Very close to Wales, Bristol has a fantastic festival of ideas on this month,a most interesting curation and here are some of the highlights:
On Creativity: There Are
Wed 7 May 2014, 12.30-13.30, £7 / £6
Everyone today, be they in business, the
creative industries or in education, is
challenged to come up with creative ideas.
But how do you start? John Hegarty, one of
the world’s most famous advertising creatives,
shares his 40 years of insights, ranging from
the provocative to the irreverent and the
practical. Hegarty wants us to think boldly, be
fearless but most importantly to have fun.
The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins
Wed 7 May 2014, 18.30-19.30
At-Bristol, Bristol (see map)
Irvine Welsh’s seminal novel Trainspotting defined the drug scene for a generation. In his latest book he turns his raw and uncompromising style to the obsessions of our time: how we look and where we live. When Lucy Brennan, a Miami Beach personal-fitness trainer, disarms a gunman chasing two frightened homeless men, the police and the breaking-news cameras are not far behind and, within hours, Lucy is a media hero. The solitary eye-witness is the depressed and overweight Lena Sorensen, who becomes obsessed with Lucy and signs up as her client – though she seems more interested in the trainer’s body than her own. When the two women find themselves more closely aligned, and can’t stop thinking about the sex lives of Siamese twins, the real problems start…
In the aggressive, foul-mouthed trainer, Lucy Brennan, and the needy, manipulative Lena Sorensen, Welsh has created two of his most memorable female protagonists, and one of the most bizarre, sado-masochistic folies à deux in contemporary fiction. Featuring murder, depravity and revenge – and enormous amounts of food and sex, The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins tells a story so dark it blacks out the Florida sun. Hear Welsh talk about his subversive tale.
How to be a Heroine: Or, What I’ve Learned From Reading Too Much
Sun 11 May 2014, 15.30-16.30
Watershed, Bristol (see map)
On a pilgrimage to Wuthering Heights, Samantha Ellis found herself arguing with her best friend about which heroine was best: Jane Eyre or Cathy Earnshaw. She was all for wild, passionate Cathy; but her friend found Cathy silly, a snob, while courageous Jane makes her own way.
And that’s when Samantha realised that all her life she’d been trying to be Cathy when she should have been trying to be Jane.
So she decided to look again at her heroines – the girls, women, books that had shaped her ideas of the world and how to live. Some of them stood up to the scrutiny (she will always love Lizzy Bennet); some of them most decidedly did not (turns out Katy Carr from What Katy Did isn’t a carefree rebel, she’s a drip). There were revelations (the real heroine of Gone with the Wind? It’s Melanie), joyous reunions (Anne of Green Gables), poignant memories (Sylvia Plath) and tearful goodbyes (Lucy Honeychurch). And then there was Jilly Cooper…
Ellis offers a funny, touching, inspiring exploration of the role of heroines, and our favourite books, in all our lives – and reveals how they change over time, for better or worse, just as we do.