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5 speakers 15 minutes each
Mon 19th Sep 2011
Misha Glenny is an award-winning journalist and historian who has travelled around the world, interviewing men and women involved in organised criminal activity. His book McMafia is now in production as a major new BBC 1 drama series. His latest work, Nemesis: One Man and the Battle for Rio, is the gripping story of the man who ran the largest slum in Rio as head of the local drugs cartel. Based on 30 hours of interviews with the man along with his family, friends, enemies and the police who investigated his operation for over forty years, Nemesis has attracted glowing reviews and is also the subject of multiple film and television bids. Misha’s work on organised crime follows his distinguished career as a BBC Correspondent in the Balkans and Eastern Europe.
Lucy Worsley was born in Reading, studied Ancient and Modern History at New College, Oxford, and completed a PhD in art history at the University of Sussex. Her first job after leaving college was at Milton Manor in Oxfordshire. Soon after that she moved to the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, as administrator of the Wind and Watermills Section. She joined English Heritage in 1997, first as an Assistant Inspector and then as an Inspector of Ancient Monuments and Historic Buildings. In 2002 she went to Glasgow Museums before coming to London as Chief Curator of Historic Royal Palaces in 2003. She presents history programmes on TV, including the current BBC series Elegance and Decadence: The Age of Regency. Her most recent series is If Walls Could Talk, for BBC 4, based on her book of that title. Previous books include Courtiers: The Secret History of Kensington Palace and Cavalier: A Tale of Passion, Chivalry and Great Houses.
Alexander Masters is the author of Stuart: A Life Backwards, the critically acclaimed book about a homeless man called Stuart Shorter who he met while studying at Cambridge University and working in a homeless shelter. It won the Guardian First Book Award and was chosen as a World Book Night Title. He wrote the television adaptation of the book — a joint BBC/HBO venture from Sam Mendes’ studio. His latest book is The Genius in my Basement, an intimate portrait of one of the greatest mathematical prodigies of the twentieth century.
AS Byatt is a writer and recognised as a distinguished critic, contributing regularly to journals and newspapers including the Times Literary Supplement, The Independent and the Sunday Times, as well as to BBC radio and television programmes. A. S. Byatt's first novel, Shadow of a Sun, the story of a young girl growing up in the shadow of a dominant father, was published in 1964 and was followed by The Game (1967), a study of the relationship between two sisters. Her most successful book, Possession: A Romance (1990), won the Booker Prize for Fiction and the Irish Times International Fiction Prize, and continues to enjoy enormous critical and popular success. Part romance, part literary thriller, the story involves two contemporary academics, Roland Michell and Maud Bailey, whose research into the lives of two Victorian poets, Randolph Henry Ash and Christabel LaMotte, reveal inextricably linked destinies, like those of their researchers. The Children's Book (2009), was shortlisted for the 2009 Man Booker Prize for Fiction and won the 2010 James Tait Black Memorial Prize (for fiction). Ragnarok: the End of the Gods was published in 2012.