SWF 2019 program announced
The program has been announced for this year’s Sydney Writers’ Festival (SWF), which runs from 29 April to 5 May.
Fifty-five international guests and 360 Australian writers, academics and public figures will take part in events held at festival venues across Greater Sydney. For the second year running, the festival hub will be located at Carriageworks while the NSW government redevelops the Walsh Bay Arts Precinct.
International authors Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, Max Porter and Meg Wolitzer will each deliver an opening address on the festival’s theme, ‘Lie to me’. Pakistani writer Fatima Bhutto will deliver the festival’s closing address, speaking about ‘the tectonic shifts occurring in global politics and around ideas of race, sexuality and gender’.
Other international guests include UK historians Antony Beevor and Simon Schama; German writer Jenny Erpenbeck; Nigerian author Oyinkan Braithwaite; Chinese American novelist Ling Ma; and American authors Rachel Kushner, Rebecca Makkai, Andrew Sean Greer, George Saunders, Paula Saunders, Susan Orlean, Alexander Chee, Kristen Roupenian and Casey Legler.
Also on the program this year are several journalists, including New Yorker journalist Ian Parker, who published an investigation of the writer A J Finn that went viral earlier this year; former editor of the New York Times Jill Abramson, who is facing allegations of plagiarism for her book Merchants of Truth; and journalists Ece Temelkuran, Beth Macy and Anabel Hernández.
More than 360 Australian guests will appear at the festival, including authors and public figures Maxine Beneba Clarke, Benjamin Law, David Marr and George Megalogenis; novelists Melanie Cheng, Jane Harper, Markus Zusak, Future D Fidel and Trent Dalton; poets Fiona Wright and Omar Sakr; and nonfiction writers Leigh Sales, Jane Caro, Richard Cooke, Tim Flannery, Stan Grant, Chloe Hooper and Clare Wright.
A two-day family program will be held at Sydney Town Hall on 4 and 5 May, featuring Aaron Blabey, Megan McDonald, Katherine Rundell, Sally Rippin, Karl Kruszelnicki and Maxine Beneba Clarke. ‘All Day YA’, the festival’s full-day program dedicated to young adult fiction, will be held at Riverside Theatres in Parramatta on 4 May, featuring international guests Dhonielle Clayton, Mackenzi Lee and Neal Shusterman, alongside local authors Alison Evans, Lili Wilkinson, Ambelin Kwaymullina and Jenna Guillaume.
The festival’s Live & Local streaming program will bring events to regional and national audiences, with more than 30 venues across Australia signing on to broadcast select festival events.
‘Hundreds of the world’s most exciting writers will gather in Sydney to examine the white lies and deceptions that are necessary for survival, and malicious lies that are spun with darker intent,’ said SWF artistic director Michaela McGuire. ‘They’ll explore the ways that writing can be used to deceive others in an increasingly post-truth world and look at the lies that we tell ourselves and each other, and those we collectively tell as a country.’
A number of international guests will also participate in Wheeler Centre events in Melbourne, including Jill Abramson, Alexander Chee, Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, Susan Orlean and Max Porter.
To see the full SWF program, see the website.