The sixteenth edition of the Hay Festival Segovia will be held from September 17 to 19, 2021. For the first time, to celebrate the heritage of Castilla y León there will be a series of previous events in various venues in the region. All events will be in-person — some will be streamed too — respecting the security protocols. More information here.
Jesús Carrasco is one of those authors whose outstanding debut has set the pace for his literary career. In his case, the book was Out in the Open, a phenomenon whose outstanding storytelling continues to attract readers. The characters, a boy fleeing violence and a goatherd who takes him under his wing, have been brought to life by Jaime López and the acclaimed actor Luis Tosar, who star in the film version of the novel, directed by Benito Zambrano. After this striking debut, which has been translated into 28 languages and has won various international prizes, and the author’s second novel, La tierra que pisamos, Carrasco returns with Llévame a casa. This is a story of flight and return, of the responsibility of caring for the elderly, and the weight of family. Critics and readers often compare the writer to the great Miguel Delibes, whose legacy will be considered at this event.
Jesús Carrasco will talk to the cultural journalist and writer Angélica Tanarro. Presented by Elisa Delibes, Chair of The Delibes Foundation and Javier Ortega, Minister of Culture in the Castile and Leon Regional Government.
The Peruvian writer and journalist Raúl Tola will talk about the work of Mario Vargas Llosa and will present a pre-recorded conversation with the Nobel laureate at an event attended by readers of the author of The Time of the Hero.
Raúl Tola has worked as a print and television journalist for some of his country’s most important organizations; he is also a regular contributor to El País newspaper in Spain, where he currently lives. He has published the novels Noche de cuervos, Heridas privadas, Flores amarillas, La noche sin ventanas and La favorita del Inca, as well as the short story collection Toque de queda. He currently runs the Cátedra Vargas Llosa organization.
In his conversation with the Nobel prize-winner, he will ask Vargas Llosa about a career that has made him one of the few writers to be consecrated while still at the height of their powers. His acclaim is based on the prestige and popularity of his writings, as well as on the fact he has won the most important international literary awards (including the Cervantes Prize, the most important in the Spanish language). Vargas Llosa, who has both Peruvian and Spanish nationality, is a true citizen of the world and has published over a hundred works. He has written in a wide range of genres including drama and journalism, but his most outstanding work has been in the novel and in essay writing. The writer’s bibliography has been translated into many different languages. The career of the author of The Feast of the Goat, Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter, Conversation in the Cathedral and Tiempos recios, his latest work of fiction, spans the second half of the 20th century, including the famous boom in Latin American literature, of which he was one of the most outstanding writers. Still creating works of critical importance in 21st century, Vargas Llosa’s place in the pantheon of world writers seems assured.
After the screening of the encounter between the two authors, Tola will talk to members of Segovia’s book clubs present at the event.
Presented by the Director of the Segovia Public Library, Roberto García Arribas.
Rural depopulation, culture and a need to return to nature are the themes that will occupy this meeting between two writers: Fermín Herrero and Carlos Aganzo. The poetry of Fermín Herrero, winner of the Castile and Leon Literature Prize, has become a symbol of the España vacía, or ‘Empty Spain’. The poet and journalist Carlos Aganzo is linked to the El Norte de Castilla, Miguel Delibes’ newspaper, a publication that is profoundly involved with the countryside and the rural world. Natural and cultural heritage come together to give voice to the land, at an event in which the Hay Festival extends its arms, from Segovia, around Castile and Leon.
Do you accept the challenge of writing a story in English… in one hour? We will give you the characters, the situation and the setting… just bring your imagination! We await you at this literary competition for young people aged 12 to 17.
There are a number of essential writers in Spanish-language short fiction, and one of them is Gonzalo Calcedo, who recently won the Castile and Leon Literature Prize. His short stories tell of worlds that are nearby, or hidden; urban and natural; which reveal solitude but also fellow-feeling among humans. His many titles include La carga de la brigada ligera, Temporada de huracanes, El prisionero de la Avenida Lexington and Las inglesas.
There are also other ways to tell stories: with the opening of a camera shutter. This way of talking about life is the one chosen by the photographer Ángel Marcos. His images not only reveal far-off worlds, often endangered ones, but are also a commitment to human beings. Marcos has travelled to cities such as New York and Barcelona, and countries such as China, Cuba, and the Vatican to create images that have been exhibited in major museums in Spain and abroad.
This compassion for the people around them is what unites these two artists, who will talk about their careers and the links between writing and photography.
Calcedo and Marcos will talk to the journalist and writer Angélica Tanarro, author of books such as Serán distancia and Memoria del límite.
