On Sunday 28th May, Dr Sarah Dillon will be presenting a special edition of BBC Radio 3’s Free Thinking programme – Writing and Rewriting the Past – live at the Hay Festival, as part of the BBC’s line-up for the 2017 event. The programme will bring together the authors of three historical novels to discuss the way research and family history have informed their fiction in a discussion chaired by Sarah. Sebastian Barry won the Costa Book of the Year for his novel Days Without End, which imagines the gay relationship between soldiers caught up in the American Civil War. Jake Arnott has set novels in the 1960s, the 1940s and the 1900s and in his latest novel The Fatal Tree, he depicts the criminal world in 18th-century London. Madeleine Thien’s novel Do Not Say We Have Nothing explores the impact of the Cultural Revolution on two generations of musicians. It has won prizes in her native Canada and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.
The programme will be be broadcast on Thursday 1 June at 10PM on BBC Radio 3 and will be available thereafter as an Arts and Ideas download.