Award-winning film-maker Mira Nair talks about her cinematic language, the vocabulary of the moving image and her special affinity for literary adaptation. In conversation with Sanjoy K. Roy, she discusses her work, world and motivation.

Peter Frankopan’s ‘Silk Roads’, a major reassessment of world history, has sold over one million copies worldwide. Here, he talks to William Dalrymple about the notion of the Silk Road and discusses why it’s such an important concept today.

The social and political realities of modern India can be effectively understood through its living epics, which are constantly reinterpreted to reflect the collective imagination of its peoples. Writers Amish and Namita Gokhale discuss the intersections of myth, memory and culture in the context of their writing, where they revisit the ancient texts.

Nobel laureate Venki Ramakrishnan speaks of the importance of scientific thinking, medical research and breakthrough technologies to combat the current crisis and prepare better for future pandemics.

 Address by Namita Gokhale, William Dalrymple, Sanjoy.K Roy, Chief Executive of the British Library Roly Keating, Indian High Commissioner to UK H.E Gaitri Issar Kumar and Dr. Matt Reed, Chief Executive Officer, Aga Khan Foundation UK; followed by a conversation between Director General of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations Dinesh K. Patnaik and Georgina Godwin


Navigating through the journey of an interconnected group of 12 black women, 2019 Man Booker Prize-winning Girl, Woman, Other is a quest for love, hope and home spanning across the legacy of contemporary and colonial Britain. In conversation with writer Anjum Hasan, one of Britain's most exciting and original authors, Bernardine Evaristo discusses the idea of womxnhood, culture, class, politics and race coursing through her iconic writings. She speaks of the binding power of collective experiences and gives us a peek into the world of her creative process.

A behind the scenes look at the extraordinary biopic on the life of the mathematical genius, the late Shakuntala Devi.

In his book The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World, Avi Shlaim, Professor Emeritus of International Relations at St Antony's College, Oxford University, looks into the ‘Iron Wall method’ and traces the shifting policies of Israel toward the Palestinians and the Arab world at large. He argues that the state of Israel and its conflict with the Arab World will come to haunt history for years to come. It is, he says, a story of strategy and manipulation, of hostility and uncompromising nationalism. Raja Shehadeh is a human rights activist, lawyer and author of Going Home: A Walk Through Fifty Years of Occupation. In this fascinating yet haunting conversation, they speak to Chris Doyle and focus on the variations of the iron-wall philosophy and how different leaders have employed the same to guide their understanding of Israel, resulting in unprecedented consequences.

The powerful 18th century Sufi poet Shah Latif is brought to life with words and music by Shabnam Virmani. We venture into a dream universe of Sindh on a precarious journey into the self. . . in some moments leaping off our secure banks into a roaring river in spate, in others trudging under a harsh desert sun through an unending landscape of loss, and in yet others, lifting our faces to receive the gentle caress of a monsoon bursting with love.


In a world fraught by climate change, political unrest, immigration and a literal and figurative concrete barrier, John Lanchester's dystopian novel, The Wall, brings to us a timely tale of the inheritance of millennials and beats out stark realities almost to the point of discomfort. In conversation with Akash Kapur, Lanchester brings alive this world which is no longer stranger than fiction and speaks to us about his work which interweaves the most compelling issues of our times into an uneasy tale of love, trust and survival.

Sanjoy K. Roy and Deepa Anappara embark on a journey to the heart of childhood and the heartbreak and loss of innocence in Deepa Anappara’s debut novel, Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line. Sanjoy K. Roy, managing director of Teamwork Arts, is the founder-trustee of Salaam Balaak Trust. Anappara worked as a journalist in India, reporting on the impact of poverty and religious violence on the education of children. 

Four BAME writers of startling originality make their voices heard. Abir Mukherjee, Guy Gunaratne and Aruni Kashyap come together with Nikesh Shukla to discuss the core of their narratives and the paradoxes of selective visibility and invisibility in the publishing world. They speak of their writing process and the stories they record, from chronicles of immigration to haunting memoirs to electric crime thrillers to bilingual creativity, in a fascinating session that resonates at many levels.

More than 2000 years ago, the earliest disciples of the Buddha put into verse their experiences on the spiritual journey, collected to form the Theragatha and the Therigatha, or ‘Verses of Elder Monks’ and ‘Verses of Elder Nuns; respectively. Andrew Schelling and Anne Waldman speak to Maitreyabandhu about their translations of these poignant poems, bringing forth their visceral, immediate qualities.

Kavita Puri's father was 12 when he found himself one of the millions of Sikhs, Hindus and Muslims caught up in the devastating aftermath of a hastily drawn border. For 70 years, like so many, he remained silent about the horrors he had seen. When her father finally spoke out, opening up a forgotten part of Puri's family history, she was compelled to seek out the stories. Determined to preserve these accounts of the end of Empire and the difficult birth of two nations, Puri records a series of remarkable first-hand testimonies, revealing partition's enduring legacy.  

