26–28 May 2017
Sydney Writers’ Festival: Live and Local One of Australia’s best-loved forums for literature, ideas and storytelling, Sydney Writers’ Festival will stream its headline events from Roslyn Packer Theatre in Walsh Bay direct to Canberra Theatre Centre’s Foyer Bar.
Prepare to be stimulated and engaged by conversations, debates and discussions, as the Festival brings the world’s finest authors to Canberra in real time. As well as hearing new ideas from great thinkers, audiences have the opportunity to participate in Q&A sessions at each event, sending questions direct to the Sydney stage.
The Link Bar and coffee shop will be open during the live stream.
FRIDAY 26 MAY 1.30pm–5.30pm
– THE YEAR OF LEAR
James Shapiro is one of the world’s leading experts on Shakespeare. His latest book on the great Bard, 1606: The Year of Lear was listed among the best books of 2016 by The Wall Street Journal, The Times Supplement and The Guardian. He speaks with Tom Wright about 1606: the year that produced King Lear, Macbeth and Antony and Cleopatra. In James’ deft hands, quantities of research become a brisk and animated history, as he illuminates Shakespeare’s bursts of creativity against the backdrop of a ‘troubled national mood’.
– IN THE DARK ROOM
When Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and bestselling author of Backlash Susan Faludi learned her estranged 76-year-old father had undergone gender confirmation surgery, she began examining the meaning of identity. Susan also analysed her enigmatic father and her own family’s haunted past. She talks to Sofija Stefanovic about In the Darkroom, in which she crossed borders – historical, political, religious and sexual – to confront the question of the age: is identity something we choose or is it something we can’t escape?
Supported by the University of Sydney.
WRITING RACE (PANEL)
Man Booker Prize winner Paul Beatty (The Sellout) once said: ‘I wish I could say race is a construct … it’s all in our mind. But while there’s some truth to that, in the real world it’s just not the case.’ He joins celebrated writers – Anuk Arudpragasam (The Story of a Brief Marriage), Maxine Beneba Clarke (The Hate Race) and guest curator Ellen van Neerven (Comfort Food) – to discuss race in today’s literary and cultural landscape, with Roanna Gonsalves (The Permanent Resident) as moderator.
SATURDAY 27 MAY 10am–5.30pm
ALL THE GIRLS TO THE FRONT (PANEL)
This year, in a surge of global outrage at the election of Donald Trump, millions of women filled the streets in the largest single-day demonstrations in history. In the literary world, too, women are making noise. Jan Fran talks to important voices on the front line of feminist writing. Yassmin Abdel-Magied (Yassmin’s Story), Clementine Ford (Fight Like A Girl) and Tracey Spicer (The Good Girl Stripped Bare) discuss taking action and writing for change.
DREAMS OF HER REAL SELF: HELEN GARNER (PANEL)
In books such as Joe Cinque’s Consolation and The Children’s Bach Helen Garner has built a reputation as one of Australia’s most adept and admired authors. Now, Bernadette Brennan has delved into Garner’s 40-year career with A Writing Life, surveying the events that influenced her artful prose. This panel assembles an all-star cast of Garner admirers – political commentator Annabel Crabb (The Wife Drought), columnist Benjamin Law (The Family Law), and author Fiona McFarlane (The High Places), alongside Bernadette and moderator Rebecca Giggs.
HENRY MARSH: ADMISSIONS
– A LIFE IN BRAIN SURGERY
For more than 40 years, Henry Marsh’s job has been to ‘slice into the brain, the most complex structure we know of in the universe, where everything that makes us human is contained’. Henry has written a searing, provocative and deeply personal memoir, Admissions: A Life in Brain Surgery, reflecting on life on the surgical front line, including pioneering the awake craniotomy procedure in Albania and Nepal. Sofija Stefanovic interviews Henry about the difficulties of a profession that deals in probabilities rather than certainties.
HISHAM MATAR – THE RETURN
When Hisham Matar was 19, his father was kidnapped in Cairo and taken to a prison in Libya. Hisham never saw him again. His unflinching memoir, The Return, charts his search for clues to his father’s fate. It won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Autobiography, and author Peter Carey called the book ‘a triumph of art over tyranny’. Hisham talks to Fairfax literary editor Jason Steger about how his search was both an attempt to reconcile his loss and a harrowing journey into history, politics, art and the brutal legacy of corrupted power.
ANNABEL CRABB AND LEIGH SALES
– OUR READING YEAR
Acclaimed journalists by day, keen readers by night, the beloved double act of Annabel Crabb and Leigh Sales has charmed Australia with their podcast Chat 10 Looks 3 and their TV show When I Get A Minute. The pair share an unmistakable chemistry, characterised by quick-witted banter. Here, they look back on a year in reading, sharing the books that moved or amused them, and those that put them to sleep.
SUNDAY 28 MAY 10am–4pm
LAUREN CHILD’S QUIRKY CHARACTERS!
Award-winning writer and artist Lauren Child makes her first appearance at Sydney Writers’ Festival. Lauren cracks the code on her artistic style and quirky characters, including Clarice Bean, Ruby Redfort, and Charlie and Lola. Find out how they manage to navigate a world full of annoying siblings, gross vegetables and challenging mysteries while still being some of the funniest kids ever. You’d be as silly as Sizzles to miss out on a session with this bestselling author!
– ARE YOU READY TO ROLL
Ready to roll on the floor laughing? Rock star writer Andy Griffiths is back with his side-splitting antics and topsy-turvy tales. One of Australia’s bestselling children’s authors, Andy has written more than 30 books, including the JUST! series, The Day My Bum Went Psycho, The Bad Book and the Treehouse series. With the next instalment of Treehouse due later this year, you might even get a sneak peek at the crazy ideas planned for your favourite treetop hideaway.
– A LONG WAY HOME
Aged five, Saroo Brierley got lost on a train in India and couldn’t find his way home. After wandering the streets of Kolkata, he was taken to an orphanage and finally adopted by an Australian couple. As a young man, he used Google Earth to pore over satellite images, looking for familiar landmarks. After years of searching, he found what he was looking for. His story, A Long Way Home, is now the award-winning film Lion. In a very special event, Saroo and his mother Sue Brierley talk to Janice Petersen.
CLEMENTINE FORD – FIGHT LIKE A GIRL
Fight Like a Girl is a personal and fearless call to arms by feminist writer and scourge of trolls and misogynists everywhere, Clementine Ford. Her incendiary debut is for feminists new, old and soon-to-be, exposing just how unequal the modern world is for women. An invitation to rediscover the fury suppressed by society, Fight Like a Girl pushes back against a world that still considers feminism a threat. In conversation with Jane Caro.
Canberra Theatre Centre and Sydney Writers’ Festival
Each session will run for 60 minutes.
These broadcasts are suitable for children.
Canberra Theatre Centre Foyer Bar