To watch Hay Festival Digital 2020 please subscribe to Hay Player.
Why bother with God?
Do you know what matters in life?
What are the limits of kindness?
Why doesn’t God intervene?
What are you worth?
For 20 years, bestselling novelist Rhidian Brook has pondered such questions on Radio 4's Thought for the Day, encouraging, nudging, sometimes provoking millions into thinking about the possibility of a God who is intimately and cosmically involved in the human story. Over 100 of his Thoughts are collected in his new anthology, forming a kind of alternative history of the 21st century, and inviting us to reflect on the deeper spiritual dimensions of our lives and times.
The multi-award-winning historian presents The Anarchy, a cautionary tale of the rise of the East India Company, a vast and ruthless private army, perpetrators of one of the most supreme acts of corporate violence in world history.
Dalrymple’s award-winning books include In Xanadu, City of Djinns, Age of Kali, Nine Lives and The Last Mughal.
The novelist discusses the final volume of her Thomas Cromwell trilogy. Both Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies won the Booker Prize. Spoiler alert - please save this gig for when you've finished the book…
You can hear Hilary Mantel discuss Bring Up the Bodies at Hay 2012 on HayPlayer.
Leading popular philosopher and best-selling author Roman Krznaric shows just how crucial long-term thinking is, not just for ordinary people but across political, economic, environmental and business worlds.
From the personal to the political, Krznaric identifies the flaws of today’s short-term mindset. Drawing on ideas from a wide range of perspectives including neuroscience, cultural history, politics, economics, art and religion, he offers eight key approaches as a roadmap for the future of long-term thinking and planning.
Unless we change our habits today our quick-fix, short-term culture can threaten societies in the long run.
Take a journey through the year with Shakespeare, and join curator Allie Esiri and acclaimed actors for this illuminating celebration of the greatest writer in the English language. The show will include insights into Shakespeare’s work and times alongside dazzling readings of some of his best-loved – and lesser known – scenes, soliloquies and sonnets.
'The great rock and roll novel - an epic love letter to the greatest music ever made and the book the music has always deserved' Tony Parsons.
Utopia Avenue might be the most curious British band you've never heard of.
Emerging from London's psychedelic scene in 1967, folksinger Elf Holloway, blues bassist Dean Moss, guitar virtuoso Jasper de Zoet and jazz drummer Griff Griffin together created a unique sound, with lyrics that captured their turbulent times. The band produced only two albums in two years, yet their musical legacy lives on.
This is the story of Utopia Avenue's brief, blazing journey from Soho clubs and draughty ballrooms to the promised land of America, just when the Summer of Love was receding into something much darker - a multi-faceted tale of dreams, drugs, love, sexuality, madness and grief; of stardom's wobbly ladder and fame's Faustian pact; and of the collision between youthful idealism and jaded reality as the Sixties drew to a close.
Above all, this bewitching novel celebrates the power of music to connect across divides, define an era and thrill the soul.
David Mitchell’s novels include Number9Dream, Cloud Atlas, Black Swan Green, The Bone Clocks, Slade House and The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet. Q&A.
John Mitchinson is the founder of the innovative publisher Unbound.
A special performance and Q&A with the novelist and guitarist celebrating A Theatre for Dreamers. 1960. The world is dancing on the edge of revolution, and nowhere more so than on the Greek island of Hydra, where a circle of poets, painters and musicians live tangled lives, ruled by the writers Charmian Clift and George Johnston, troubled king and queen of bohemia. Forming within this circle is a triangle: its points the magnetic, destructive writer Axel Jensen, his dazzling wife Marianne Ihlen, and a young Canadian poet named Leonard Cohen.
Into their midst arrives teenage Erica, with little more than a bundle of blank notebooks and her grief for her mother. Settling on the periphery of this circle, she watches, entranced and disquieted, as a paradise unravels.
Burning with the heat and light of Greece, A Theatre for Dreamers is a spellbinding novel about utopian dreams and innocence lost – and the wars waged between men and women on the battlegrounds of genius.
This event is prerecorded, but there will be a live Q&A afterwards.
The Nobel Prize winning economist is the Distinguished Professor of Economics at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, and a columnist for The New York Times. He analyses the global economy in the context of Covid-19 and proposes ideas for renewal in its aftermath. His latest book is Arguing With Zombies.