The latest novel by the journalist and political analyst Nativel Preciado is an ode to nature, to the lessons it teaches us, to the African continent and to the elephants, for which she feels a great love. El silencio de los elefantes rose with the Azorín Novel Prize in its latest edition. ABC, Interviú , Tiempo are some of the printed medi in which she has developed her journalistic career, which also has a long trajectory in radio and television. She is currently a collaborator at Los Desayunos de TVE and El debate de La I, in public television, and in Al rojo vivo or La Sexta Noche at La Sexta. Her first literary publications are part of the memoir genre, but later on she has been more inclined towards the novel. With her first novel, El egoísta, she was shortlisted for the Planeta Prize. She then published Bodas de plata, Llegó el tiempo de las cerezas, Canta solo para mí (Fernando Lara Prize) or El Nobel y la corista.
Nativel Preciado will talk to Javier Ors, head of Culture at La Razón.
Organized together with Castille and Leon Regional Government and with the collaboration of Grupo Planeta and Museo de la Evolución Humana
Bernardine Evaristo’s best known book, and the only one translated into Spanish so far, is Girl, Woman, Other, which won the 2019 Booker Prize, shared with Margaret Atwood. This is a novel of many voices, in which twelve black women from different places and generations, all living in the UK, talk about their desires, their struggle for freedom and independence and the search for their own identity. One of Barack Obama’s favourite books of 2019. Evaristo, a Nigerian-British woman, has won many awards for her work as a writer, journalist and publisher, including the Booker, one of the most prestigious awards in the English-speaking world. Her work promoting Afro literature and art has also been recognized. In 2012 Evaristo founded the Brunel University African Poetry Prize, and until recently was the Vice-Chair of the Royal Society of Literature.
Evaristo will talk about her career with Ludovic Assémat, a Politics graduate and Head of the British Council’s Arts Department.
This event will be introduced by María José Ferrari, Academic Director of the IE University’s Arts and Humanities Department.
Bernardine Evaristo will contribute digitally.
Technological advances are influencing many areas of our lives, including the way we read and the way writers approach their work. Will the role of the writer change in a world dominated by the algorithm? Will robots replace them? These matters will be debated by the writers Carme Riera and Nuria Barrios, the novelist Javier Sierra and the copyright specialist Javier Díaz de Olarte.
The writer and RAE scholar Carme Riera has a long career as an essayist, novelist and short story writer, in literary, crime and historical fiction. She has received many awards, including the National Literature Prize, which she won in 2015. She writes in both Spanish and Catalan, translating her own works, books that include In the Last Blue, Naturaleza casi muerta, Tiempo de inocencia and Vengaré tu muerte, her latest.
The writer and translator Nuria Barrios (who translates into Spanish the writings of the Irish author John Banville) began her literary career with the novel Amores patológicos. She publishes poetry (El hilo de agua, Ateneo de Sevilla Prize; Nostalgia de Odiseo), short stories (El zoo sentimental) and travel writing (Balearia). With her collection of stories Ocho centímetros she began a trilogy that includes the poetry book La luz de la dinamo and her latest novel, Todo arde.
Javier Sierra is a journalist, novelist and short fiction and essay writer. He has worked for a range of publications and has directed programmes for the media. In 2017 he won the Planeta Prize for his novel El fuego invisible. In 2006 one of his works, The Secret Supper, was included on The New York Times bestseller list. El mensaje de Pandora is his latest novel.
Javier Díaz de Olarte is a lawyer and head of the Legal Department at the Spanish Centre for Reprographic Rights (CEDRO). He regularly lectures on Master’s programmes related to intellectual property and collective management, and has contributed as an author to publications on these and related topics.
They will talk to Daniel Fernández, publisher and President of CEDRO.
Belonging to a historical dynasty of Swedish aristocracy, the Natt och Dagg (“Night and Day”), has not stopped this Stockholm writer from using his novels to reflect on the privileges of a dominant class that rose above the poverty of the general population in 18th-century Sweden. His literary debut, 1793, was placed on national lists of the best book of the year. His winning combination of thriller and historical novel meant that he became a hot property at crime writing events, such as BCN Negra. Now, with 1794 recently published in Spain, he continues what will be the Bellman Noir trilogy, whose third episode is underway. Niklas Natt och Dagg belongs to that small group of writers whose first work is published in over thirty countries. The boy who admired Stephen King is now a star writer.
Natt och Dagg will talk to the El País journalist, Juan Carlos Galindo, who runs the Elemental crime writing blog.
