Climate change, populism, technological revolution, transformations in global health... At times like this our systems and lifestyles are in need of rapid transformation.
Books have long been the catalyst for this kind of change around the world – think of Darwin's Origin of Species, Orwell's 1984, Woolf's A Room of One's Own – and writers the best at articulating truths we struggle to recognise. In a digital world, where the currency of commentary can be most powerfully compressed into 280 characters, the book is surging back precisely because of the seriousness of the artefact. It’s not just the brilliant and durable technology, it’s the slow, careful and undemonstrative attention to clarity and depth of thought.
Across fiction and non-fiction, poetry and prose, there are authors tackling the most urgent of our challenges, sharing more contemporary stories than at any time in history. These new ideas and new perspectives have never felt more essential.
So, for Hay Festival 2020 we asked you to create an #imaginetheworld reading list – 20 books that offer us a roadmap to a better world, through transformative ideas or unheard voices - and you responded in your hundreds. So, here it is...