Sydney Writers' Festival Live and Local is back!

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After the success of Live & Local in 2016, Sydney Writers' Festival returns to Taree Library in 2017.

One of Australia,s best-loved forums for literature, ideas and storytelling, Sydney Writers’ Festival will stream its headline events from Roslyn Packer Theatre in Walsh Bay direct to Taree Library on 26 – 28 May. Prepare to be stimulated and engaged by conversations, debates and discussions, as the Festival brings the worlds finest authors to Taree Library in real time. As well as hearing new ideas from great thinkers, audiences have the opportunity to participate in Q&A sessions at each event, sending questions direct to the Sydney stage.

Be part of Live & Local, streamed live by Sydney Writers’ Festival and delivered locally by Taree Library.

Download the program here or check it out below


A MURDERER IN THE FAMILY with Nadja Spiegelman, Hisham Matar and Susan Faludi

MURDERER IN THE FAMILY

Three authors talk to Michael Williams about the challenges and consequences of writing from life. Susan Faludi In The Darkroom talks about her father’s life and their reconciliation after her father, Stefanie, has gender confirmation surgery. Hisham Matar The Return discusses the influence of his father’s disappearance on his writing, and his trip back to Libya three decades after his family’s exile. Nadja Spiegelman I’m Supposed to Protect You from All This talks about retracing three generations of mother–daughter relations. 

FRIDAY 26 MAY 10.00 –11.00 am - TAREE LIBRARY

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SONGS OF A WAR BOY with Deng Adut

DENG

Conscripted at age seven into Sudan’s brutal civil war, Deng Adut was groomed to handle an AK47 instead of a pencil. He escaped bullet wounds, atrocities and near starvation to become a lawyer, refugee advocate and NSW Australian of the Year. His memoir, Songs of a War Boy, is equally remarkable as it was written by a man who learned English by watching The Wiggles. He shares his inspiring story with Suzanne Leal.

FRIDAY 26 MAY 11.30 am - 12.30 pm - TAREE LIBRARY

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THE YEAR OF THE LEAR with JAMES SHAPIRO

JAMES SHAPRO

James Shapiro is one of the world’s leading experts on Shakespeare. His latest book on the great Bard, 1606: The Year of Lear was listed among the best books of 2016 by The Wall Street Journal, The Times Supplement and The Guardian. He speaks with Tom Wright about 1606: the year that produced King Lear, Macbeth and Antony and Cleopatra. In James’ deft hands, quantities of research become a brisk and animated history, as he illuminates Shakespeare’s bursts of creativity against the backdrop of a ‘troubled national mood’.

FRIDAY 26 MAY 1.30 - 2.30 PM - TAREE LIBRARY

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IN THE DARKROOM with SUSAN FALUDI

SUSAN

When Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and bestselling author of Backlash Susan Faludi learned her estranged 76-year-old father had undergone gender confirmation surgery, she began examining the meaning of identity. Susan also analysed her enigmatic father and her own family’s haunted past. She talks to Sofija Stefanovic about In the Darkroom, in which she crossed borders – historical, political, religious and sexual – to confront the question of the age: is identity something we choose or is it something we can’t escape? 

FRIDAY 26 MAY 3.00 - 4.00 PM  - TAREE LIBRARY

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WRITING RACE with Anuk Arudpragasam, Paul Beatty, Maxine Beneba Clarke & Ellen van Neervan

Man Booker Prize winner Paul Beatty The Sellout once said: ‘I wish I could say race is a construct … it’s all in our mind. But while there’s some truth to that, in the real world it’s just not the case.’ He joins celebrated writers – Anuk Arudpragasam The Story of a Brief Marriage, Maxine Beneba Clarke The Hate Race and guest currator Ellen van Neerven Comfort Food – to discuss race in today’s literary and cultural landscape, with Roanna Gonsalves The Permanent Resident as moderator. 

FRIDAY 26 MAY 4.30 - 5.30 PM - TAREE LIBRARY

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ON EDITING TEEN VOGUE with ELAINE WELTEROTH

Welteroth Elaine c Anna Ottum

Elaine Welteroth is a trendsetter – and not just in cosmetics, fashion or other clichés that spring to mind when you think of a teen magazine. Elaine was named Editor-in-Chief of Teen Vogue in 2016, the youngest person ever appointed to this role. But what has people talking is the depth and breadth of coverage – from powerful political stories on US President Donald Trump to religious freedom and video posts from Native American women protesting the Dakota Access pipeline. She speaks with Slate Editor-in-Chief Julia Turner.

