Hundreds of the world’s most respected literary personalities will congregate in Sydney at the end of April and beginning of May for the 22nd Sydney Writers’ Festival. Fifty-five international and 360 Australian writers, academics and public figures will address the theme “Lie to Me” in a series of talks, panels, lectures and workshops.
International guests include Fatima Bhutto, the Pakistani author of The Runaways; Susan Orlean, author of The Library Book; George Saunders, author of the Booker Prize-winning Lincoln in the Bardo, who’ll share insights into his writing life; and Meg Wolitzer, author The Female Persuasion, who’ll discuss gender discrimination and feminism.
She’ll also present an opening night address, along with American author Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah (Friday Black) and British author Max Porter (Grief Is the Thing With Feathers).
Australian authors who’ll be appearing include Candice Fox (Gone by Midnight), Toni Jordan (The Fragments), Trent Dalton (Boy Swallows Universe), Markus Zusak (Bridge of Clay), Melissa Lucashenko (Too Much Lip), Stan Grant (Australia Day), Chloe Hooper (The Arsonist), Nam Le (On David Malouf: Writers on Writers), Clare Wright (You Daughters of Freedom), ABC presenter Leigh Sales (Any Ordinary Day) and multidisciplinary writer Maxine Beneba Clarke (who edited Growing Up African in Australia).
Events will be held across Sydney at Carriageworks, Town Hall and City Recital Hall, as well as in Greater Sydney. The All-Day YA (young adult) program will take place on May 4 at Riverside Theatres Parramatta, featuring a range of authors including Dhonielle Clayton (The Everlasting Rose), Neal Shusterman (Dry), Lili Wilkinson (After the Lights Go Out) and Jenna Guillaume (What I Like About Me).
Carriageworks will host events after dark, when some of the festival’s most interesting guests will talk and perform: Kristen Roupenian, author of the divisive New Yorker story Cat Person is on the bill; Anshel Pfeffer will discuss his biography of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu; and former New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson will discuss her book Merchants of Truth. At Gay For Page, guests will share stories of their queer literary heroes. And authors Daisy Johnson and Andrew Sean Greer will reimagine their best works as terrible teen poetry, while Eddie Sharp will speak utter filth for his Erotic Fan Fiction show.
Sydney Writers’ Festival 2019 is on from April 29 to May 5. Tickets go on sale Friday March 15 at 9am.