The Days after Tomorrow: Climate Fiction for the Future

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This event took place on: 22 September 2021.

Can we reimagine our relationship with nature and protect the future? Join the Climate Imagination Fellows, Climate Fiction writers from around the world, to find out. As Glasgow prepares to host the UN Climate Conference (COP26), our panel explores the crucial role of imagination in the fight against climate change. With a special appearance from prize-winning author Amitav Ghosh.

How can we marshal our collective imagination, accelerate the global transformations required by COP26 and move towards a sustainable way of life? How can we get beyond dystopian visions of climate chaos and focus on more positive, equitable and community-led futures?

With roots in science fiction, Climate Fiction or ‘Cl-Fi’ is now expanding across genres and styles from poetry to thrillers and more experimental work. This vital area of contemporary fiction grapples with climate science, art, politics and technology, seeking to reinvent the way we envisage tomorrow. At this special event Climate Imagination Fellows: Libia Brenda, Hannah Onoguwe and Vandana Singh share stories that bring the future into the present. They will reflect on the essential role of storytelling in thinking through the consequences of our collective decisions and charting a path towards the futures we want to build together.

Chaired by journalist, author and cultural commentator Claire Armistead.

Watch the full length interview with Amitav Ghosh here.

Create your own 'Postcard from the Future' here.

Find out more about the Centre for Science and the Imagination here.

Part of the British Library's environment event series, The Natural Word, which celebrates the underrepresented voices harnessing the power of imagination to change the world.

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Remembering the Holocaust: Anne Frank's step-sister Eva Schloss

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This event took place on: 25 January 2021.

To mark Holocaust Memorial Day, 91-year old Eva Schloss MBE tells her remarkable story. A childhood neighbour of Anne Frank in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam, she was incarcerated in and then liberated from Auschwitz.

Before the Second World War, Eva and her family were neighbours of the Franks in Amsterdam. The two families went separately into hiding from the Nazis. Both were betrayed and deported to Auschwitz. Eva, her mother and Anne’s father were the only survivors. When Eva settled in London after the War, Eva’s mother and Anne’s father married. Eva has published three books and speaks about her experiences to thousands of people around the world.

In 1991, Eva co-founded the Anne Frank Trust UK, an anti-prejudice education charity, which is now in its 30th year. Using Anne Frank’s life and diary as a starting point, the trust aims to empower young people with the knowledge, skills and confidence to challenge all forms of prejudice and discrimination.

Tim Robertson has been Chief Executive of the Anne Frank Trust UK since 2018. His previous roles include Director of the Royal Society of Literature, Chief Executive of the Koestler Trust for arts in prisons, and children’s social worker in the London Borough of Camden.

In association with the Anne Frank Trust.

Order your copy of Eva's book <i><b>After Auschwitz: A story of heartbreak and survival by the stepsister of Anne Frank</i></b> <a href="https://www.hive.co.uk/Product/Eva-Schloss/After-Auschwitz--A-story-of-heartbreak-and-survival-by-th/15126230" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">here</a>

Hay Festival: This Is How We Come Back Stronger

This event took place on: June 4, 8pm.

Everything changed in spring 2020, when life around the world retreated behind closed doors and gender inequalities and systemic racism were brought to new and shocking prominence. Women of all backgrounds and experiences were disproportionately affected by the crisis. Essential debate and action was, for a time, silenced. Then we re-emerged in protest and started to rethink our fight for equality. So, what happens now? This book is a unique collection of essays, interviews, and fiction by feminist writers.

In End State: 9 Ways in Which Society is Broken and how we fix it, James Plunkett argues that this can be a moment not of despair, but of historic opportunity – a chance to rethink, renew, and reform some of the most fundamental ways we organise society.

Contributor Jess Phillips MP, Shadow Minister for Domestic Violence and Safeguarding, is joined by comedian Francesca Martinez, activist and author Gina Miller, and James Plunkett, Executive Director of Citizens Advice.

