SCIENCE IN THE SOUL
JERSEY OPERA HOUSE / FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 29th / 20.00 – 21.30
The legendary biologist, provocateur, and bestselling author mounts a timely and passionate defence of science and clear thinking with this career-spanning collection of essays, lectures and letters.
For decades, Richard Dawkins has been the world’s most brilliant scientific communicator, consistently illuminating the wonders of nature and attacking faulty logic. Science in the Soul brings together forty-two essays, polemics, and paeans—all written with Dawkins’s characteristic erudition, remorseless wit, and unjaded awe of the natural world.
Though it spans three decades, this book couldn’t be more timely or more urgent. In a passionate introduction, Dawkins calls on us to insist that reason take centre stage and that gut feelings, even when they don’t represent the stirred dark waters of xenophobia, misogyny, or other blind prejudice, should stay out of the voting booth. And in the essays themselves, newly annotated by the author, he investigates a number of issues, including the importance of empirical evidence, and decries bad science, religion in schools, and climate-change deniers.
Dawkins has equal ardour for ‘the sacred truth of nature’ and renders here with typical virtuosity the glories and complexities of the natural world. Woven into an exploration of the vastness of geological time, for instance, is the peculiar history of the giant tortoises and the sea turtles—whose journeys between water and land tell us a deeper story about evolution. At this moment, Dawkins asks what Darwin would make of his own legacy—‘a mixture of exhilaration and exasperation’—and celebrates science as possessing many of religion’s virtues—‘explanation, consolation, and uplift’ —without its detriments of superstition and prejudice.
In a world grown irrational and hostile to facts, Science in the Soul is an essential collection by an indispensable author.
RICHARD DAWKINS first catapulted to fame with his iconic work The Selfish Gene (1976) which he followed with a string of prestigious books including The Blind Watchmaker, Climbing Mount Improbable, The Ancestor’s Tale, The God Delusion, and two volumes of autobiography, An Appetite for Wonder (2013) and Brief Candle in the Dark (2015). He is a Fellow of both the Royal Society and the Royal Society of Literature and the recipient of numerous honours and awards. He remains a fellow of New College, Oxford. In 2013, Dawkins was voted the world’s top thinker in Prospect magazine’s poll of 10,000 readers from over 100 countries.
JERSEY ARTS CENTRE / SATURDAY 30th SEPTEMBER / 20.30 – 22.00
‘How to Be a Grown Up’ (with interviewer Cathy Rentzenbrink)
Have you ever felt lost, anxious, panicky about adulthood?
Have you ever spent a hungover Sunday crying into a bowl of cereal?
Have you ever scrolled through Instagram and felt nothing but green-eyed jealousy and evil thoughts?
Daisy Buchanan is an award-winning journalist, Grazia agony aunt and real-life big sister to five smart, stylish, stunning twentysomethings. In How to Be a Grown Up, she dispenses all the emotional and practical advice you need to negotiate a difficult decade. Covering everything from how to become more successful and confident at work, how to feel pride in yourself without needing validation from others, how to turn rivals into mentors, and how to *really* enjoy spending time on your own, this is a warm, kind, funny voice in the dark saying ‘Honestly don’t worry, you’re doing your best and you’re amazing!’
Daisy Buchanan is a journalist, author and broadcaster – and once every few months, (when her hair is behaving and she’s able to think about getting a pension one day without weeping or screaming), a grown up. Daisy spent most of her twenties feeling entirely un-grown up, and wondering whether she’d ever be able to live somewhere that didn’t come with mice, mould or a pirate radio station which broadcasted from the car park at weekends, or fall in love with someone who told her their last name and didn’t think Nando’s was the last word in fine dining, or just learn to look at her bank balance with both eyes open.
It took a while, but she got there. Sort of. Well, she has a John Lewis loyalty card. Daisy is Grazia’s resident agony aunt and a regular contributor to a wide range of publications including The Pool, The Telegraph, The Debrief, Marie Claire, The Times, Glamour and the Guardian. She’s a professional Made In Chelsea fan (her weekly catch up column is the most searched for piece on The Debrief), the UKDA 2015 Dating Writer Of The Year and the Words By Women Awards 2016 Lifestyle Writer Of The Year. She has five little sisters, and everything she writes is made to make them laugh, or to help them learn from her mistakes and negotiate their twenties with success. (They all seem much more grown up than she is, so she must be doing something right.)
The New Girl
JERSEY ARTS CENTRE / SATURDAY 30th SEPTEMBER / 18.30 – 19.30
The New Girl is the memoir of an extraordinary woman – who happens to identify as transgender. Journalist, performance artist and musician Rhyannon Styles documents her life story, including her transition from male to female.
Imagine feeling lost in your own body. Imagine spending years living a lie, denying what makes you ‘you’. This was Ryan’s reality. He had to choose: die as a man or live as a woman. In 2012, Ryan made the choice to set Rhyannon free. At the age of thirty Rhyannon began her transition, taking the first steps on the long road to her true self, and the emotional, physical and psychological journey that would change her for ever.
