SWF 2017 Approaches

21-Apr-2017


Sydney Writers' Festival 2017

The Sydney Writers' Festival programme has been announced and we will be back as the offical booksellers. It's our twelfth year; can you believe it? Whilst endeavouring to keep hundreds of local and international authors in stock across the festival's myriad of (sometimes quirky) venues can throw up logistical challenges, we are as excited to be involved as ever. If you've never been to the festival, we implore you to come along - the Walsh Bay wharf venues are magical in May; and there is simply nothing  quite like the alchemy of authors in conversation. 

 

Bill Hayes was the partner of Oliver Sacks, but his memoir is also that of  "the evanescent, the eavesdropped, the unexpected" life in New York. It's a magical book, and we expect Bill will floor festival audiences.

Joy Williams is one of the most regarded American short story writers writing today. Real but surreal, bleak but funny, domestic but dangerous, familiar but enigmatic. If you haven't heard of her, now is the time. The Visiting Privilege is a terrific overview of her oeuvre.

That exquisite moment for a festival programmer when their guest author (who has already won the National Book Award) wins the Pulitzer Prize for fiction days after the programme is announced. The Underground Railroad is a masterful story of antebellum slavery, escape and pursuit.


Regular festival attendees will remember hearing luminaries such as Anna Politkovskaya and Masha Gessen  deliver incredible lectures on Putin's Russia. This year Mikhail Zygar reveals unprecedented interviews with Putin's inner circle, and a Medici-style court out of control.

A firm shop favourite for months, and once again brilliant timing for the festival - Hisham Matar has just won the Pulitzer Prize for biography for an overwhelming 'elegy for home and father'. 

Read this book! A ghost story, history lesson, and comic elegy all wrapped up in one of the most assured first novels of our time - by literary superhero and festival heavy weight George Saunders. 

Have you heard the one about the three philosophers that meet in a bar? No, it's not the set up for a bad joke;  it's a captivating blend of biography and ideas. Sarah Bakewell tackles the lives of Sartre, de Beauvoir, what we are, and how we live. 

Stella Prize

 

The winner of the 2017 Stella Prize is Heather Rose forThe Museum of Modern Love, an exquisite reverie on the nature of commitment and connection.  It is a charming novel with an actual performance in 2010 at MoMA by Marina Abramovic, used as structural device. Heather Rose will be at Sydney Writers' Festival, and we like the look of the session where she will talk about the lovely penumbra between fact and fiction in her writing, along with Chris Kraus of the modern classic I Love Dick.

Roxane Gay shot to fame with her collection of essays Bad Feminist  Difficult Women is a collection of short stories but represents the same razor sharp vision of a modern USA.

Philosopher scuba-diver Peter Godfrey-Smith's book on octopus intelligence has won rave reviews and fantastic word-of-mouth sales. Discover what it is like to have eight tentacles so packed with neurons that they almost think for themselves.