Videos and podcasts from Bloomsbury Institute events

Bloomsbury Institute
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Videos & Podcasts

Hear past recordings of our events with our authors and partners.  

Stephen Kelman and Nick Lake at their event 'Gang Culture in Fiction', interviewed by Julia Eccleshare (31st January 2012). 

Nadine Gordimer

            

List of questions asked: 

1.    Was there one particular moment that perhaps inspired you to start writing this book? Where did your train of thought begin?

2.    You mentioned that your constitution's one of the finest in the world and there was an article in the Sunday Times yesterday about President de Klerk being so concerned about the new policy, that the constitution may be changed by the ANC irreparably, betraying the trust Mandela put in it. What he's saying is what he did with Mandela is now under threat by the ANC and he's coming out to try to rally the forces.

3.    Partially along with the question that was already asked, I think the concern according to de Klerk is irrelevant. Is there a valid concern that through the power of ANC and the number of seats it holds in parliament you see somewhat the downside of this one party state occurring in South Africa and of course there are many bad examples of that in surrounding countries. Is that a real concern?

4.    What role do you think that writing has in effecting change in the state of a nation, and in particular South Africa?

5.    This is a question really more about the book itself and the mixed race couple, Jabu and Steve and I really wondered where they came from. They develop during the book, they have a at times quite an uncomfortable relationship, with each other and with their own families. I just wondered what inspired Jubu and Steve, whether you knew people like that or they developed as you wrote the book.

6.    My question was really a follow up question to the previous question. I don't have much first-hand experience with South Africa, but I've worked a lot in eastern Europe and in north Africa and one of the hardest things it seems for people to reconcile themselves with is their history and I've seen countries spending years, sometimes decades, even generations reconciling them. South Africa is often held up as an example of how they could reconcile themselves. But, of course your writing suggests that this is much more difficult and more painful than as often portrayed. First of all, is this a genuine complication that South Africa has gone through, could it have been different, become more genuine and finally, what is the role of writing in this?

7.    One of the first books that got me into modern literature was actually J. M Coetzee's Waiting for the Barbarians, and so I guess my early years of reading modern literature were during that time when apartheid was still very much import and I was reading quite a lot of South African literature. And I always wondered what life was like for authors who were in South Africa whose books were banned there but they were being published abroad. I mean, obviously people knew roughly what they were saying, I mean, how bad was it for authors?

8.    But was there much in the way of sort of persecution or anything? Or was it just that your books were banned and sort of ignored domestically or was there actually attempts to stop you writing?

9.    Do you think that the young of all races understand the stakes in this upcoming bill?

10.My question is did you in your time perhaps meet some of the other great authors, say Kenneth (means Alan) Paton or Andre Brink and is there any story that you might like to tell about some of those writers that were writing at the same time?

11.I was just wondering if we ever find there's a tension between being a political writer and also being a fictional writer, in fact you've got to build a fictional tale on a political framework and where you find the tension between telling the truth and also telling a story?

William Boyd

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William Boyd

The Art of the Short Story with Jon McGregor, Roshi Fernando and D. W. Wilson chaired by Di Speirs, Editor of Readings at BBC Radio 4

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Double Cross
Shoot the damn dog

Ben Macintyre

Sally Brampton



Granta

Lawrence Norfolk, Esther Freud and Andrea Stuart



Crime writing

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Kate Summerscale


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A Celebration of Churchill


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Stella Rimington


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The History of English Food

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Khaled Hosseini

In a rare visit to the UK and his only public event, Khaled Hosseini, the bestselling and much-loved author of The Kite Runner, talked about his new novel And the Mountains Echoed at the Royal Institution.

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Graeme Obree

Cycling legend Graeme Obree joined us at the Bloomsbury Institute for an evening of biking wisdom, radical training tips and an insight into his world land speed attempt and the building of his bike, ‘The Beastie’.

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The Secret Life of Buildings

What are the economic, erotic, political and psychological impacts of architecture on people? Novelist Tom Campbell and art historian Tom Wilkinson explore the secret life of buildings and their influence on people and their lives.

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Kwasi Kwarteng

Historian and MP Kwasi Kwarteng discusses War and Gold, a unique look at the financial world and its troubled history.
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Lynn Barber

Britain’s greatest and most ferocious interviewer,  Lynn Barber, takes to the Bloomsbury stage to discuss A Curious Career,  her new memoir of her life as an interviewer.

