Well, I’ve booked my programme of (ticketed) events for the Sydney Writers’ Festival (Saturday 15th of May – Sunday 23rd), though I still have a few choices to make for some (inevitable) overlaps. For example: should I go to E32 ‘Who Owns the Story’ – dealing with the rights of authors in the use of aboriginal myth and dreaming stories, or E34: ‘Celebrating the Australian Accent’ with Jack Thompson et al? For a Libran like myself, such decisions are nigh on impossible!
It’s certainly shaping up to be a busy and interesting week. I’m not going to give a critical opinion on how the SWF measures up to, say, the recent Adelaide Writer’s Week, which had some pretty big names in Sarah Waters and others… Sydney will have to ‘make-do’ with the likes of Elizabeth Gilbert of Eat, Pray, Love fame, Colm Toibin, and Peter Carey amongst a host of local talent too numerous to list.
Some of the events I’m particularly looking forward to (amongst others) are:
- E66: ‘Judges & Winners’: John Carey, Thomas Keneally, Colm Tóibín and Su Tong dissect the agony (and fun) of the Booker prize fight. (This promises to be very intriguing – everyone has an opinion on the Booker Prize!).
- Reading Muster 5: Alex Miller, Peter Goldsworthy, Rodney Hall and Nada Awar Jarrar pass the word around.
- E148: ‘Marie Munkara’: The award-winning indigenous writer of ‘Every Secret Thing’ shares her stories.
- E167: ‘Peter Carey’: Peter Carey talks to ‘Granta’ editor John Freeman about ‘Parrot and Olivier in America’. (Carey is also delivering the festival’s closing address.)
- E192: ‘The Colony & Sydney Harbour’: Grace Karskens and Ian Hoskins retrace the history of Sydney.
- E236: ‘Reading Roberto Bolano’: A celebration of the work of the late Chilean novelist and poet. (Okay, so I’ve only read the (slim) Amulet – see my review – which I liked a lot, but I am stalking both The Savage Detectives & 2666(!) – which are both on my shelf. Perhaps I should start one of these before the festival!
Is anyone else going? What are the events you’re most interested in?