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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Sydney Writers' Festival Has Dropped a Jam-Packed Lineup for Its 22nd Outing

A lineup of local and international writing talent — including Leigh Sales, Fatima Bhutto and George Saunders — will all talk to the theme 'Lie to Me'.
By Libby Curran
March 15, 2019
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Sydney Writers' Festival Has Dropped a Jam-Packed Lineup for Its 22nd Outing

A lineup of local and international writing talent — including Leigh Sales, Fatima Bhutto and George Saunders — will all talk to the theme 'Lie to Me'.
By Libby Curran
March 15, 2019
  shares

Loosen your grasp on the truth and prepare to embrace a bit of deception, because this year's Sydney's Writers' Festival is all about lies. Returning for its 22nd edition from Monday, April 29, to Sunday, May 5, the internationally renowned literary event will take over venues across the city, bringing with it a dazzling program of local and international writers.

This year, they'll examine the ways in which writing can be used as a tool of deceit in today's world — for good and evil — with the theme of 'Lie to Me'.

An exciting lineup of literary talent is coming to play, kicking off with opening night's acclaimed trio: bestselling US author of The Interestings, The Wife and The Female Persuasion, Meg Wolitzer; Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, who's the mind behind dystopian short story collection Friday Black; and award-winning writer of Grief is the Thing with Feathers and Lanny, Max Porter.

A star-studded cast of literary talent appears throughout the rest of this year's program, too. Flying the flag for the Aussie writing scene are the likes of Leigh Sales (Any Ordinary Day), Trent Dalton (Boy Swallows Universe), Mark Brandi (The Rip), Clare Wright (You Daughters of Freedom) and Candice Fox (Gone By Midnight).

They're joined by a stack of international names, like lauded Pakistani author Fatima Bhutto (The Runaways, Songs of Blood and Sword), who'll be exploring current shifts surrounding politics, gender and race, along with writers like Susan Orlean (The Library Book) and Andrew Sean Greer (Less). Man Booker Prize winner George Saunders (whose novel Lincoln in the Bardo, which has a staggering 166 narrators, was one of our favourite books of 2017) will also be taking to the stage in the City Recital Hall.

The festival's also dishing up a range of special events — the Curiosity Lecture Series covers quirky topics from witches to the subculture of 'chilli-heads', Eddie Sharp's Erotic Fan Fiction makes its hotly anticipated and cheeky return, and an assortment of festival guests share stories of their own queer literary heroes in a segment called Gay For Page.

While the Sydney Writers' Festival hub will remain at Carriageworks, events will be held across the city — stretching from Sydney Town Hall across to Penrith and down to Wollongong.

Sydney Writers' Festival returns from April 29–May 5. Tickets go on sale at 9am on Friday, March 15.

Images: Prudence Upton

Published on March 15, 2019 by Libby Curran

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