Hexham Book Festival

We're excited to be partnering with Hexham Book Festival this year. We are supporting several female authors who will be talking about their books, which cover a wide range of topics and themes - from the natural environment to empowering and inspiring women. Check out a summary of these below!

Find out more here.

Uncivilised: Ten Lies That Made The West by Subhadra Das

Subhadra Das specialises in the history and philosophy of science, particularly the history of scientific racism and eugenics, and what those histories mean for our lives today. This book looks at Western ideas and how they shape our view of the world and each other. Pointing out the racial biases behind concepts like “justice” and “individuality”, Das questions the reality of our democracy, critiques the way capitalism shapes our concepts of everything from time to death and examines non-Western worldviews and philosophies that she believes do a much better job.

Photo: Alia Romagnoli

Secret Voices A Year of Women’s Diaries, Sarah Gristwood

Secret Voices is a rich treasury of women’s experiences through the years and across the world. Featuring more than a hundred diarists looking back over 400 years. Universal themes appear childbirth, clothes and cooking, sexuality and identity, travel and adventure, sickness and the changing seasons, marriage, menopause and money. Here, also, are first-hand accounts of historic events. You’ll meet abolitionists and suffragettes, poets and politicians, ordinary housewives and world-famous TV stars. Secret Voices demonstrates how much life has changed for women, as well as how much it hasn’t.

Photo: Oliver Edwards

May Day, Jackie Kay

May Day is a collection of poems which cast an eye over several decades of political activism, from the international solidarity of the Glasgow of Kay’s childhood, through the feminist, LGBT+ and anti-racist movements of the eighties and nineties, up to a global pandemic intersecting with the urgency of Black Lives Matter. Woven through the poems are the tales of campaigners and poems of grief and change from the loss of her parents.

Jack and Eve, Wendy Moore

Vera Holme, known as Jack, left a career as a jobbing actress to become Emmeline Pankhurst’s Chauffeur and mechanic. Evelina Haverfield was the daughter of a Scottish baron. They met in 1909, fell in love, lived together, and became public faces of the suffragette movement. WWI paused the suffragettes’ campaign and Jack and Eve enrolled in the Scottish Women’s Hospital Service. Together, they carved radical new paths, demonstrating that women could do anything men could do. Throughout, they refused to compromise their sexuality. Wendy Moore uses their story as a lens through which to view the suffragette movement, the work of women in WWI and the development of lesbian identity throughout the 20th Century

Photo: Colin Crisford

The Ladder, Cathy Newman

The Ladder brings together discussions between women – about work, love, growth, challenges, the big decisions and the stories of our lives. Channel 4 News presenter, offers inspiration and wise counsel from some of the world’s most acclaimed and influential women, this book is an insight and a trove of solidarity. Amidst these pages are discussions with women who have achieved extraordinary things in their fields and pursuits.

Photo: Peter Searle

The Song of the Whole Wide World, Tamarin Norwood

The Song of the Whole Wide World is an emergency response to grief. A few months into pregnancy, Tamarin Norwood learned that the baby she was carrying would not live. Over the sleepless weeks that followed, Tamarin, her husband and their three-year-old son tried to navigate the unfamiliar waters of anticipatory sorrow and to prepare for what was to come.

Photo: Lorentz Gullachsen

The Farmer’s Wife, Helen Rebanks

The Farmer’s Wife takes us from the farmhouse table of Helen’s grandma, through a journey of self-discovery and into the Lake District home she now shares with her husband, four children and a plethora of animals. It’s a tale about the nonstop hard work involved in keeping a farm going and raising a family, about where our food comes from and who puts it on the table. Helen’s gentle wisdom, helpful lists and accessible recipes help us get through our days, whatever they throw at us.

Photo: Imogen Whiteley

Among the Trolls, Marianna Spring

In Among the Trolls Spring tells the first-hand stories of the trolls and the trolled, those behind the information battle that threatens not just the way society works, but also some of the qualities we value most about being human: respect, fairness, tolerance, integrity and kindness. In 2020, Marianna became the first disinformation and social media correspondent, and since then she has been trying to understand conspiracy land.

Photo: Robert Timothy

Stuffed, Pen Vogler

Stuffed tells the stories of the food and drink at the centre of social upheavals from prehistory to the present. Drawing on cookbooks, literature and social records, Pen Vogler reveals how these turning points have led to today’s extremes of plenty and want. The fascinating history of the people, the ideas and the dishes that have fed - and starved - the nation

Second Nature, Susie White

Second Nature is Susie White’s story of how she turned her garden into a wildlife-filled sanctuary, fully integrated with the surrounding landscape and all the life it contains. Her account is filled with practical advice for gardeners to learn from as she takes us through the planning and construction and describes how she designed the garden to blend harmoniously with her natural environment.