best fiction in translation. It’s awarded annually for a single book and celebrates the vital work of translators, with the £50,000 prize money divided equally between author and translator. The prize will be announced in May, and we present the winners in conversation with Booker Prize Foundation Director Gaby Wood and one of the judges, Booker Prize-shortlisted novelist Romesh Gunesekera.

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PerformanceErrollyn Wallen talks to Juliet Russell

Event 63

Errollyn Wallen talks to Juliet Russell

Becoming a Composer

–  Spring Stage
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Born in Belize, brought up in London’s Tottenham, singer/songwriter/composer Errollyn Wallen talks about her life and work in jazz, pop and classical music. Her book Becoming a Composer combines memoir, observations, diary entries, poems and essays, demystifying the world of composing. Her output includes more than 20 operas and numerous orchestral, chamber and vocal works. She has composed pieces for the opening ceremony of the Paralympic Games in 2012, for Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden and Diamond Jubilees and a reimagining of Parry’s Jerusalem for the Last Night of the Proms. She talks to choir director Juliet Russell.

Price: £13.00
ConversationDavid King and Ed Miliband

Event 64

David King and Ed Miliband

Tipping Points

–  Wye Stage
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It is now indisputable that we are in a climate emergency. Soaring levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, particularly methane, mean more extreme weather events at greater frequency. As tipping points are exceeded, some irreversible changes have already been triggered in our climate systems. Join us on a deep dive into the pivotal moments of the climate crisis. David King will identify the tipping points that could shape our planet’s future and in response, Ed Miliband will lay out the decisions ahead and the opportunities we have to create a sustainable, fairer future for all. Professor Sir David King is Emeritus Professor of Chemistry at the University of Cambridge, Chair of the Climate Crisis Advisory Group and Founder of the Centre for Climate Repair in the University. He was the UK Government Chief Scientific Adviser, 2000–07, and the Foreign Secretary’s Special Representative on Climate Change, 2013–17. Ed Miliband is MP for Doncaster North and Shadow Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero.

Price: £11.00
Last few remaining tickets
ConversationBBC Radio 4: You’re Dead to Me

Event 427

BBC Radio 4: You’re Dead to Me

–  Exchange Marquee
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Comedian Robin Ince and Historian Dr Lydia Zeldenrust join Greg Jenner for a special edition of You're Dead to Me, the BBC's hit history podcast. Infront of an audience at the Hay literary festival, they'll be looking at the history of printing and telling the story of the first book printed in English. It was a history of Troy printed by William Caxton (in case you were wondering) and this year marks its 550th anniversary. We'll also visit ancient China and Korea, meet Johannes Gutenberg, the creator of a movable type printing press, and we'll learn how printing shaped the culture in this country in the 16th century. As ever, there'll be lots of fun and fascinating facts from the show that doesn’t take history too seriously.

Free – drop in
PerformanceHereford Chamber Choir

Event 65

Hereford Chamber Choir

Dymock Poets Reimagined

–  St Mary’s Church
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St Mary’s Church in Hay, with its excellent acoustics, is the perfect setting for Hereford Chamber Choir’s performance of its critically acclaimed Dymock Poets Reimagined. This innovative concert focuses on seven contemporary composers and their choral settings of works by the Dymock Poets (who included Robert Frost, Rupert Brooke and Edward Thomas, all connected with the Gloucestershire village). Founded in 1983, Hereford Chamber Choir consists of 25 exceptional mixed voices. Under music director Simon Harper, the choir has a reputation for performing exciting programmes of choral music from the medieval era to newly commissioned works.

Price: £15.00
Last few remaining tickets
PerformanceRuby Wax

Event 66

Ruby Wax

Stand-up: I’m Not as Well as I Thought I Was

–  Discovery Stage
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Ruby Wax’s rawest, darkest, funniest and most compelling stage show returns, documenting the extreme journeys she took in order to find an antidote to living a frazzled life. Along the way she hoped to find meaning, peace, happiness – the stuff everyone is chasing. However, after some transcendent experiences, she ended up in a mental institution.

14+ years
Show duration: 70 minutes followed by a 20-minute interval, then a 30-minute Q&A session.
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ConversationMaggie Aderin-Pocock

Event 67

Maggie Aderin-Pocock

The Art of Stargazing

–  Global Stage
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Take a tour of the 88 constellations and explore the science, history and romanticism behind these celestial bodies with the science communicator and presenter of The Sky at Night. Maggie Aderin-Pocock considers looking up at the night sky from different cultures across the globe rather than just focusing on the Western Greek interpretation of the stars. Join her to share in the tranquil joy that is stargazing, reconnecting with both the natural world and our ancestors. You’ll learn how to identify stars, the basics of naked-eye observation, and advice on the best kit and ‘dark sky’ locations.

