One of the perks of my role as Director at Writers Victoria is the annual meeting of writers’ centre directors from around Australia, which takes place in Adelaide just prior to the start of Adelaide Writers’ Week, part of the Adelaide Festival. I’ve always wanted to go to AWW: it takes place outdoors in a public garden, the sessions are free to attend, and the program is always outstanding. That the author of one of my top five favourite books of all time, Barbara Kingsolver, is among this year’s guests is the icing on the proverbial cake.
I also have the good fortune to be on the program, chairing a couple of sessions with some exceptionally talented authors. On Sat 3 March at 10.45am on the West Stage I will be interviewing New Zealand author Catherine Chidgey and American author Rachel Khong about their respective novels The Beat of the Pendulum and Goodbye, Vitamin. I also read Chidgey’s award winning novel The Wish Child, and tried a few recipes from Khong’s All About Eggs in preparation for this panel. The session is called The Memory Game and, judging from the research I’ve been doing into these two authors, it promises to be a fascinating discussion.
On Sun 4 March at 4.00pm, also on the West Stage, I’ll be interviewing Michelle de Krester about her latest novel The Life to Come, and Felicity Castagna about her novel No More Boats in a session called Boat People. Again, the fierce intelligence of these writers promises to make this an excellent discussion, and I admit to being more than a little anxious at the prospect of interviewing them.
When not chairing, I will be attending sessions with enthusiasm. I look forward to hearing from some international authors whose work I greatly admire, including Kamila Shamsie, Sarah Sentilles and, of course, Barbara Kingsolver. Also hoping for face-to-face meetings with people I’ve met online, catch ups with friends in Adelaide, and seeing some of my Melbourne mates who are on the program, because, you know, sometimes you have to travel interstate to make time to catch up.
Anyone else planning to attend Adelaide Writers Week? What are your must-see sessions?