Chairperson: Evelyn Conlon
What effect might reading 'great works' have on the way we live and engage with the world around us? And to what extent does reading (and indeed all the arts) help shape our humanity?
In Sarah Bakewell's innovative new biography of Montaigne, the 16th-century French thinker and Renaissance essayist is revealed in strikingly contemporary light, his free-ranging meditations proving an inexhaustible source on How to Live in his or any other century…
Declan Kiberd is an award-winning writer, critic, broadcaster and professor of Anglo-Irish Literature at University College, Dublin. In Ulysses and Us – his audacious new take on this seminal text – he argues that, far from elitist literature, Joyce's epic novel offers a model for Everyday Living, in the tradition of Homer or Dante.
If ever a book changed lives it was Darwin's On the Origin of Species. A century and a half later, the botanist's great-great-granddaughter Ruth Padel distilled the essence of the man and his work in the daring and original Darwin: A Life in Poems. Her latest work – Where the Serpent Lies– marks a turning point in the poet's career, trading verse for prose in a gripping debut novel on love, science, survival and the call of wild nature.
Together these three acclaimed writers examine the fascinating relationship between art and life, text and context.