I am delighted, excited and also a little hesitant to say that I have been invited back to Adelaide for Writers Week in 2022 to chair a couple of panels. Delighted because Adelaide Writers Week is a wonderful cultural event, guaranteed to feature outstanding authors in engaging discussions. Excited because of the panels I will be chairing, the friends I hope to catch up with, the new authors whose work I will learn about, and the visiting literary luminaries I hope to meet. And hesitant because if the last two years have taught me anything it’s that “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft a-gley” (to quote Robbie Burns). As the entire festival takes place outdoors at the Pioneer Women’s Memorial Garden, it is probably more Covid-safe than most. And besides, “hope springs eternal” (to quote Alexander Pope) and so lay schemes I will.
My first panel The Centred Victim takes place on Mon 7 March 12PM on the West Stage. Here is the program blurb:
Turning the crime genre on its head, Jacqueline Bublitz’s Before You Knew My Name and Laura Elizabeth Woollett’s The Newcomer both centre the victim in their stories of violent death and the investigations that follow. The haunting, strangely joyous Before You Knew My Name tells of Alice Lee arriving in New York with just a camera and hope, destined to be a Jane Doe one month later. The Newcomer, which fictionalises an infamous 2002 murder on Norfolk Island, is a smart, provocative portrait of prejudice, violence and grief.
Having recently finished The Newcomer and started Before You Knew My Name, I am so looking forward to speaking with Jacqueline and Laura about these brilliant books and their themes.
My second panel is A Bloody Good Rant with Thomas Keneally on Tues 8 March at 3.45PM on the East Stage. Here’s the blurb for that one:
For over fifty years, Tom Keneally has been writing about everything that makes us tick – and the contentious, disputed land that is ‘Australia’. In his new collection of thought-pieces, he moves seamlessly between deep questions of our past and moments of private revelation. A Bloody Good Rant is exactly what it says it is – a bit of ratbaggery, some judicious hindsight, and a generous serve of wisdom. The author of The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, Schindler’s Ark and Corporal Hitler’s Pistol gets a few things off his chest.
A bloody good rant with the legendary Tom Keneally – how much fun will that be!
I’m planning to hang around in Adelaide for long enough to attend sessions with one of my literary heroes, Isabel Allende, and with Anthony Doerr, whose novel All The Light We Cannot See, I absolutely loved. In between, I aim to listen to a range of awesome authors, both known and new to me.
Check out the amazing program here.
And cross your fingers for me…