FRIDAY 26 MAY 6.00 - 7.00 PM - TAREE LIBRARY

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I LOVE DICK with CHRIS KRAUS

Kraus Chris c Christian Werner

‘Who gets to speak, and why, is the only question,’ writes Chris Kraus in her cult hit novel I Love Dick. First published in 1997, the book is a controversial auto-fiction that’s been adapted for television by Jill Soloway, creator of the hit series Transparent. The ‘real’ Chris joins Krissy Kneen for a fascinating discussion of her provocative body of work - a mirror maze of reflecting and overlapping identities searching for a meaningful life. 

FRIDAY 26 MAY 7.30 - 8.30 PM - TAREE LIBRARY

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ALL THE GIRLS TO THE FRONT with YASSMIN ABDEL-MAGIED, CLEMENTINE FORD & TRACEY SPICER

This year, in a surge of global outrage at the election of Donald Trump, millions of women filled the streets in the largest single-day demonstrations in history. In the literary world, too, women are making noise. Jan Fran talks to important voices on the front line of feminist writing. Yassmin Abdel-Magied Yassmin’s Story, Clementine Ford Fight Like A Girl and Tracey Spicer The Good Girl Stripped Bare discuss taking action and writing for change.

SATURDAY 27 MAY 10.00 - 11.00 AM - TAREE LIBRARY

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DREAMS OF HER REAL SELF: WRITERS ON HELEN GARNER with BERNADETTE BRENNAN, ANNABEL CRABB, BENJAMIN LAW & FIONA MCFARLANE

In books such as Joe Cinque’s Consolation and The Children’s Bach Helen Garner has built a reputation as one of Australia’s most adept and admired authors. Now, Bernadette Brennan has delved into Garner’s 40-year career with A Writing Life, surveying the events that influenced her artful prose. This panel assembles an all-star cast of Garner admirers – political commentator Annabel Crabb The Wife Drought, columnist Benjamin Law The Family Law, and author Fiona McFarlane The High Places, alongside Bernadette and moderator Rebecca Giggs.

SATURDAY 27 MAY 11.30 AM - 12.30 PM - TAREE LIBRARY

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ADMISSIONS - A LIFE IN BRAIN SURGERY with HENRY MARSH

Marsh Henry c Patrick Sherlock

For more than 40 years, Henry Marsh’s job has been to ‘slice into the brain, the most complex structure we know of in the universe, where everything that makes us human is contained’.  Henry has written a searing, provocative and deeply personal memoir, Admissions: A Life in Brain Surgery, reflecting on life on the surgical front line, including pioneering the awake craniotomy procedure in Albania and Nepal. Sofija Stefanovic interviews Henry about the difficulties of a profession that deals in probabilities rather than certainties. 

SATURDAY 27 MAY 1.30 - 2.30 PM - TAREE LIBRARY

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THE RETURN with HISHAM MATAR

Matar Hisham c Diana Matar

When Hisham Matar was 19, his father was kidnapped in Cairo and taken to a prison in Libya. Hisham never saw him again. His unflinching memoir, The Return, charts his search for clues to his father’s fate. Author Peter Carey called the book ‘a triumph of art over tyranny’. Hisham talks to Fairfax literary editor Jason Steger about how his search was both an attempt to reconcile his loss and a harrowing journey into history, politics, art and the brutal legacy of corrupted power.

SATURDAY 27 MAY 3.00 - 4.00 PM - TAREE LIBRARY

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OUR READING YEAR with ANNABEL CRABB & LEIGH SALES

Sales and Crabb

Acclaimed journalists by day, keen readers by night, this beloved double act has charmed Australia with their podcast Chat 10, Looks 3 and their TV show When I Get A Minute. 7.30 host Leigh Sales and political commentator Annabel Crabb share an unmistakable chemistry, characterised by and quick-witted banter. Here, they look back on a year in reading – sharing the books that moved or amused them, and the ones that put them to sleep.

SATURDAY 27 MAY 4.30 - 5.30 PM - TAREE LIBRARY

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VIRAL AND VERSE with HERA LINDSAY & RUPI KAUR

Bird and Kaur

Hera Lindsay Bird and Rupi Kaur have built reputations based on their fearless flouting of sanitised femininity. Bird’s self-titled book of poetry catapulted the 28-year-old Kiwi into cult status with poems such as Keats is Dead So Fuck Me From Behind and Monica. Indian-Canadian Rupi Kaur has fashioned a career out of forcing herself into places where she’s least expected; whether it’s the New York Times bestseller list or challenging social media to rethink how it sees menstruation. Catch these two in delicious and revealing conversation with each other.

