The international flavour continues at the 2014 Byron Bay Writers Festival with a star-filled line-up of guest writers from all corners of the globe.
Festival director Edwina Johnson says the event has a great tradition of attracting international talent. ‘This year is no exception, with a wonderful list of esteemed international guests who will stimulate discussions and debates during the landmark three-day literary event.’
British writer Jeanette Winterson will deliver the keynote address on Friday August 1. Winterson’s most recent work includes the memoir Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? and the horror novella about witchcraft and superstition The Daylight Gate.
Fellow British writer, Geoff Dyer, will be a voice not to be missed. Dyer is the author of four novels and seven books of non-fiction, which have won a number of literary awards and been translated into 24 languages. Dyer has been described by Kathryn Shulz from New York Magazine as ‘one of our greatest living critics, not of the arts, but of life itself, and one of our most original writers’.
Co-founder of The Women’s Therapy Centre in the UK and the USA, Susie Orbach will also make the journey to Byron Bay. Orbach is a psychoanalyst, writer, activist and social critic and will be in conversation with Wendy Were, who was listed among Artshub’s Top 15 arts power players in Australia.
American journalist and Pulitzer prize winner (2006) David Finkel will also join the international line-up. Finkel is a staff writer at The Washington Post where he has also worked for the Post’s foreign staff division. He is the author of two critically acclaimed books – The Good Soldiers and Thank You for Your Service.
Finkel will feature in the session Dangerous Allies: Some of our Best Friends are Enemies with Malcolm Fraser. The session will be chaired by David Marr of Four Corners and Media Watch fame.
In what has been described as a Festival coup, internationally renowned writing professor Robin Hemley will participate in three Festival session and will deliver a three-hour masterclass titled Writing Imaginatively About the Past on Thursday July 31.
‘As in the past, our ties with Asia continue to be strong with writers from Tibet, Pakistan, Vietnam, Malaysia, India and Indonesia providing integral cultural insights and links in the 2014 program,’ Johnson says.
Asian guests include Carina Hoang, a Vietnamese refugee; Qaisra Shahraz from Pakistan, who has been recognised as one of Pakistan’s 100 most influential women; Bhuchung Sonam from Tibet, who is the author of five books; and Agustinus Wibowo, an Indonesian travel writer whose experiences have taken him through Asia to the Middle East.
Full program details and tickets are available at www.byronbaywritersfestival.com.