This week is the second of Festival Director Chip Rolley’s Sydney Writers’ Festivals, and unlikely as it seems, it looks even bigger than his first.
Full details are available on the SWF website, but guests include David Mitchell, Tea Obréht, last year’s Man Booker Prize-winner Howard Jacobson, Michael Connelly, philosopher A.C. Grayling and James Gleick. Sadly another of the major overseas guests, Liao Yiwu, was last week prevented from travelling to Australia by Chinese authorities, a decision that serves as a stark reminder of the challenges facing writers and dissidents in the People’s Republic.
If you’d like to catch me at the Festival I’m doing four events. On Thursday I’ll be discussing anthologising and The Penguin Book of the Ocean with Tim Herbert and Best Australian Stories editor and novelist Cate Kennedy in ‘On Our Selection’; on Friday I’ll be joining Malcolm Knox (whose new book, The Life, I’m halfway through and loving (info and ebook here, hard copy prices here)) and Lisa Pryor for a session about writers and fatherhood entitled ‘Daddy, Daddy, I …’, and on Saturday my partner Mardi McConnochie and I will join Mandy Sayer and Louis Nowra for ‘Au Pairs’, a session about life as one half of a literary couple. I’ll also be speaking to Georgia Blain about her fascinating new book, Too Close To Home on Thursday morning.
And if you’d like to see Mardi, she’s also on a number of panels, including ‘A Question of Character’ on Thursday, ‘Over Here’ on Sunday, and in conversation about her new book, The Voyagers, on Friday.