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How to Write a Book - Philippe Sands

In front of an audience at 2017's Hay Festival, international lawyer Philippe Sands talks about the surprisingly personal process of writing a book.

From the darkest chapters of European history to microcosmic relationships and personal discovery, professor of law at University College London Philippe Sands tells the story of writing a book which became not only a search for the human rights but a very personal human story too.

In this series of The Essay, recorded in front of an audience at the 2017 Hay Festival, five writers offer a personal guide to 'how to write a book'. Where do their ideas come from? Do they stick to a regular writing plan? Are there times when they just want to give up? Join them as they dispel some of the myths and share some of the secrets of getting to the final page.

The writers in the series include the new director of the Royal Institution and expert on ageing Sarah Harper, novelist Scarlett Thomas, translator Daniel Hahn and historian Martin Johnes.

Part of Radio 3's week-long residency at the Hay Festival, with programmes CD Review, Lunchtime Concert, In Tune, Free Thinking, The Verb and World on 3 all broadcasting from the festival.

Available now

15 minutes


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Download The Essay

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