In Partition Voices, she helps break the silence and confronts the difficult truths at the heart of contemporary South Asia with Vazira Fazila-Yacoobali Zamindar, author of The Long Partition and the Making of Modern South Asia: Refugees, Boundaries, Histories; Sam Dalrymple, co-founder of Project Dastaan, a peace-building initiative that aims to revisit Partition memories and examine the impact of forced human migration through virtual reality; and Aanchal Malhotra, author of  Remnants of a Separation: A History of the Partition Through Material Memory.


William Dalrymple digs out some key sources for his book, The Anarchy from the vaults of the British Library.

This session follows William Dalrymple inside the reading room of the British Library dedicated to the archive of the East India Company, where he digs out some of the treasures of the collection, and curator Malini Roy reveals the document that changed the course of history. Dalrymple will be there for the live introduction and subsequent Q&A session.

Around the world a woman’s body is still very much a battlefield, and hundreds of thousands of women bear the invisible wounds of war…”

Award-winning foreign correspondent Christina Lamb has worked extensively in war-torn areas and combat zones for more than 30 years. Her latest book, Our Bodies, Their Battlefield, is an essential, groundbreaking examination of how women experience sexual abuse in modern conflicts. In this eye-opening session, she gives voice to some first-hand accounts of women who have survived conflict, warfare and rape at the hand of armies, terrorists and militias who use this as a weapon to humiliate, oppress and carry out ethnic cleansing. Lamb speaks to author and journalist Taran N. Khan of the suffering and bravery of these women in war and brings out the stories of those fighting for justice.


Three eminent scientists examine the frontlines of the battle against COVID-19; Ajit Lalvani and Roger Highfield consider the work of nations, international scientists and the modern medical field while Angela Saini explores the racial implications of the virus, its impacts on the BAME community, including a disproportionate number of deaths, the intersection between medicine and race and the dangers of pseudo-science.

Benjamin Dix’s Vanni, illustrated by Lindsay Pollock, is a graphic novel that documents the human aspect of the Sri-Lankan civil war. The book experiments with genres to explore complex social and human rights issues, and the associated narratives of modern warfare, forced migration and asylum. In a moving session, Dix and Pollock speak to George Alagiah, about the genre of sequential art and the intensely human and heartbreakingly tragic stories they have tried to convey through it.


Writer, diplomat, politician and public intellectual Shashi Tharoor is the award-winning author of over 20 books of fiction and non-fiction. A Member of Parliament, representing Thiruvananthapuram, his unerring sense of humour lightens up the serious oeuvre of his work, which includes a powerful indictment of colonialism. His predilection for long words and telling phrases has also created a sub-genre of #Tharoorisms. In conversation with journalist and author James Crabtree, Tharoor speaks of his latest book Tharoorosaurus and shares some whimsical stories and interesting anecdotes behind his vocabulary. He also speaks of the beliefs and ideas that have anchored him in his public life and literary career.

What are the responsibilities of the writer, to themselves, to their readers, to the narratives they share? Three bestselling writers speak of their work and of the writing life. Amish Tripathi, currently Director of the Nehru Centre in London, is the bestselling author of the Shiva Trilogy, Rama Trilogy and most recently Legend of Suheldev. Diplomat and author Vikas Swarup’s first novel Q&A went on to become the runaway hit Slumdog Millionaire that won eight Academy Awards in 2009. Other works of fiction include Six Suspects and The Accidental Apprentice. Historian Shrabani Basu is the author of the bestselling Victoria & Abdul adapted into a film by Stephen Frears and of Spy Princess: The Life of Noor Inayat Khan, among others. In an insightful session, they speak of their commitment and belief in words and of the dharma of the storyteller.

Karan Thapar, ace Indian journalist, television commentator and interviewer, began his career in London, where he worked on a varied set of programmes. In conversation with fellow journalist and broadcaster Georgina Godwin, he reflects on the changing landscapes of news and views across India and South Asia, as he interprets controversies and disruptions and shares memories and learnings.

Food holds a primal place in our emotions and identity, and spices and local flavours are an integral part of identity and culture. Award-winning food writer and restaurateur  Ravinder Bhogal’s new cookbook  Jikoni: Proudly Inauthentic Recipes from an Immigrant Kitchen blends myriad cuisines and a heritage that crosses continents. Celebrated Indian born British chef and restaurateur Asma Khan of Netflix's Chef's Table is the author of Darjeeling Express. Celebrated television anchor and India’s leading food writer Vir Sanghvi is the co-founder and lead critic of the online restaurant reservation platform, EazyDiner. In conversation with the author and Chair of the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies at NYU, Krishnendu Ray, Bhogal, Khan and Sanghvi speak of food and creativity, and the nature of the Chef’s Craft.

Britain is full of statues of men once regarded as imperial heroes, many of whom are responsible for acts of loot and pillage that would now be classified as war crimes. This house believes the time has now come to remove them to a museum of colonialism.