When the pandemic hit, the government launched its ‘Everyone In’ programme, aiming to house the homeless through lockdown. The Prince Rupert, a four-star hotel in Shrewsbury with four-poster beds, was asked to play its part and host 33 rough sleepers. The hotel owners and rough sleepers, many of whom had been out of housing for decades, spent months locked in together and ended up transforming one another’s lives. In a profound, heartwarming and heartbreaking tale, Christina Lamb, Sunday Times Chief Foreign Correspondent, gives a panoramic insight into this country, its people and how they are often failed.
Lady Hale is the first woman to have been appointed to the Supreme Court and the youngest and first Commissioner to be selected for the Law Commission. Famed for her insect brooches and dubbed the ‘Beyoncé of the legal world’ for her pioneering reputation among students and young lawyers, she presents her memoir of a bold, glass-ceiling-breaking woman. She talks to Helena Kennedy, one of Britain's most distinguished lawyers who has spent her professional life giving a voice to those with the least power within the system, defending civil liberties and promoting human rights.
The external pressure to modify our bodies is overwhelming. In Intact, the Cambridge philosopher analyses the social forces behind the issue. While defending the right of anyone to choose how they look, she argues that the urging to ‘improve’ ourselves sends the message: ‘you are not good enough’. She interrogates the personal harm and psychological damage being done to men, women and children, stating that such pressures are discriminatory by race, gender, disability and age. To illustrate, she gives examples from ‘nearly nude’ make-up to male circumcision, from body-building to breast implants, and parental rights to change their children’s bodies. In conversation with Fiona Fox, author and Science Media Centre Chief Executive.
Helena Lee, features director of Harper’s Bazaar and founder/editor of East Side Voices, talks to Whitbread Prize-winning author Tash Aw about questions of identity and the experience of the East and Southeast Asian diaspora in Britain. Lee founded East Side Voices in 2020 to draw attention to the talents and skills of people with East and Southeast Asian heritage. Tash Aw has written four novels, including We, the Survivors, and a family memoir, Strangers on a Pier.
Author of five Sunday Times bestselling books and star of Channel 5’s Our Yorkshire Farm, the shepherdess and mother of nine lives in the Yorkshire Dales, 50 miles from the nearest large town. Her farm life is dominated by the seasons – feeding, clipping, dipping, herding, rescuing and lambing her flock. With her own photographs and recipes, her memoir showcases the bleak and beautiful landscape of the Yorkshire Dales, opening a door into a life lived on one of the country’s highest, wildest moors.
How to deal with climate change, mass migration, new wars, big technology, the rise of the democratic mob and authoritarian capitalism? The Principal of Hertford College, Oxford University, and former diplomat Tom Fletcher offers answers in his latest book, Ten Survival Skills for a World in Flux – a practical manifesto that can help us transform the way we learn, live and work together. Alice Sherwood is the author of Authenticity: Reclaiming Reality in a Counterfeit Culture and a Visiting Research Fellow at the Policy Institute at King’s. They share ideas on how to reclaim reality, renew education, restore society and reimagine the future.
In April 1944 the teenager Rudolf Vrba planned a daring escape from Auschwitz. After hiding in a pile of wooden planks for three days while 3,000 SS men and their bloodhounds searched for him, Vrba and fellow escapee Fred Wetzler eventually crossed Nazi-occupied Poland on foot. He produced from memory a 30-page report revealing the scale of Auschwitz, which reached Roosevelt, Churchill and the Pope, and saved 200,000 Jews. This is the story of a complex man who would seek escape again and again – first from Auschwitz, then from his past, even from his own name. Journalist and broadcaster Freedland is author of the Sam Bourne novels.
How do you remember more and forget less? How can you earn more and become more creative just by moving house? And how do you pack a car boot most efficiently? Thinking Better offers clever strategies for daily complex problems via shortcuts. Shortcuts have enabled much of human progress, whether in constructing the first cities around the Euphrates 5,000 years ago, using calculus to determine the scale of the universe or in writing today's algorithms that help us find a new life partner. The Oxford mathematician shares his shortcut to the art of the shortcut with neuroscientist Hannah Critchlow.
Nick Broomfield is a film documentary director known for breaking rules and for confronting difficult, even dangerous, subjects. He started with Chicken Ranch (1983), a study of a legalised brothel in Nevada, and then pioneered a form of ‘self-reflective’ documentary where the actual making of the film becomes as much its subject as the subject itself. Here, he takes a personal look at his relationship with his humanist-pacifist father, Maurice Broomfield, a factory worker turned photographer of vivid images of postwar England. He talks to journalist, editor, publisher and author Rosie Boycott.
As Sally Rooney’s extraordinary debut arrives on our television screens following the huge success of Normal People, the creators of this highly anticipated BBC Three series discuss the art of adaptation. Actors Joe Alwyn (Nick), Alison Oliver (Frances) and executive producer Emma Norton talk to writer and broadcaster Francine Stock.