Price: £13.00
PerformanceAhir Shah

Event 68

Ahir Shah

Stand-up: Ends

–  Meadow Stage
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The winner of the Sky Edinburgh Comedy Award returns with a show about family, immigration, marriage, history, politics – and beans. Shah has appeared on Mock the Week, The Mash Report, QI, Live at the Apollo, Frankie Boyle’s New World Order, Have I Got News for You and 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown. “Intricately crafted, profoundly moving, howlingly funny… he’s a blazing talent firing on all cylinders” – The Daily Telegraph.

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ConversationJane Parkinson

Event 69

Jane Parkinson

Wine Tasting: Beat the Experts

–  Spring Stage
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Join Welsh wine critic and broadcaster Jane Parkinson to pour and score your way through six wines that have her peers frothing with excitement. The author of Wine & Food discusses the styles we’re tasting and explains why some naturally lend themselves to rave reviews. But would you give them the same reviews? And is the role of the wine critic a help or a hindrance? Are professional reviews insightful or intimidating?

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PerformanceThe Fontanas

Event 70

The Fontanas

Live at Hay Festival

–  Wye Stage
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Don’t miss the Fontanas’ debut performance at the Festival – you can expect a well-oiled band, ready to hit the heights and have you up and dancing! Soaked in funky Latin and Brazilian influences, the band has found the sweet spot between tight funk grooves and swinging Latin rhythms.

Taking influence from the likes of the Dap Kings and Banda Black Rio, they’re graced with the inimitable Kay Elizabeth on vocals. Alongside her prowess as a vocalist, Kay is a professional dancer showcasing her skills on the global stage from Rio to Notting Hill, where she has earned the title ‘Queen of Carnival’. Shimmy into a world of rhythm infused with samba swing and electrified by the band’s intoxicating stage presence.

Price: £20.00
Last few remaining tickets
PerformanceRobin Ince

Event 71

Robin Ince

The Book Club

–  Meadow Stage
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Join comedian Robin Ince for his unique Book Club, in which he chats with guests including author TV comedy and stage actor Stephen Mangan, gender equality campaigner and founder of the Everyday Sexism Project Laura Bates, and author and TikTok content curator Benjy Kusi about their reading lives, including the weirdest books and strangest stories they have read, and their secret reading obsessions. Robin will be bringing along many of his favourite pulpy horrors, awkward romances and most eccentric self help guides. Expect an exhilarating tour around these books, where readings from Crabs on the Rampage will be twinned with Jenny Lives with Eric and Martin. Robin was named Author of the Year by the Booksellers Association and his most recent book, Bibliomaniac: An Obsessive’s Tour of the Bookshops of Britain was described by the TLS as “a tonic”. Don’t miss this event exclusively designed for Hay Festival 2024.

Price: £15.00
ActivityMorning Yoga with Hay Yoga Collective

Event 72

Morning Yoga with Hay Yoga Collective

–  Creative Hub
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Start your day with an hour of yoga blending movement, mantra, meditation and breathwork. The classes support detoxification and regeneration – physically, emotionally and spiritually. Our daily yoga classes are brought to you by a collective of ten highly skilled practitioners, all local to Hay-on-Wye. Each practitioner has their own style, but with all you can expect a mindful, student-focused practice with clear cueing and functional sequencing.

Whether you need grounding and recharging before a busy day at the Festival, an opportunity to stretch and move your body, or simply an hour to focus on your breathing, these classes are open and accessible to all. Practitioners will adapt to different levels of experience, providing options for deepening or softening within poses so that each student takes what they need from the practice. Beginners and experienced students are most welcome. Yoga mats are provided.

Please contact Clare Fry at hello@larchwoodstudio.com with any questions relating to these classes. As capacity is limited, we recommend booking in advance to avoid disappointment.

Please wear loose, comfortable clothing, and alert your practitioner at the start of class if you have any injuries.
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ActivityHay Castle Entry Ticket

Event HC4

Hay Castle Entry Ticket

–  Hay Castle
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A fantastic opportunity to see behind the scenes of this unique and historic building. Visit at a time of your choice during Castle opening hours.

Price: £5.00
ActivityBreakfast Tour with Tom True

Event HC5

Breakfast Tour with Tom True

–  Hay Castle
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Hay Castle’s executive director Tom True introduces the key moments and characters from the castle’s past followed by a continental breakfast.

