Sydney Writers' Festival
It is always wonderful to be around other writers, and after a heady few days
10th Sydney Writers' Festival it has been predictably difficult to wind down.
Luckily I flew straight back to Adelaide and the organising side of a
literary event, where writers and writing were still the main dish on the menu.
Mothers & Daughters: Friday 1st June 2007
But back to Sydney, and I doubt there is a more ravishing setting for a
literary festival than the wharf-side at Walsh Bay, with its harbour backdrop
and stunning architecture. My session on
Mothers and Daughters
at the Bangarra
Mezzanine was packed with a wonderfully attentive audience; perhaps they had
been warmed up at earlier events, like the one I went to that featured Lionel
Shriver, Rachel Seiffert and Jo Gardiner discussing the intimate relationships
of their recent novels.
That same evening, Random House hosted a cocktail party at the Museum of
Contemporary Art on Circular Quay West. Guests crowded onto a rooftop terrace
to admire the night lit harbour bridge, the opera house and dazzling city
skyscrapers. I met some amazing writers, including Gail Jones who had just
flown in from the UK's Hay Festival, and spent an engaging half-hour chatting
to British children's writer Philip Ardagh, and John Boyne - a New York Times
best selling author who hails from Dublin. Eventually that conversation segued
into one with the charming Kate Forsythe, who lives and writes in Manly, and
Holly Hill, whose book had been published that very day.
On Sunday morning a small boat took us spinning across the harbour for a
session at the inspired location of Cockatoo Island. The island, with its
cavernous convict-built architecture was the perfect space in which to pitch
camp and discuss
Stories of Flight and Asylum
(see below). Empty on our arrival, when the
ferry docked a crowd of intrepid festival fans soon filled the chairs and
helped dispel the chill. Some of them asked if I would put the notes for my
talk on the website, so both sessions can be accessed here:
Stories of Flight & Asylum: Sunday 3rd June 2007
Other musings on the Writing Life ...
Mothers & Daughters Panel
Cockatoo Island Panel