well read - The Hay Festival 2011
Written by Karen Martin
The Hay Festival, set in the Welsh border town of Hay-on-Wye in the Brecon Beacons, attracts writers, film-makers, comedians, politicians, and musicians from May 26 through to June 5 for an exciting line-up of events.
The line-up at the Hay Festival reads like a who’s who of stage, screen, and page. Musician Alfred Brendel discusses music and humour; The West Wing star Rob Lowe reveals his intimate memoir to Mariella Frostrup; Bob Geldof showcases his new album; and Dara Ó Briain will perform comedy.
Paul Nurse gives his views on Milton and Darwin; Ojos de Brujo play a concert; Shappi Khorsandi performs stand-up; and the dream-team cast of Vanessa Redgrave, Ralph Fiennes, Gillian Anderson, Damian Lewis, and Jay Sanders appear in Philippe Sands’ play Torture Team for Amnesty’s 50th anniversary.
Popular professor of particle physics Brian Cox will give a Royal Society lecture; Nigella Lawson will be in conversation with Joan Bakewell, discussing her passion for food; and David Bailey will discuss his recent trip to Afghanistan to photograph soldiers at Camp Bastion.
Other names added to the list include Alexander McCall Smith, author of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, on his life and work; Maureen Lipman on her latest book, I Must Collect Myself; and David Baddiel on his acclaimed new novel, and controversial debut screenplay.
Photographs by Adam Burton
Covering a vast and varied landscape, the Brecon Beacons is one of southern Britain’s most spectacular national parks. Encompassing three imposing mountain ranges, much of the area is remote and untamed wilderness, rich in windswept moorland, sandstone summits, and dramatic valleys. Within these natural mountain boundaries lies a varied and beautiful landscape of rivers and waterfalls, rolling pastoral countryside, canalways, and forest. Adam Burton’s photographs of the Brecon Beacons in all seasons and weathers will captivate anyone who is fascinated by Britain’s wild places.
We Had it So Good
By Linda Grant
In 1968 Stephen Newman arrives in England from California. Sent down from Oxford, he hurriedly marries his English girlfriend Andrea to avoid returning to America and the draft board. Over the next 40 years they and their friends build lives of middle-class success until the events of late middle age and the new century force them to realise that their fortunate generation has always lived in a fool’s paradise. Author Linda Grant won the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2000.
The Music Instinct:
How Music Works and Why We Can't Do Without It
By Philip Ball
Why have all human cultures – today and throughout history – made music? Why does music excite such rich emotion? How do we make sense of musical sound? This book explores how the latest research in music psychology and brain science is piecing together the puzzle of how our minds understand and respond to music. Philip Ball interweaves philosophy, mathematics, history, and neurology to reveal why music moves us in so many ways.
Comfort and Joy
By India Knight
Clara wants to make Christmas perfect: it’s a lifelong ambition. And a challenging one at the best of times, even without taking her 15 guests – sorry, ‘loved ones’ – and their varying degrees of social dysfunction into account. Meanwhile, something weird has happened to her marriage, and the ho, ho, ho is thin on the ground. A blackly funny, tender dissection of the meaning of love – family love, sibling love, children love – Comfort and Joy will make you laugh and cry.
The Forty Rules of Love
By Elif Shafak
Ella Rubenstein is 40 years old and unhappily married when she takes a job as a reader for a literary agent – and suddenly her life is transformed. Her first assignment is to read a novel about the ancient Sufi mystic Rumi, who was transformed by the whirling dervish into a passionate poet and advocate of love. Slowly she realises that his 13th-century life is starting to mirror her own, opening up exciting opportunities for her to embrace the dervish’s timeless message for herself.
Distance: 5,219 km
Flight Time: 7 hours, 35 minutes
Frequency: 6 flights a day