The comedian, writer and star of TV's Father Ted and Death in Paradise introduces his new mystery novel, a razor-sharp, violent and comic satire on Ireland’s tangled politics of memory. Set in a small town on the Irish Border during the uneasy transition to peace, it is full of deadpan characterisation and dark humour, illustrating the oddities, blind spots and petty hypocrisies of everyday life. But it is also about community, compassion, truth and the ideological conflicts that have shaped Irish society for more than a century.
The Arctic treeline, which encircles the north of the globe in an almost unbroken ring, is the frontline of climate change, where the trees – Scots pine, birch, larch, spruce, poplar and rowan – have been creeping towards the pole for 50 years already. The author has travelled through Scotland, northern Scandinavia, Siberia, Alaska, Canada and Greenland, witnessing the impact of climate change and the devastating legacies of colonialism and capitalism. But he also finds reasons for hope. Humans are creatures of the forest; we have evolved with trees. Rawlence asks where our co-evolution might take us next, underpinned by an urgent environmental message. In conversation with journalist, Nicola Cutcher.
Writer Geoff Dyer sets his own encounter with middle age against the last days and achievements of writers, painters, athletes and musicians who have mattered to him throughout his life. He examines Friedrich Nietzsche’s breakdown in Turin, Bob Dylan’s reinventions of old songs, JW Turner’s paintings of abstracted light, John Coltrane’s cosmic melodies, Jean Rhys’ return from the dead (while still alive) and Beethoven’s final quartets. Considering how things intensify and modify when an ending is within sight, he winds down with the Unbound publisher. Oh, and there’s stuff about Roger Federer and tennis, too.
Kate Noakes combines memoir, anecdote, social history and arcane facts with subversive wit to provide an affectionate portrait of the town famed for its secondhand shops (and Hay Festival). She describes how it faces the challenges of any small market town, with a rich rural hinterland, and a landscape vying for attention with the best that metropolitan culture has to offer. Rosie Hayles has written the story of one street in Hay seen through history, in a narrative rich in the detail of everyday life, peopled with characters from Norman times up to 1980 when Broad Street had its first two bookshops. She has spent many years collecting stories of those who have lived or worked on Broad Street.
After a major restoration project, Hay Castle’s inaugural exhibition is Portraits of Writers, when director Tom True will give a ten-minute introduction followed by a Q&A. The event displays works from the National Portrait Gallery, selected by guest curator, author and journalist Dylan Jones, bringing together a range of works of celebrated British individuals who identify as writers. It presents a range of methods used by artists to capture the complex identities of writers, including gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, national and regional identity, migration and colonisation. Those depicted include RIz Ahmed, Simon Armitage, Salman Rushdie and Bernardine Evaristo.
Two crime-writing legends join forces for the first ever case of DI Laidlaw: the original gritty Glasgow detective who inspired an entire genre. William McIlvanney’s Laidlaw trilogy changed the face of crime fiction in the 1970s and 1980s, inspiring an entire generation of crime writers including Mark Billingham, Val McDermid, Denise Mina, Chris Brookmyre – and Ian Rankin. When McIlvanney died in 2015, he left half a handwritten manuscript of Laidlaw’s first case, his first new novel in 25 years. Now, Ian Rankin is back to finish what McIlvanney started. In The Dark Remains, the criminal world of 1970s Glasgow, and the relentless quest for truth, are brought to life by these two authors.
The writer and Chief Executive of the Science Media Centre embarks on a journey documenting some of the most contentious stories in science over the past two decades. From animal research and GM foods to hybrid embryos and a global pandemic, her book demonstrates the vital importance of scientists talking to the media – and warns of the damage to public understanding when scientists are silenced on the defining issues of our times.
Rich Hall’s comedy/music locomotive keeps on rollin’. Ever-evolving, ever-changing, Rich’s combination of keen acerbic stand-up combined with spit and sawdust alt-country lyricism is a ‘win-win’ (Guardian). This show goes where other comedians wouldn’t dare: Barrow-in-Furness, for example. His acclaimed BBC4 documentaries (such as Rich Hall’s Red Menace) and his Radio 4 series Election Breakdown have gained a new legion of followers. He’s a stalwart of QI and Have I Got News For You. Gut-busting, rib-tickling, toe-tapping, Rich Hall’s
Hoedown Deluxe covers the full anatomical spectrum.
Dust off your glad rags, grab a drink from the Festival Bar and join us for an epic closing night party – we’ll be clearing out the seats to make way for seven-piece funk and soul heroes Sould, our resident DJ Max Galactic and plenty of room for dancing. Get ready for sing-along anthems and the uncontrollable urge to move. You will be in the most capable hands. Sould serves up a mix of your favourite soul and R&B tunes, and Hay-based Galactic is getting ready to spend the summer putting smiles on the faces of Festival-goers across the country – from Wilderness to Shambala, Nozstock to El Dorado, and Boomtown to Balter, he’s a man on a disco party mission.