Help me decide which Ways With Words talks to go to

4 Jul

4 events: 1 choice: HELP!

Help me choose, by voting for your favourite, at the end of the post.

Ways With Words is a festival of words & ideas near Totnes and this year is its 20th anniversary. There are 151 talks in 10 days. Here are the 4 that I’ve narrowed my choice down to…

1. Free Speech: The Great Middle East Revolution

Friday 8 July at 5.30pm. Dartington Hall.

I’m very interested in social media and how the internet has helped citizens across the Middle East and North Africa unite, protest and voice their dissent. With the discussion lead by the Policy Director of Google, CEO of Index on Censorship, Libyan-born novelist Hisham Matar and Tunisian blogger and activist, Sam Ben Gharbia, it sounds like a lively one!

2. Alan Hollinghurst and Philip Hensher: Talking About Fiction

Monday 11 July at 2.30pm. Dartington Hall.

Both have novels coming out & I’m desperate to get my hands on Alan Hollinghurst’s The Stranger’s Child (read a review of it on The Guardian), so it’d be fantastic to hear his thoughts before I dig into the book.

3. Zabia Malik: One Girl, Two Lives

Monday 11 July at 7.30pm. Dartington Hall.

Having studied women’s rights and multiculturalism at university, I’d really like to catch up on some of the current issues on this topic. Plus, Malik is a comic so her quest for identity and her memoir We Are A Muslim Please (about growing up in Bradford in the 70s and 80s) sounds both funny and poignant.

4. Jon Ronson: Who is Mad?

Tuesday 12 July at 7.30pm. Dartington Hall.

He is very of the moment, as his new book about psychopaths has been serialised in The Guardian recently and his latest investigative escapade The Psychopath Test sounds very intriguing – I’d like to know what passes for normal these days & apparently this journalist / satirist / documentary filmmaker has the answer!

If my you want to read up more in depth summaries than mine, have a look at the Ways With Words Brochure.

So, please help me choose and I’ll blog about it here this week & next!


Voting closes at 7pm 5 July 2011


Info on Ways With Words:

It’s on 8 – 18 July 2011 and hosted at Dartington Hall, near Totnes, Devon.




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