SATURDAY 27 MAY 6.30 - 7.30 PM - TAREE LIBRARY

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QUIRKY CHARACTERS! with LAUREN CHILD

Child Lauren c Polly BorlandAward-winning writer and artist Lauren Child makes her first appearance at Sydney Writers’ Festival. Lauren cracks the code on her artistic style and quirky characters, including Clarice Bean, Ruby Redfort, and Charlie and Lola. Find out how they manage to navigate a world full of annoying siblings, gross vegetables and challenging mysteries while still being some of the funniest kids ever. You’d be as silly as Sizzles to miss out on a session with this bestselling author! 

SUNDAY 28 MAY 10.00 - 11.00 AM - TAREE LIBRARY

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ARE YOU READY TO ROLL? with ANDY GRIFFITHS

Griffiths Andy

Ready to roll on the floor laughing? Rock star writer Andy Griffiths is back with his side-splitting antics and topsy-turvy tales. One of Australia’s bestselling children’s authors, Andy has written more than 30 books, including the JUST! series, The Day My Bum Went Psycho, The Bad Book and the Treehouse series. With the next instalment of Treehouse due later this year, you might even get a sneak peek at the crazy ideas planned for your favourite treetop hideaway.

SUNDAY 28 MAY 11.30 AM - 12.30 PM - TAREE LIBRARY

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LION - A LONG WAY HOME with SAROO BRIERLEY & HIS ADOPTIVE MOTHER SUE BRIERLEY

Brierley Saroo

Aged five, Saroo Brierley got lost on a train in India and couldn’t find his way home. After wandering the streets of Kolkata, he was taken to an orphanage and finally adopted by an Australian couple. As a young man, he used Google Earth to pore over satellite images, looking for familiar landmarks. After years of searching, he found what he was looking for. His story, A Long Way Home, is now the award-winning film Lion. In a very special event, Saroo and his adoptive mother Sue Brierley talk to Janice Petersen.  

SUNDAY 28 MAY 1.30 - 2.30 PM - TAREE LIBRARY

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FIGHT LIKE A GIRL with CLEMENTINE FORD

Ford Clementine c Christine Pobke

Fight Like a Girl is a personal and fearless call to arms by feminist writer and scourge of trolls and misogynists everywhere, Clementine Ford. Her incendiary debut is for feminists new, old and soon-to-be, exposing just how unequal the modern world is for women. An invitation to rediscover the fury suppressed by society, Fight Like a Girl pushes back against a world that still considers feminism a threat. In conversation with Jane Caro.

SUNDAY 28 MAY 3.00 - 4.00 PM - TAREE LIBRARY

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SWF GALA: MAYBE THIS WILL HELP with BILL HAYES, IVAN COYOTE, JAMIE MORTON, PAMELA PAUL & RUTH QUIBELL

Hayes

Some of the Festival’s most distinguished guests reveal personal tips for these anxiety-inducing times – from chicken soup to Valium. How do we keep sane in a time of Brexit and Trump, human rights abuses and climate change? Binge on Netflix? Mainline pinot gris? Move to Canada? Sofija Stefanovic talks to Bill Hayes Insomniac City: New York, Oliver, and Me, Ivan Coyote, Jamie Morton,New York Times Book Review editor Pamela Paul, and sociologist Ruth Quibell about remedies for chaos.

SUNDAY 28 MAY 4.30 - 5.30 PM - TAREE LIBRARY

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CLOSING ADDRESS with SUSAN FALUDI

Faludi Susan

Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Susan Faludi In the Darkroom, Backlash delivers the Festival’s closing address. She explores the theme of refuge, from the metaphorical shelter of books to the basic physical safety that millions seek today. Refuge, even more than freedom, has become the principle issue rocking our societies. Susan confronted the quandaries of refuge through the struggles of her father – who survived the Holocaust and later changed gender identity – bringing her experience to bear on urgent questions. When is refuge real and when is it illusory? And who among us doesn’t seek it? 

SUNDAY 28 MAY 6.00 - 7.00 PM - TAREE LIBRARY 

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We have regular events and programs across our libraries including author talks, technology workshops, music, family history research workshops and lots more. Watch this space for upcoming events!