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ConversationBettany Hughes

Event 73

Bettany Hughes

The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World

–  Global Stage
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Explore the ancient world with Bettany Hughes, who tells it through its seven greatest monuments: the Great Pyramid at Giza, Egypt; the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Iraq; the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, Greece; the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, Turkey; the Mausoleum of Halikarnassos, Turkey; the Colossus of Rhodes, Greece; and the Lighthouse of Alexandria, Egypt. All were staggeringly audacious, and demonstrated the reaches of human imagination. Now only the Pyramid remains, yet the scale and majesty of these seven wonders still enthral us today. The author of Venus & Aphrodite and Helen of Troy asks: why do we wonder, why do we create and why do we choose to remember the wonder of others?

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PanelLaura Bates, Peter Pomerantsev, Wes Streeting and guests

Event 74

Laura Bates, Peter Pomerantsev, Wes Streeting and guests

The News Review

–  Discovery Stage
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Start your day at Hay Festival with our daily news review. Join our leading journalists and special guests as they take us behind the headlines with insider perspectives, insights and an eye on what’s next. Strong coffee recommended!

Among today’s guests are activist and journalist Laura Bates, founder of the Everyday Sexism Project, journalist and author Peter Pomerantsev, and Labour MP and Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting. Chaired by The Independent editor Geordie Greig.

Price: £13.00
ConversationLuca Trenta talks to Oliver Bullough

Event 75

Luca Trenta talks to Oliver Bullough

The President’s Kill List

–  Meadow Stage
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On 3 January 2020, Iranian General Qassem Soleimani was killed by a drone strike ordered by then US President Donald Trump. The Trump Administration, while taking credit for the killing, denied that it amounted to an assassination. Dr Luca Trenta, US Foreign Policy specialist and associate professor of International Relations at Swansea University, gives an overview of the US government’s involvement in the assassination of foreign officials from the early Cold War to Soleimani. In conversation with journalist Oliver Bullough, he discusses The President’s Kill List: Assassination in US Foreign Policy Since 1945, detailing the assassination plots, the methods (from poisoned cigars and airplane accidents to the support of local proxies), the justifications and the denials.

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ActivityWayfaring Walk: Walk with a Warden

Event 76

Wayfaring Walk: Walk with a Warden

Toby Small and Bronwyn Lally

–  Meeting Place on Festival Site
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Warden Toby Small from the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park leads a walk through the beautiful surrounds of Hay-on-Wye, with BBNP Head of Communications Bronwyn Lally. Learn more about the challenges facing the River Wye and what must be done to save it.

Hay-on-Wye is based within 520 square miles of beautiful landscape that makes up the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park. The National Park is driving change to bring about a sustainable future, meeting our needs within planetary boundaries. Their Hay Festival series of walks take you into the town’s local environment while offering the opportunity to learn more about the Park’s work and its treasured landscape.

Please wear appropriate footwear and outdoor gear. We regret we cannot accommodate dogs on this walk.
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ConversationGreg Jenner

Event F13

Greg Jenner

Totally Chaotic History: Ancient Egypt

–  Wye Stage
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Take a deep breath and jump in with Greg Jenner for a totally chaotic trip to ancient Egypt! The historian and chart-topping You’re Dead to Me podcaster busts myths, unravels fascinating facts and uncovers mind-boggling surprises about everything from pharaohs and Egyptian gods to mummies and the pyramids. In a whirlwind event, Greg brings ancient Egypt to life to show you what it would really have been like to live in this extraordinary era. So hold on tight for a history-packed, hilarious and entertaining ride.

Please bring your own notebook and pen or pencil to this event.

9+ years
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ConversationSue Hendra

Event F14

Sue Hendra

Supertato Silliness

–  Spring Stage
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Sue Hendra, co-creator of the bestselling Supertato picture books, will be in Hay to celebrate the 10th birthday of our favourite supermarket superhero.

If you’re looking for fun and giggles galore, this veggie adventure-fest is the family show for you. There will be stories, silliness and everyone will get a chance to make their own veggie super-hero to take home.

4+ years
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WorkshopReady, Steady, Music! Workshop

Event W11

Ready, Steady, Music! Workshop

–  Creative Hub
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Get your Hay day off to a brilliant start with our daily Ready, Steady, Music workshops! With different activities each day, these interactive, fun-filled sessions for mini musicians will have you tapping sticks, roaring like dinosaurs, flying with unicorns, dancing with scarves, playing with parachutes and much more. Come and meet our puppets, explore our instruments and be accompanied by the beautiful sound of the cello.

