Alexander McCall Smith’s much loved character Precious Ramotswe first came to life on the pages of The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency 25 years ago. Join us as we celebrate this global success. The author gives us insights into his writing career and a glimpse of the many series that have been published in the intervening years, including 44 Scotland Street series and a new novel in the Detective Varg series, The Discreet Charm of the Big Bad Wolf.
The author and broadcaster presents a powerful, career-spanning collection of his journalism on race, racism and Black life and death from Africa, the Caribbean, Europe and the United States. For three decades, Younge has had a ringside seat at the most significant events and personalities to impact the Black diaspora: accompanying Nelson Mandela on his first election campaign, joining revellers on the southside of Chicago during Obama’s victory and entering New Orleans days after hurricane Katrina. We see him with Maya Angelou in her limousine, discussing politics with Stormzy on his couch and witnessing Archbishop Desmond Tutu almost fall asleep mid-interview. He has seen how much change is possible and the power of systems to thwart those aspirations.
Celebrate the 30th year of A Squash and A Squeeze in a fun-packed hour of stories and songs based on the author’s many books. She performs with her guitar-playing husband Malcolm and other actors, bringing to life her much treasured and brand new stories. Get ready to join in!
The super-star space scientist is back with her second book, and is ready to answer your questions about the wonders of the universe. Reach for the stars with questions like…is it raining gemstones on Jupiter? What do astronauts have for dinner on the International Space Station?
The author’s Roasting Tin series has sold over 1.5 million copies globally in five years. She’s a recipe writer, food stylist and former lawyer who loves creating easy recipes and believes that making time to eat well – for yourself or for family dinners – is an integral part of the day. Her approach to cooking Indian food is inspired by seeing the ease with which her mother switched between Indian meals to recipes from Delia, Linda McCartney, and Jamie – keeping traditional flavourings, but looking at ways to put easy week-night dinners on the table. As well as writing cookbooks, Rukmini Iyer styles and writes recipes for the Guardian, BBC Good Food, Waitrose, and Fortnum & Mason.
The anthologist returns to Hay to celebrate Shakespeare for Every Day of the Year, marking the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s First Folio. Expect a stellar line-up, following last year’s 2022 Hay Festival success of A Poet for Every Day of the Year, which featured readings from Julian Clary, Monica Dolan, Inua Ellams, Stephen Fry, David Harewood, Simone Kirby, Theresa Lola, Lesley Sharp and Lemn Sissay.
2023 Cast to be announced
The Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna and Hay Festival present the first of a series of debates about the future of Europe. Journalist Misha Glenny discusses the rise of autocracy with historian Orlando Figes, author of The Story of Russia, Ece Temelkuran, Turkish novelist and political thinker, and Zsuzsanna Szelényi is a Hungarian politician and foreign policy specialist. In the 1990s, she was an activist and MP for Fidesz, then a liberal anti-Communist party. After working at the Council of Europe for fifteen years, she returned to politics in 2012, representing the liberal opposition in Parliament. Her book Tainted Democracy: Viktor Orbán and the Subversion of Hungary is published by Hurst.
The veteran broadcaster presents his new book: The State of Us: Why I am hopeful about politics, humanity and our world, an insight on the increase of social inequality at a global level observed through his more than 30 years of journalism. Jon Snow has reported from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, at every United States Presidential election since 1980 and every UK election since 1974. He discusses the fundamental role of journalism in increasingly turbulent times.
The historian was one of the first to enter the newly opened Soviet archives in 1985 and has spent 40 years working on, and in, Russia. When did the creation of Russia’s national mythology begin? Why have its leaders rewritten the past? Is Vladimir Putin likely to follow in the footsteps of his doomed hero, Nicholas I? The Story of Russia starts with Russia’s beginnings in the first millennium and ends with the invasion of Ukraine. The author brings into sharp relief the recurring stories and vibrant characters that make up Russia’s rich history, too often analysed without knowledge of the country’s past. He talks to Emma Graham-Harrison, Senior International Affairs Correspondent for the Guardian and Observer.
Join actor, writer and Rizzle Kicks member Jordan Stephens along with illustrator Beth Suzanna for an interactive storytelling adventure to find The Missing Piece. A heart-warming, fresh and original picture-book event about family and friendship.
To mark the publication of his latest book, a collection of his best sport writings alongside new thoughts on the world of sport as he sees it, Sir Michael Parkinson is in conversation with his son and co-author Mike. Showing highlights from the Parkinson archive, this special Hay Festival event is a unique opportunity to get an intimate, entertaining and informative look at his remarkable journey from a pit village in Yorkshire, via rejection at the Yorkshire nets, earning a living watching and writing about sport to eventually finding himself at the top of those famous stairs as host of a show that for many defined their Saturday night.