At this year’s Propios y Ajenos —a cycle of readings that has taken place twelve times at the Hay Festival Segovia— the poets Diego Doncel, Carlos Aganzo, Mererid Hopwood, Angélica Tanarro and Mario Obrero will read poems from their own books,and Hitamatsu Kenji, Patricia Kenji and Caroline Michel by their favourite poets, in a trail around the most beautiful spots of the garden of San Marcos. Once again, the writer José Félix Valdivieso will be the master of ceremonies.
In case of rain, the event will take place in the Alhóndiga at the same time.
Well known for the bestseller The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (David Fickling Books, 2006) –a novel that won two Irish Book Awards, was shortlisted for a British Book Award, has been translated into over forty books, has sold over five million copies, and was made into a film in 2008–, John Boyne has also written several other works of fiction. These include Mutiny on the Bounty, The Date, The Thief of Time, Noah Barleywater Runs Away, This House is Haunted and A History of Loneliness. His latest novel to be published in Spanish, Las furias invisibles del corazón, (The Heart’s Invisible Furies), which Salamandra published in May this year, is an ambitious journey into the turbulent world of love and desire in search of the instinctive human need for affection and happiness. This fine portrait of Ireland’s recent past shows the talent of Boyne, but also a personal side, since this is one of the most autobiographical of his works.
John Boyne will talk to the journalist and writer Inés Martín Rodrigo, author of the novel Azules son las horas.
Eva García Sáenz de Urturi, the last winner of the Planeta Prize, is an example of how sometimes word of mouth is enough to bring a writer to prominence. Her first novel, La saga de los longevos, became a sales phenomenon via self-publication. Her rare capacity to connect with readers was confirmed, now supported by the Planeta Group, by her White City Trilogy (El silencio de la ciudad blanca, Los ritos del agua and Los señores del tiempo), which gave rise to a film version directed by Daniel Calparsoro. In her latest book, which won the Planeta, Spanish literature’s most expensive prize, García Sáenz de Urturi travels to the Middle Ages with a look at the fascinating character of Eleanor of Aquitaine. Aquitania begins with the death of the protagonist’s father, William X, who is poisoned after completing a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. In the words of the author, it is “a medieval thriller, a homage to The Name of the Rose”.
Eva García Sáenz de Urturi will talk to Helena Resano, newsreader on La Sexta Noticias, winner of the Antena de Oro Award and author of La trastienda de un informativo.
What is crucial for creating a good story? What errors do new writers frequently commit? And what about the most common vices in the profession? Marcelo Luján, one of the most high-profile short story and detective novel writers of the moment will look at some important areas, just as he does in his classes at the Writers’ School. Luján has won important awards, including the Ribera de Duero Prize for his fine short story collection La claridad. He also received the Dashiell Hammett Prize for Subsuelo and the Getafe Crime Novel Prize for La mala espera. Other books by him include Moravia, Flores para Irene, Siempre hay alguien a quien matar and the book of poetic prose Pequeños pies ingleses.
Luján will talk to the journalist Juan Carlos Galindo, Culture Section and Babelia writer for El País and coordinator of the Elemental crime writing blog.
Rodrigo Cortés is a most versatile artist: director, actor, producer, screenwriter, aphorist… and novelist. His latest book, Los años extraordinarios, is a novel in the tradition of Valle-Inclán that takes us on a journey through the 20th century. The work, particularly its protagonist, Jaime Fanjul, has received praise from both critics and fellow writers. No challenge seems too great for this Salamanca artist: aged 25 he was already filming videos for Amenábar and he has not shied away from working with Hollywood stars like Robert de Niro, Sigourney Weaver and Uma Thurman (the star of Down a Dark Hall, his most recent film). Perhaps his most famous feature has been Buried, a suffocating film in which Ryan Reynolds plays a man who is trying to survive after being buried alive in a coffin. The movie won several Goyas in Spain as well as international awards. Given his career so far, this artist with the captivating smile must have something special.
Rodrigo Cortés will talk to the publisher Miguel Aguilar, who has worked with major figures in Spanish literature, such as Rafael Sánchez Ferlosio.
The literary career of Mathias Enard is closely linked to his interest in the Arab and Persian cultures, his specialist subject when he studied at the National Institute for Oriental Languages and Civilizations in France, his native country. He has lived in Paris, the Middle East, Spain and Berlin, and has translated works from Persian and Lebanese Arabic. He has also promoted a range of cultural publications, such as the graphic publisher, Scrawitch, and the gallery of the same name in the 11th arrondissement of the French capital. All his novels have won awards in France or abroad, from the first, La perfection du tir, to the penultimate, Compass, which won the Prix Goncourt and which was dedicated to the Syrian people, devastated by war. Other titles by him include Street of Thieves; Tell Them of Battles, Kings and Elephants; and the last, Le banquet annuel de la confrérie des fossoyeurs. He is a Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters, a title awarded by the French Ministry of Culture.
