Events

Sydney Writers' Festival Live & Local

One of Australia’s best-loved forums for literature, ideas and storytelling, Sydney Writers’ Festival will stream its headline events from Carriageworks in Sydney direct to Mudgee on Friday 4, Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 May. 

Prepare to be stimulated and engaged by conversations, debates and discussions, as the Festival brings the world’s finest authors to Mudgee in real time via digital live-streaming project, Live & Local. View the program below — attendance is via gold coin donation and bookings are not required. 

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Sunday 6 May

10–11am
Economic Inequality: From Wisconsin to Whyalla
Economic inequality is on the rise, including in Trump’s America and in Australia. Middle-class jobs are disappearing, especially in towns that relied on manufacturing. Where does this leave people in affected industries and areas, and the generation to follow? And what are the political implications for democracies? Join award–winning author Don Watson, Pulitzer Prize–winning staff writer for The Washington Post Amy Goldstein and economics professor Richard Holden in a wide-ranging conversation with ABC’s Chief Economics Correspondent Emma Alberici about the challenges posed by inequality today.

11:30am–12:30pm
Johann Hari: On Our Depression, Anxiety and Addiction Crisis
In this fascinating talk, New York Times bestselling author Johann Hari contends that Australia is going through a series of interconnected crises: Australia has one of the highest levels of depression in the world, and a chronic methamphetamine crisis. Based on his first-hand deep-diving research across the world, from Sydney to Sao Paulo to San Francisco, the acclaimed author of Chasing the Scream and Lost Connections seeks to confront the deep causes of the Western World’s crisis of despair, and look at the practical ways that we can find our way back. Join Johann in a special Festival event, as he examines why the Lucky Country is so unhappy, and tells the story of how we can reconnect, find happiness and lead more meaningful lives.
Please note that this session has replaced Cleo Wade: Heart Talk.

1:30–2:30pm
Tayari Jones: An American Marriage
The bestselling An American Marriage by Tayari Jones traces the lives of Roy, a black man wrongly convicted of rape, and his wife, Celestial. Widely lauded since its release, it became an official Book Club selection of Oprah Winfrey, who enthused: “It’s among Tayari's many gifts that she can touch us soul to soul with her words – and that those words are so glorious.” Glory Edim speaks to Tayari about her stunning novel of love, racial injustice and a marriage interrupted.

3–4pm
Sarah Ferguson: On Mother

Following the sudden death of her mother, renowned ABC journalist Sarah Ferguson penned On Mother, a poignant and moving reflection on their relationship over decades and across continents. After a career spent investigating some of Australia’s most high-profile news stories, she turned the focus onto her own family to examine the individual that existed beyond motherhood. In conversation with Louise Adler, the four-time Walkley Award–winning reporter reflects on the complex bonds shared between mothers and daughters.

4:30–5:30pm
Emily Wilson: Translating The Odyssey
In 2017, Emily Wilson became the first woman to translate The Odyssey into English. Her translation of the 12,110-line epic poem offered a fresh perspective on the rousing tale of shipwrecks, monsters and magic. Her text has been praised for its accuracy and an accessibility that brings the ancient work into the 21st century – perhaps raising the eyebrows of some Homer purists along the way. Speaking to Jennifer Byrne, Emily elaborates on her approach to translating the second-oldest text in Western literature and why it remains so vital today.

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