What does it mean to be young and trans? Puberty in your 30s, new clothes, new name! Since the ‘trans tipping point’, the world is finally waking up to transgender people. Rhyannon – whose ground-breaking Elle column documents her transition – holds nothing back in this candid and unflinching telling of her life. From cabaret drag acts, brushes with celebrity and Parisian clown school, to struggles with substance abuse and crippling depression, Rhyannon paints a picture of what it’s like to be transgender in glorious technicolour.
In 2015, Rhyannon Styles started on the road to gender reassignment surgery. She decided to keep a very public diary of what it means to be transgender; the NHS waiting lists, the hormonal highs and lows, laser hair removal, navigating gender specific changing rooms, dating as a transwoman and buying her first bra. She first started out as a performance artist under the name Ryan Styles until she embraced the woman she really is.
During her time as a performer, career highlights include a show at the Guggenheim Museum NYC, dancing with Kylie Minogue on ITV and roller-skating naked at the Barbican art gallery. A star of the transgender community, Rhyannon was name-checked on Independent’s Rainbow List as ‘One to Watch’ in 2015, and in September 2016, she made an appearance in the BBC 2 drama Boy Meets Girl.
CHORDZ COFFEE SHOP/ SAT 30th SEPTEMBER / 19.00 – 20.00
Musicians have often wanted to change the world. From underground grime artists to pop icons, many have believed in the political power of music. Rulers recognise it too. Music has been used to unsettle the most fundamental political and social conventions and to prop up the status-quo. Sound System is the story of one musician’s journey to discover what makes music so powerful.
Years of touring, playing and protesting have given Dave Randall a unique insider s view of the music industry, enabling him to shed light on the secrets of celebrity, commodification and culture. He finds remarkable examples of music as a force for social change as well as something that has been used to keep people in their place throughout history. This is a book of raves, riots and revolution. From the Glastonbury Festival to the Arab Spring, Pop Idol to Trinidadian Carnival, Randall finds political inspiration across the musical spectrum and poses the question: how can we make music serve the interests of the many, rather than the few?
Dave Randall is a guitarist, producer and composer. He has contributed to multimillion selling albums by Grammy Award winning artist Dido and has toured the world a number of times performing with UK dance act Faithless. His own critically acclaimed albums released under the name Slovo feature international collaborations with artists including Iceland’s Emiliana Torrini, West Africa’s Maezah and US jazz legend Max Roach.
Event sponsored by Chordz.
Self-curating and Fake News
ARTS CENTRE / SATURDAY 30th SEPTEMBER / 15.00
Miranda Doyle, Felicia Yapp and Peter Mourant
Miranda Doyle’s A Book of Untruths is a family story told through a series of lies. Each short chapter features one of these lies and each lie builds to form a picture of a life— Miranda Doyle’s life as she struggles to understand her complicated family and her own place within it. This is a book about love, family and marriage. It is about the fallibility of human beings and the terrible things we do to one another. It is about the ways we get at—or avoid—the truth. And it is about storytelling itself: how we build a sense of ourselves and our place in the world. A Book of Untruths is a surprising, shocking and invigorating book that edges towards the truth through an engagement with falsehood. It brings questions to its readers; not answers.
Felicia Yap’s novel Yesterday is set to be the most talked-about thriller of 2017. A beautifully written psychological drama which taps into our innermost fears concerning identity, memory and love. Just how do you solve a murder when you can only remember yesterday?
Joining Miranda Doyle and Felica Yapp will be veteran local photographer Peter Mourant, who has just celebrated 40 years as photographer for the Jersey Evening Post. Together they will be discussing the role truth in all its forms, including the art of self curation, the stories pictures tell, the role of echo chambers in modern discourse and the impact of fake news.
The discussion will be chaired by renowned literary blogger and returning festival chair Naomi Frisby.
JERSEY LIBRARY / THURSDAY 28th SEPTEMBER / 08.00 – 09.00
‘Citizens of the World: What Coffee Teaches Us’
David Warr, owner of Cooper & Co., a speciality tea and coffee business, will be discussing the issues raised in his latest book, Citizens of Coffee, in particular how can we reflect value though out the supply chain? Citizens of Coffee highlights the importance of everyone in the supply chain, from the person who collects the bean to the person who cleans the café and the Barista who serves the coffee.
Strolling With Scribes
WALK / SUNDAY 1st OCTOBER / 13.00 – 15.00 (Meet in Royal Square)
As part of the 2017 Jersey Festival of Words Tom Bunting and his daughter Caro will be giving a literary guided walk around the streets of St Helier. Hear about the local writers that have made an impression on the world at large and the literary giants that have visited the Island. We’ll end up with a quiet drink reading some letters from a rather unexpected visitor.