Ian McEwan and Jeanette Winterson are among the authors joining Hay Festival this year as the 2019 programme is unveiled, with a new EU project launching.
More than 600 speakers are scheduled across 11 days with Arundhati Roy, Steven Pinker, Caroline Criado Perez, Stephen Fry, Sandi Toksvig, Jimmy Carr, Bill Bailey, Sara Pascoe, Nish Kumar and Judith Kerr due to appear as well as Matt Haig, Jo Brand, Michelle Paver, Jacqueline Wilson, Maxine Peake, Eve Myles and Max Porter on the busy line-up.
McEwan will discuss his latest novel Machines Like Me (Jonathan Cape) as Winterson explores Frankissstein (Jonathan Cape) and Porter discusses his second novel Lanny (Faber). Michael Rosen, Cressida Cowell and David Baddiel are among the children’s writers taking part in Hay Festival’s 2019 schools programme.
Lectures will explore issues from Brexit to the state of libraries with Labour MP David Lammy and journalists Carole Cadwalladr and Fintan O'Toole, historian Bettany Hughes and novelist Elif Shafak are among those scheduled to take part. Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer, Welsh Minister Eluned Morgan and Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price also join the programme.
A new international Hay Festival project will launch with Europa 28 bringing together prominent female authors, thinkers, writers and scientists - one participant from each EU country, across genres and generations - to discuss their visions for the future of Europe, culminating at a new festival in the upcoming European Capital of Culture, Rijeka, Croatia, in June 2020.
Peter Florence, director of Hay Festival, said: “Hay Festival is a space to think, and to think again, and to put the great issues of the day in a context of global history. Empires fall, technology empowers and enslaves us, faiths are shaken, orthodoxies disrupted and still we come together and talk and sing and dance, break bread and tell stories. Minds change. Government is fiendishly hard, democracy is vulnerable, and living together, the ‘Convivencia' is a precious dream. The good news is that our potential is limitless, and friendship is our pleasure. Let’s talk. Let’s listen.”
Literary award winners will be celebrated, including winners of the Man Booker Prize, Baillie Gifford Prize, Prix Goncourt, Wellcome Book Prize, New Welsh Writers Awards, and The Bookseller's YA Book Prize, CLiPPA poetry award, and 2019 Hay Festival Medals will be awarded.
Hay Festival Wales, will take place from 23rd May to 2nd June 2019. Booking is open to Friends of Hay Festival online or on 01497 822 629. Public booking opens Friday 29th March. For full details of the line-up visit: www.hayfestival.org. The programme announcement comes just days after Hay unveiled its rebrand.