A word from the wise – our top picks at Brisbane Writers Festival
It’s the time of year that us lovers of the written word have been waiting for – the Brisbane Writers Festival is finally upon us this weekend! From September 6–10, our city comes alive with some of the brightest minds across a huge range of demographics waxing lyrical on pretty much every topic you can imagine. We’ve sifted through the huge array of debates, discussions, workshops and activations on offer this year and picked out a few you simply can’t miss.
Literary Salon: A World Without Writers – Saturday September 9
This year, the Brisbane Writers Festival posed a daunting question – what would the world look like if we did not have writers? This literary salon has invited four fabulous writers to mull it over together – local darling Benjamin Law, comic author Richard Glover, history buff Rutger Bregman, foreign correspondent Adrian Levy and critically acclaimed legend Min Jin Lee will all appear. It’s a smorgasbord of mind brilliance!
Carpentaria: A Performance – throughout
Alexis Wright’s award-wining novel Carpentaria has been brought to life in this spectacular performance that takes place inside an actual piece of art. Contemporary Aboriginal artist Gordon Hookey has created Angel’s Palace, a mind-blowing artistic monument that becomes a theatre for the performance. The colourful characters of Carpentaria tell their stories of home – both where it is and what it means.
The Parcel – Sunday September 10
Anosh Irani is an absolute force to be reckoned with in the lit world right now – his dark and powerful novel The Parcel is a finalist for both the Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and for the Governor General’s Literary Award. Anosh will be appearing in conversation with the ABC’s Sarah Kanowski to discuss the book’s finer points.
The Answers – Sunday September 10
You may know Catherine Lacey as the young gun who penned Nobody is Ever Missing – well she’s back in the game with her latest offering The Answers, a bold new work about an attempt to break love into its component parts and the disturbing results that follow. She will be joined in conversation by the inimitable Emily Sexton, one of the key players in Australia’s flourishing literary community.
Jesse Ball – various dates
New York novelist Jesse Ball’s many and varied works are beloved across the globe and he’s got the chops to prove it – the dude is the recipient of fellowships from the NEA, Heinz, and Guggenheim Foundations just to name a few. You can catch him in conversation with Bronwyn Lea on Saturday , as well as on the Eulogy: Writing Grief panel on Friday alongside Susan Johnson, Ben Hobson, Nike Sulway and more.
The Cultural Revolution – Saturday September 9
The Mao era was a pretty darn fascinating time in history – so much so that Frank Dikkötter wrote a whole book about it. In The Cultural Revolution: A People’s History, Frank has drawn upon previously classified party documents to interrogate the defining characteristics of the last years of Mao’s reign. Frank will be in conversation with Antony Funnell, the Walkley Award-winning journalist and broadcaster you know from ABC Radio National.
Need a dose of literary love in your life? You can browse the entire Brisbane Writers Festival program and buy tickets to events here.