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Michael Hutchinson on Faster: 
The Obsession, Science and Luck Behind the World's Fastest Cyclists 

Michael Hutchinson is obsessed with speed. He explains why cyclists do what they do, what the riders, their coaches and the boffins get up to behind the scenes, and why the idea of going faster is such an appealing, universal instinct for all of us.
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Farmageddon: The True Cost of Cheap Meat 

CEO of Compassion in World Farming Philip Lymbery and Sunday Times investigative journalist Isabel Oakeshott discuss their fascinating and terrifying investigative journey behind the closed doors of a runaway industry across the world.
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Miss Carter's War - Sheila Hancock

Sheila Hancock

One of Britain's most highly regarded and popular actors, Sheila Hancock, discusses her debut novel Miss Carter's War with Kate Mosse.

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Creativity & Dyslexia: Dyslexia Awareness Week event with Sally Gardner & Tom McLaughlin

Children's authors Tom McLaughlin and Sally Gardner explore dyslexia, its links with creativity and how it impacts on their ideas and their writing.

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Here Are The Young Men
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Here Are the Young Men with Rob Doyle in association with The Irish Arts Club

Rob Doyle reads from his powerful new novel Here are the Young Men and is interviewed on stage by the Director of the Irish Arts Club Shevaun Wilder

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Grantchester Christmas Special

James Runcie and ITV scriptwriter Daisy Coulam discuss the dramatisation of  the first of 'The Grantchester Mysteries' series: Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death.

Grantchester

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Wallflowers

Short Story Evening with Jon McGregor, Eliza Robertson & Lucy Wood

Tania Hershman and delves into the imaginations of three wonderful Bloomsbury short story writers, asking them about the weird and wonderful words they create in their short stories.

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The Bloomsbury Set with Priya Parmar, Amanda Coe & Frances Spalding

Frances Spalding speaks with Priya Parmar, author of a dazzling portrait of Vanessa Bell and her sister Virginia Woolf, Vanessa and Her Sister, and Amanda Coe, the BAFTA Award-winning writer of Life in Squares, the dramatization of the revolutionary Bloomsbury Set.

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Vanessa and her Sister
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The Bloomsbury Set with Priya Parmar, Amanda Coe & Frances Spalding

Frances Spalding speaks with Priya Parmar, author of a dazzling portrait of Vanessa Bell and her sister Virginia Woolf, Vanessa and Her Sister, and Amanda Coe, the BAFTA Award-winning writer of Life in Squares, the dramatization of the revolutionary Bloomsbury Set.

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Vanessa and her Sister

Sophie and the Sibyl with Patricia Duncker and John Mullan

Patricia Duncker and John Millan, discuss the relationship between publishers and their authors, through Patricia's entertaining new novel Sophie and the Sibyl - a lively imagining of the great, unconventional novelist George Eliot as well as a witty tale of love, literature and liberal thinking.

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Sophie and the Sibyl
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Bloomsbury Book Club with Polly Samson

Polly Samson discusses her lyrical, haunting new novel, The Kindness, with Bloomsbury editor-in-chief Alexandra Pringle - an unforgettable story of love, grief, betrayal and reconciliation.

The Kindness - Polly Samson

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Untold Stories, Unheard Voices: On Diversity in Literature

A National Conversation Event with Kerry Hudson, Nikesh Shulka, Ellah Wakatama Allfrey and Alexandra Pringle discussing wide-ranging issues with diversity in literature.

Diversity
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Bloomsbury Book Club with Justin Cartwright

Justin Cartwright, one of our most celebrated British novelists, discusses his evocative new novel Up Against the Night with Boyd Tonkin. 

'Few novelists are as assured, stylish, socially perceptive and witty as the British based South African' Irish Times

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Up Against the Night
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Gilbert

Wisden on W.G. Grace

Wisden marks the centenary of W.G. Grace's death, and cricket experts and authors Jonathan Rice and Charlie Connelly are joined by author, journalist and cricket enthusiast Emma John chairing the debate. 

Arguably the finest and most influential cricketer to play the game, Grace racked up an unprecedented amount of runs and was one of the first sporting superstars. 

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Blood Brothers

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Bloomsbury Book Club with Willy Russell

Award-winning playwright and songwriter Willy Russell discusses his highly successful catalogue of plays and musicals for stage and screen, including Educating Rita, which celebrates its 35th birthday this year.  

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Womankind Worldwide

Womankind Worldwide event

Two leading modern feminist thinkers and author Georgina Harding feature at our charity event with Womankind Worldwide to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Join us for a thought provoking panel talk with Jacqueline Rose, leading feminist thinker, historian and author of Women in Dark Times, celebrated novelist Georgina Harding, and influential feminist journalist Laura Bates.