This event celebrates Unfinished Business: The Fight for Women's Rights, a UK-wide exhibition by the British Library and public libraries.

BUY THE BOOK FOR THIS EVENT

<a href="https://www.hayfestival.com/p-17593-this-is-how-we-come-back-stronger-feminist-writers-on-turning-crisis-into-change.aspx" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">This Is How We Come Back Stronger</a>

<a href="https://www.hayfestival.com/p-17662-end-state-9-ways-society-is-broken-and-how-we-can-fix-it.aspx" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">End State: 9 Ways Society is Broken and How We Fix It</a>

Bessie Smith: Jackie Kay in conversation with Bernardine Evaristo

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The British Library and Faber Social present a celebration of Bessie Smith, pioneering blues singer and one of the biggest stars of the 1920s and 30s.

As a young black girl growing up in Glasgow, writer and poet Jackie Kay found in Bessie someone with whom she could identify and who she could idolise. Kay talks to award winning novelist Bernardine Evaristo about her new book on Bessie's life, which mixes enthralling biography with fiction, poetry and prose.

Plus a selection of Bessie Smith’s songs performed by special guest singer Nona Hendryx, most famously of the group Labelle.

Bessie’s life was as tempestuous as it was extraordinary. Born in Tennessee in 1894 and orphaned by the age of nine, Smith sang on street corners before becoming a big name in travelling shows alongside the likes of Ma Rainey. In 1923 she made her first recording for a new start-up called Columbia Records. It sold 780,000 copies.

Smith’s life was notoriously difficult: she drank pints of ‘bathtub gin’, got into violent fist fights, spent huge sums of money and had passionate love affairs with men and women. She once single-handedly fought off a chapter of the Ku Klux Klan.

Her gorgeous and powerful voice, unapologetic songs and bold personality have been an inspiration to many ever since.

<b>Purchase your copy of Jackie Kay's <i>Bessie Smith</i> <a href="https://pagesofhackney.co.uk/webshop/product/bessie-smith-jackie-kay/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">here</a></b>

PEN Pinter Prize 2021: Tsitsi Dangarembga

Join us here live: Mon 11 Oct 2021, 19:30 - 20:30

Zimbabwean novelist, playwright, and filmmaker Tsitsi Dangarembga receives the prestigious 2021 PEN Pinter Prize and delivers her keynote address at a ceremony hosted by British Library and English PEN.

This event is available to the audiences and users of public libraries through the Living Knowledge Network. Watch last year's PEN Pinter Prize ceremony awarding Linton Kwesi Johnson <a href="http://living-knowledge-network.co.uk/library/pen-pinter-prize-linton-kwesi-johnson" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">here</a>.

The PEN Pinter Prize was established in 2009 by the charity English PEN, which defends freedom of expression and celebrates literature. In memory of Nobel-Laureate playwright Harold Pinter, the prize is awarded annually to a writer of outstanding literary merit resident in the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, the Commonwealth or former Commonwealth, who, in the words of Harold Pinter’s Nobel Prize in Literature speech, casts an ‘unflinching, unswerving’ gaze upon the world and shows a ‘fierce intellectual determination... to define the real truth of our lives and our societies’.

Tsitsi Dangarembga was chosen by this year’s judges: The Guardian’s Associate Editor for Culture Claire Armitstead; literary critic and Editor-at-large for Canongate, Ellah P Wakatama, and poet Andrew McMillan.

The prize will be shared with an International Writer of Courage: a writer who is active in defence of freedom of expression, often at great risk to their own safety and liberty. The co-winner, selected by Tsitsi Dangarembga from a shortlist of international cases supported by English PEN, is announced at the event.

This year's award ceremony is part of Common Currency, a year-long celebration of freedom of expression, creative campaigning, and the best literature the world has to offer to mark English PEN's centenary year. For more information visit: englishpen.org/commoncurrency

The PEN Pinter Prize is supported by the generosity of Ruth Maxted and The Blavatnik Family Foundation.

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