Enard will talk to Jesús Ruiz Mantilla, a journalist and author of books such as Contar la música, Hotel Transición, Preludio, El encuentro and Papel, his latest.
María Dueñas brings us moments of reunion, including hers and ours with the protagonist of the unforgettable novel The Seamstress, a work that established its author as one of the most read in the Spanish language, a position that she still retains. Sira, after whom the new book is named, returns almost twelve years after the events of the story of that young and resourceful seamstress, caught up in the world of espionage. Dueñas takes her, and us, to Jerusalem, London, Madrid and Tangiers, and gives her main character the experience of motherhood. What is more, fans of the author of books such as Misión Olvido and Las hijas del capitán, can see the second adaptation of one of her books, which has been made into a television series. After the international success of the adaptation of The Seamstress, released as The Time in Between, we can now see La templanza, a story of family intrigue set in the 19th century.
María Dueñas will talk to Jesús Vigorra, producer and presenter of Las mañanas on Canal Sur Radio.
Manuel Jabois once said “I write so that I won’t have to talk about what I write.” He will have to overcome his shyness here to talk about his latest book, the successful novel Miss Marte. The book is a thriller, a story of teenage love, a journalist’s investigation into the disappearance of a girl –inspired by the case of Madeleine McCann–, all set in the author’s native Galicia. The name of Jabois first became known with his writing for El Mundo and later El País and his work as a journalist has been recognized with awards such as the Julio Camba. After Malaherba, his previous publication, his latest book confirms the author’s storytelling powers with a portrait of a fascinating character.
Karina Sainz Borgo is the other pole of this event. She shares with Jabois a career in journalism, and the two will focus their conversation on these two sides of a single profession: writing. The Venezuelan writer’s first novel, La hija de la española, made a considerable impact in the world of literature, receiving the French Madame Figaro Grand Prix de l’Héroїne, and she has talked about her second novel as a book about the need for compassion. El tercer país is about an illicit cemetery located in a frontier land, where life and death meet; this story, which has aspects of magic realism about it, is about two strong women learning to survive.
The second Propios y Ajenos event of the 2021 Hay Festival Segovia presents the princes Lorenzo de’ Medici and Hussain Aga Khan; the British ambassador, Hugh Elliot and his wife, Toñi Elliot; the Dutch ambassador, Jan Versteeg and Caroline Michel, chair of the Hay Festival, who will read from their favourite poets on a trail that includes some of the most beautiful spots in the Romeral de San Marcos Garden.
Readings in Spanish, English and Dutch.
In case of rain, the event will take place in the Alhóndiga at the same time.
“The biggest change in 50 million years.” This is how the environmental writer and activist Andri Snaer Magnason replied when asked about the future effects of climate change. It is something of such massive dimensions that we lack words to express it, although for many the climate conversation has been nothing more than hot air. But this is changing, and books such as On Time and Water are looking at the crisis through science, poetry, history and mythology. Magnason is an environmental activist who looks at the dangers of not caring for our planet and nature from his different facets as an artist: he is a writer, actor and director, both of feature and documentary film. As a writer, he has published novels, short stories, narrative essay and plays. His titles include Dreamland, The Story of the Blue Planet for which he won the Iceland Literary Prize, and Eternal Happiness. In 2016 he ran for the presidency of his country, Iceland.
Magnason will talk to Irene Hernández Velasco, journalist at El Mundo, with which she was a correspondent in Rome.
The success of her first novel, La hermandad de la Sábana Santa, the bestseller that has been published in thirty countries, motivated her to leave her career as a journalist and essayist (Señora presidenta, El nuevo socialismo: la visión de José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero) and focus on literature. Her novels, Dime quién soy, Dispara, yo ya estoy muerto, Historia de un canalla and Tú no matarás made inroads on the bestseller lists. Julia Navarro creates characters and places them in different historical moments, always with a rigorous style. One of her novels, Dime quién soy, has been made into a series starring Irene Escolar. Her latest novel, De ninguna parte, tells of a journey made by two men in search of their identities, against a backdrop of religious fundamentalism. It is due to be published very soon in Spain, Latin America and the United States.
Navarro will talk to José Manuel Lorenzo, the producer of the series Dime quién soy, President and founder of the film and television production company DLO Producciones and President of PATE (Associate Producers of Television in Spain).