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Joy Ride

Book club with John Lahr

John Lahr, the most celebrated theatre critic of his generation, is joined by Geoff Colman to discuss his highly anticipated new book Joy Ride: Lives of the Theatricals. From modern greats such as Arthur Miller, Harold Pinter, David Mamet, Tony Kushner and August Wilson, through the work of directors such as Ingmar Bergman and Nicholas Hytner, to Shakespeare himself, the depth of Lahr's understanding is plain to see and invigorating to read.

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An Evening with Stephen Poliakoff

Award-winning writer and playwright Stephen Poliakoff talks to director and Head of Acting at Central School of Speech and Drama Geoffrey Colman. They explore life, writing and the creative process behind some of British film and television's most acclaimed productions. 


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Poliakoff
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Jonathan Unleashed

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Book club with Meg Rosoff

Prize-winning author Meg Rosoff discusses her highly anticipated debut adult novel, Jonathan Unleashed, with Stylist editor Lisa Smosarski


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Book club with Vassos Alexander

Prize-BBC sports broadcaster Vassos Alexander as he talks about his new book Don’t Stop Me Now with sports journalist Claire Maxted.

Quite simply, Don't Stop Me Now is a celebration of running - and what lots of us think about when we run. Part escape, part self-discovery, part therapy, part weight loss. Part simple childlike joy of running when you could be walking.


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Don't Stop Me Now
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Book club with Erwin James

Erwin James discusses his powerful memoir, Redeeemable, with eminent writer, author and journalist Duncan Campbell.  

Born in Somerset in 1957 to itinerant Scottish parents, Erwin James lost his mother when he was seven. Shipped from home to home and subject to the whims of various caregivers after his father turned to alcohol and violence, he committed his first crime of breaking and entering when he was ten. His teenage and early adult years were spent drifting, and his petty crime turned increasingly violent, culminating in the terrible events for which he was jailed for life..


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Book club with Alexei Sayle

Acclaimed comedian, novelist and actor Alexei Sayle speaks with Henry Jeffreys about his highly anticipated second volume of memoirs.

'What I brought to comedy was an authentic working-class voice plus a threat of genuine violence - nobody in Monty Python looked like a hard case who'd kick your head in.'

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Does Philosophy Matter?

'Philosophy is dead'—so resounds the triumphant sentiment of contemporary scientists and academics the world over. The reign of science dominates the world’s globalizing economies, and tacitly informs our daily lives to a greater extent than ever before in world history.

Is philosophy over? Was it really of any real use in the first place? These are a few of the questions being raised in this lively exchange. Professor MM McCabe will be arguing ‘for’ philosophy exploring how it has been at least as significant as that of science. Constantine Sandis will be arguing against philosophy mattering much at all and asking whether it’s actually harmful to oneself to think philosophically.

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Socartes
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Brexit
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Losing It

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IZA World of Labor Brexit Debate

Three days before the referendum on a Brexit, IZA World of Labor and the Bloomsbury Institute are bringing together a high-profile panel to discuss the effects a possible Brexit might have on the UK labour market and EU immigration. A panel including economist Jonathan Portes (National Institute of Economic and Social Research), Conservative politician Geoffrey Van Orden (Member of the European Parliament), Professor L. Alan Winters (Sussex University and IZA) and Allie Renison (Institute of Directors).

A Sports Writing Salon with Simon Barnes and Emma John

Simon Barnes and Emma John talk about their  new books Losing It and Following On and discuss their lives as sports writers, from the horror to the glory, and why fans put themselves through the wringer. 

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Object Lessons: The Hidden Meaning Behind Ordinary Things

Where does a password end and identity begin? Do our desires really go on holiday in a hotel? Does wearing a hood mean that rappers and Little Red Riding Hood share the same cultural significance?

Bloomsbury's Object Lesson series analyses the popular culture of today in the objects of every day life, arguing that these ordinary things help find meaning in the world around us.

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Object Lessons
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Teaching Classics in the Modern World

With the support of classics for all, we unearth and discober why classical subjects are a vital and applicable foundation for modern teaching. Author of Bloomsbury's bestselling Starting to Teach Latin, Steven Hunt, joins Professor and broadcaster Edith Hall in conversation about the applicability of the ancient world and the nature of classroom classics in today's schools.

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Day of the Girl: A Womankind Worldwide event

Our panel of influential feminist writers, Reni Eddo-Lodge, Daisy Buchanan, Ann Morgan and Harriet Minter celebrate women and girls, look at the obstables that them from achieving their potential and reflect on what it means to be a girl in the UK today..

Starting to Teach Latin

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Womankind Worldwide
Womankind Worldwide

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