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25 March 2015updated 12 Oct 2023 10:19am

The New Statesman and Cambridge Literary Festival

By New Statesman

The New Statesman in proud to continue our partnership with the Cambridge Literary Festival. The full programme is here and a selection of events featuring the New Statesman is below.

Saturday 18th April

 The New Statesman Debate – “This house believes Britain should leave the European Union”      

Eurosceptics argue that Europe offers us nothing but headaches: immigration burdening the welfare state, debt-stricken countries demanding bail-outs, increased bureaucracy and taxes.

Europhiles say that by unhitching ourselves from the continent we will not only lose out on profitable trade and a rich shared culture, but also fundamentally weaken our position in the world.

A s the general election looms, this debate will address the question that has been preoccupying Britain for decades: special relationship, or splendid isolation? In? Or out?

Chaired by Helen Lewis, New Statesman deputy editor, the teams will feature:

Speaking for the motion

Ralph Buckle – Director and Co-Founder of Commonwealth Exchange, a think tank which focuses on presenting a 21st Century vision for the Commonwealth. Co-author of the IEA’s Brexit: Directions for Britain outside the EU

Patrick O’Flynn – UKIP Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the East of England and their candidate in Cambridge.

Brendan Simms – Professor in the History of International Relations at the University of Cambridge. He is co-chair of the Brexit-euroexit project and author of Europe: The Struggle for Supremacy.

Speaking against the motion

Julian Huppert – Liberal Democrat MP for Cambridge.

Mark Leonard – Director of the European Council on Foreign Relations and author of Why Europe Will Run the 21st Century.

Frances Robinson – A journalist who has been covering the EU since 2006. Previously a staffer at the Wall Street Journal, she returned to the UK after a decade abroad to talk and write about the UK-EU relationship. 

The debate will be held at 5.30pm in the Cambridge Union Chamber – Tickets are available here.


Henry Marsh in conversation with Helen Lewis

What is it like to be a brain surgeon, to drill down into the stuff that creates thought, feeling, and reason? How do you live with the consequences when it all goes wrong? Henry Marsh, Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, Consultant Neurosurgeon at Atkinson/Morley St George’s, and the subject of two major documentary films, offers an extraordinarily candid, gripping and tender account of a life on the frontline of healthcare in his compelling book Do No Harm.

The event, chaired by Helen Lewis, New Statesman Deputy Editor, will be at 10am in the Winstanley Lecture Theatre.

Tickets are available here.

Read Erica Wagner’s interview with Henry Marsh in the New Statesman here.


The Great Experiment

100 years ago, modernism broke apart the novel form, producing some of the last century’s greatest works of literature. But have readers and writers, in pursuit of a jolly good read, become less willing to challenge or be challenged? Can the novel still be a revolutionary force?

The panel discuss the role of inventiveness and daring in fiction. Goldsmiths Prizewinners Eimear McBride (A Girl is a Half-formed Thing) and Ali Smith (How to Be Both) join Josh Cohen, Professor of Modern Literary Theory at Goldsmiths University of London and chair of judges for the 2015 Goldsmiths Prize to discuss the role of inventiveness and daring in fiction.

The event, chaired by Tom Gatti, New Statesman Culture Editor, will be at 11.30am in the Winstanley Lecture Theatre.

Tickets are available here.

Read Eimear Mcbride on The Wake by Paul Kingsnorth in the New Statesman here, our interview with Ali Smith here and Josh Cohen on Slavoj Zizek here.


 Sunday 19th April

Graham Swift in conversation with Michael Prodger

New Booker prize-winning author, Graham Swift, has returned to the short form, with 25 stories, demonstrating his unerring grasp of the universal in the local and his affectionate but unflinching instinct for the story of us all. England and Other Stories steers us from the Civil War to the present day, from world-shaking events to the secret dramas lived out in rooms, workplaces and homes. Swift invites us to consider: What is England? Don’t miss a wonderful performance from a man who reads as well as he writes.

The event, chaired by Michael Prodger, New Statesman Assistant Editor, will be at 2.30pm in the Cambridge Union Chamber.

Tickets are available here.

Read Erica Wagner reviewing England and other stories in the New Statesman here.


Louise Stern in conversation with Tom Gatti

Louise Stern is fourth generation deaf in her family and her debut novel, Ismael and His Sisters, is set in a Maya village in Mexico where there is a higher than normal percentage of deaf people. The novel conjures up a world in which sign language gives physical shape to experience, but mostly it’s about love, community and being truly understood. Louise and her interpreter and artistic partner Oliver Pouliot, working with the theatre director Omar Elerian, have devised a short reading from the novel through which they will explore themes of communication – incorporating voice and body language.

The event, chaired by Tom Gatti, New Statesman Culture Editor, will be at 5.30pm in the Winstanley Lecture Theatre.

Tickets are available here.


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