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5 speakers 15 minutes each

Thu 27th Sep 2012

The Tabernacle

7pm

Ahdaf Soueif

Ahdaf Soueif

Ahdaf Soueif is the author of the bestselling The Map of Love which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Fiction in 1999. Ms Soueif is also a political and cultural commentator; she writes regularly for the Guardian in London and has a weekly column for al-Shorouk in Cairo. A collection of her essays, Mezzaterra: Fragments from the Common Ground, was published in 2004. Her translation (from Arabic into English) of Mourid Barghouti's I Saw Ramallah also came out in 2004. In 2012 she published Cairo: My City, Our Revolution, a personal account of the revolution in Egypt. She is the founder and chair of Palestine Festival of Literature. She lives in London and Cairo.

Kwasi Kwarteng

Kwasi Kwarteng

Kwasi Kwarteng parents were born in Ghana in the 1940s. They came to Britain as students in the 1960s, studied hard and encouraged me to do the same. At age thirteen, he was very fortunate to win a scholarship to Eton College. After finishing there, he read history at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he earned Bachelor and PhD degrees in British History, and was part of the series-winning team on University Challenge. He then worked as a financial analyst, journalist and author. His book, Ghosts of Empire, about the global legacy of the British Empire, was published last year. He was elected a Conservative Member of Parliament for Spelthorne in May 2010.

Patrick Hennessey

Patrick Hennessey

Patrick Hennessey was born in 1982 and educated at Berkhamsted School and Balliol College, Oxford where he read English. He joined the Army in January 2004, undertaking Officer Training at the Royal Miilitary Academy Sandhurst, where he was awaded the Queen's Medal and commissioned into the Grenadier Guards. He served as Platoon Commander and later Company Operations Officer from the end of 2004 to early 2009 in the Balkans, Africa, South East Asia snd the Falkland Islands, and on operational tours to Iraq in 2006 and Afghanistan in 2007, where he was commended for gallantry. Patrick left the army in 2009 and now practises as a barrister. He is the author of The Junior Officer's Reading Club. When Patrick returned home from Afghanistan, battle-worn, exhilarated, unsure if he'd see anything like it in his life again, he left behind him bands of friendship forged in the heat of the moment between living and dying. His book Kandak is the story of how these lasting bonds were made.

Kathy Lette

Kathy Lette

Kathy Lette first achieved succés de scandale as a teenager with the novel Puberty Blues, which was made into a major film, directed by Bruce Beresford and an 8 hour mini series. After several years as a singer with the Salami Sisters, a newspaper columnist in Sydney and New York and as a television sitcom writer for Columbia Pictures in Los Angeles, her novels, Puberty Blues, Girls Night Out, The Llama Parlour, Foetal Attraction, Mad Cows, Altar Ego, Nip'N'Tuck, Dead Sexy and How To Kill Your Husband (and other handy household hints) became international best-sellers. Kathy Lette's plays include Grommits, Wet Dreams, Perfect Mismatch and I'm So Happy For You I Really Am.

Simon Singh

Simon Singh

Simon Singh studied physics, before completing a PhD in particle physics at Cambridge University and at CERN, Geneva. In 1990 he joined the BBC’s Science Department, as a producer and director in programmes such as Tomorrow’s World and Horizon. In 1996 he directed Fermat’s Last Theorem, a BAFTA award winning documentary about the world’s most notorious mathematical problem. This was also the subject of his first book, Fermat’s Last Theorem. His book The Code Book resulted in a return to television when he presented The Science of Secrecy for Channel 4. The stories in the series range from the cipher that sealed the fate of Mary Queen of Scots to the coded Zimmermann Telegram that changed the course of the First World War. His has also written a book, which explores mathematical themes hidden in The Simpsons. Everyone knows that The Simpsons is the most successful show in television history, but very few people realise that its team of mathematically gifted writers have used the show to explore everything from calculus to geometry, from pi to game theory, and from infinitesimals to infinity.