Join the Horrible Histories guru, author and podcast host as he takes you on a trip through the amazing history hidden in the things we use every day. Did you know that the first TV was made out of biscuit tins and knitting needles? Or that the humble paperclip helped lead an anti-war movement? Or that a few hundred years ago it was fashionable to style your hair with cat poo?! Find out the delightful, daft history of everyday life that your teachers won’t tell you about. This is history – but not as you know it!
The historian discusses her non-fiction book about a group of extraordinary thinkers who gathered in the small German city of Jena in the 18th century, introducing ideas and concepts that permeated through the following centuries. She gives us an overview of the most important ideas of Romantic philosophy and how they have influenced our thinking. Wulf was the winner of the Eccles Centre & Hay Festival Writer's Award 2013. In conversation with journalist and broadcaster Misha Glenny.
The BBC’s International Editor has covered the Middle East since 1989 and is uniquely placed to explain its complex past and troubled present. In his new book, he meets ordinary men and women on the front line, their leaders, whether brutal or benign, and explores the power games that have so often wreaked devastation on civilian populations as those leaders, whatever their motives, jostle for political, religious and economic control. With his deep understanding of the political, cultural and religious differences between countries as diverse as Erdogan's Turkey, Assad's Syria and Netanyahu's Israel, he offers readers an authoritative guide to the modern Middle East.
The British-Ghanaian writer introduces us to Stephen, whose problems are forgotten in music and dance. Dancing at church, with his parents and brother, the shimmer of Black hands raised in praise; he might have lost his faith, but he does believe in rhythm. Dancing with his band, making music that speaks to the hardships and the joys of their lives. Dancing with his best friend Adeline, two-stepping around the living room, crooning and grooving, so close their heads might touch. Dancing alone, at home, to his father's records, uncovering parts of a man he has never truly known. But what becomes of him when the music fades? When his father begins to speak of shame and sacrifice, when his home is no longer his own? Set over the course of three summers in Stephen's life, from London to Ghana and back again, Small Worlds is an expansive novel about the worlds we build for ourselves, the worlds we live, dance and love within.
The author’s first novel, Open Water, won the Costa First Novel Award and Debut of the Year at the British Book Awards.
The novelist, musician and screenwriter, who writes in Welsh and English, presents the story of twins Ana and Nan, lost after the death of their mother, a renowned author who seemingly killed herself by jumping out of a window, naming her biographer and critic Eben as being responsible for her death. During a night shift in their job at the labyrinthine National Library of Wales, the twins plan to enact their revenge on Eben by locking down the building. But when one rogue security guard starts upsetting the plan and freeing captives, Ana, Nan and Eben find themselves pushed to the limit and what began as a single-minded act of revenge blooms into a complex unravelling of loyalties and motives. Fflur Dafydd is a former Hay Festival International Fellow and has been nominated for several BAFTA Cymru awards for her screenwriting work.
The enormity of climate change and biodiversity loss can leave us feeling overwhelmed. How can an individual ever make a difference? Isabella Tree and Charlie Burrell know first-hand how spectacularly nature can bounce back if we give it the chance. And what comes is not just wildlife in super-abundance, but solutions to the other environmental crises we face. Rewilding is a spectrum, and everyone is on it. Whether we have a garden or a window-box, a tree or some roadside verge, there is no space too small. The Book of Wilding is a handbook for how we can all help restore nature. It is ambitious, visionary and pragmatic and explains how every one of us can play a part in rewilding our world. It is a manifesto of hope.
She's back! Internationally renowned poet, novelist and prophet Margaret Atwood returns to Hay. This new collection of 15 stories explore the warp and weft of experience, from two best friends disagreeing about their shared past, to the right way to stop someone from choking; from a daughter determining if her mother really is a witch, to what to do with inherited relics such as World War II parade swords. They feature beloved cats, a confused snail, Martha Gellhorn, George Orwell, mathematician Hypatia of Alexandria, a cabal of elderly female academics, and an alien tasked with retelling human fairy tales. At the heart of the collection is a sequence that follows a married couple as they travel the road together, the moments big and small that make up a long life of love – and what comes after.
We are familiar with the idea of our body’s biome – the bacterial fauna that populate our gut and can so profoundly affect our health. The next frontier of scientific understanding is discovering our body’s electrome. Every cell in our bodies – bones, skin, nerves, muscle – has a voltage, like a tiny battery. This bioelectricity is why our brains can send signals to our bodies, why we develop the way we do in the womb and how our bodies know to heal themselves from injury. When bioelectricity goes awry, illness, deformity and cancer can result. But could there be an undo switch for cancer to flip malignant cells back into healthy ones; the ability to regenerate cells, organs, even limbs; to slow ageing?
The science writer explores the history of bioelectricity, from Galvani’s epic 18th century battle with the inventor of the battery, Alessandro Volta, to the medical charlatans claiming to use electricity to cure pretty much anything, to advances in the field helped along by the unusually massive axons of squid.