0–4 years
Parents/carers must attend but do not need a ticket.
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WorkshopPizza-making Workshop

Event W12

Pizza-making Workshop

Kitchen Garden Pizza

–  Family Garden
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Come to the Family Garden for a pizza masterclass with Kitchen Garden Pizza. In this one-hour session your imagination and creativity will be fed along with your belly! You’ll get your hands messy with freshly grown and foraged ingredients, make and top your own dough and observe the pizzaioli at work at the wood-fired oven. And while you wait for your pizza to cook, you can decorate your own pizza box!
Dairy-free and gluten-free options available

4+ years
Parents/carers must attend but do not need a ticket.
Price: £16.00
Last few remaining tickets
ActivityMake & Take Crafting

Event MT4

Make & Take Crafting

Monday Morning Session

–  Make & Take Hub
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An opportunity to get crafting! Activities differ every day, including everything from print-making to junk modelling with recycled materials. Get messy and creative: your imagination is the limit.

Book for the session and you can drop in at any point during the 1.5 hour duration. Accompanying adults: please stay in attendance at all times, but you do not require a ticket.

3–11 years
Price: £5.00
ActivityKathryn Tann

Event 77

Kathryn Tann

Nature Writing Walkshop

–  Meeting Place on Festival Site
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Put on your walking boots, grab a notebook and join creative producer Kathryn Tann on a writing ‘walk-shop’, using the landscape to shape your stories. Practice using all your senses and surroundings to create memorable and transporting pieces of writing, with a focus on creative non-fiction. You don’t need to be an outdoors expert to bring nature and place into your creative work.

Starting from and returning to the Festival site, the walk covers around 1km in the environs of Hay-on-Wye, with regular stops and writing exercises along the way. Tann’s book Seaglass blends creative non-fiction with nature writing and memoir, portraying the journey of a young woman navigating modern adulthood.

Please wear appropriate footwear and outdoor gear, and bring your own notebook and pen or pencil. We regret that we can't accommodate dogs on this walk.
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WorkshopPizza-making Workshop

Event W13

Pizza-making Workshop

Kitchen Garden Pizza

–  Family Garden
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Come to the Family Garden for a pizza masterclass with Kitchen Garden Pizza. In this one-hour session your imagination and creativity will be fed along with your belly! You’ll get your hands messy with freshly grown and foraged ingredients, make and top your own dough and observe the pizzaioli at work at the wood-fired oven. And while you wait for your pizza to cook, you can decorate your own pizza box!
Dairy-free and gluten-free options available

4+ years
Parents/carers must attend but do not need a ticket.
Sold out
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PanelMadhumita Murgia, David Runciman, Stuart Russell and Carissa Véliz talk to Carl Miller

Event 78

Madhumita Murgia, David Runciman, Stuart Russell and Carissa Véliz talk to Carl Miller

Humans vs AI

–  Global Stage
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Is AI something we need to be terrified of, or something that will provide an answer to all our ills? The truth is somewhere in the middle, as our panel of experts tells author and scholar Carl Miller. Hear about how AI will affect humans: take a look at the past, present and future potential of the technology, as well as how and where we live alongside AI, and where and how we resist its presence.

Miller speaks to Madhumita Murgia, the first artificial intelligence editor for the Financial Times; David Runciman, professor of politics at Cambridge University; Stuart Russell, director of the Center for Human Compatible Artificial Intelligence at the University of California, Berkeley; and Carissa Véliz, an associate professor at the Faculty of Philosophy and the Institute for Ethics in AI at the University of Oxford.

Price: £15.00
ConversationDavid Mitchell

Event 79

David Mitchell

(Un)scripted: Cloud Atlas at 20 Years

–  Wye Stage
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David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas burst onto the literary scene in 2004. A novel comprised of six interconnected tales, each written in a unique style and told from a differing perspective, this genre-defying ‘Russian doll’ epic remains one of the most original, unusual and polarising works of recent times. Shortlisted for the 2004 Booker Prize, in 2012 it was adapted for film with a stellar cast including Tom Hanks and Halle Berry. Mitchell has been nominated for the Booker Prize five times as well as winning the Sunday Times Award for Literary Excellence, given in recognition of a writer’s entire body of work. Twenty years after publication, Mitchell reflects on the past, present and future of his novel. He speaks to author Téa Obreht.

Price: £13.00
Last few remaining tickets
ConversationIan Goldin

Event 80

Ian Goldin

The Shortest History of Migration

–  Meadow Stage
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For hundreds of thousands of years our ability – and willingness – to move over vast distances has allowed humans to escape existential threats and thrive as a species. Yet human mobility today faces ever stronger barriers that not only harm the lives of potential migrants, but also threaten our own societies. The migration impulse is a core facet of the human condition: in attempting to suppress it, governments are sacrificing the future of humanity for the sake of short-term political gain. Visionary thinker Ian Goldin tells the millennia-spanning story of the movement of peoples, offering a powerful set of tools to understand the present as well as the past. Goldin is Oxford Professor of Globalisation and Development. His books include Terra Incognita, Age of Discovery and Age of the City.

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