Big names at the 2014 Varuna and Sydney Writers’ Festival

VarunaFrom Varuna Writers House, left, tickets are selling fast to this year’s Varuna and Sydney Writers Festival Blue Mountains Program. The main program, featuring national and international authors, will be held at the Art Deco Carrington Hotel on Monday 19th and Tuesday 20th May from 10am to 5:30pm plus special evening events from 6-7pm both nights.

Highlights include Richard Flanagan talking with Geordie Williamson about his amazing novel The Narrow Road to the Deep North; and the Irish novelist Emma Donoghue chatting with Kate Fagan about her Booker-nominated novel Room and her intriguing new work Frog Music.

In a session that has created a great deal of interest, Bob Carr will talk with Bob Debus about the latest chapter of his extraordinary career with his controversial new book Diary of a Foreign Minister. In a complete change of subject and pace, and fresh from her appearances on QI, the Danish-English comedian Sandi Toksvig interrogates the history and relevance of modern manners with hilarious results in Peas and Queues. She talks with Stephen Measday on Tuesday at 1:30pm.

One of the standout events in the program is on Monday 19th May at 6pm: this year’s Eric Dark Memorial Lecture, presented by Clive Hamilton. Clive is an eminent Australian author and public intellectual whose books include Growth Fetish, Affluenza, What’s Left: The death of social democracy, Silencing Dissent and Scorcher: The dirty politics of climate change. In this year’s lecture, Clive references his new book Earthmasters, discussing humanity’s options in a rapidly-changing global environment.

Mixing with these eminent national and international authors will be local poets and debut novelists such as Felicity Castagna, Sally Piper and Annah Faulkner, who have been helped by Varuna’s publishing programs. It will be interesting to hear about their progress to publication.
More details, including the full program & how to book tickets, are on the website.

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