Three of the world’s most celebrated literary figures open Sydney Writers’ Festival, each delivering an address on the Festival’s theme of refuge. As many of us turn to literature for guidance and inspiration, contemporary writers have the power to interpret and influence our changing world. Critically acclaimed essayist and novelist Brit Bennett (The Mothers), Man Booker Prize-winning writer Anne Enright (The Green Road) and lauded author George Saunders (Lincoln in the Bardo) share the stage in an unmissable opening event.

Event includes Opening Night formalities. 

Brit Bennett (International)

Brit Bennett is an essayist and the author of the critically acclaimed debut novel The Mothers, which became a New York Times bestseller. In 2016 Bennett was a finalist for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction and won the NBCC John Leonard First Novel Prize. Named as one of the 5 Under 35 Promising New Novelists by the National Book Foundation in 2016, the New York Times Book Review called her work Ôferociously movingÕ. Her writing is featured in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Paris Review, and Jezebel. Brit's Jezebel essay, I DonÕt Know What to Do With Good White People, generated more than a million hits in three days. She is currently working on her second novel.

George Saunders (International)

George Saunders

George Saunders is the author of nine books, including the novel Lincoln in the Bardo, which won the Man Booker Prize, and the story collections Pastoralia and Tenth of December, which was a finalist for the National Book Award. He has received fellowships from the Lannan Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Guggenheim Foundation. In 2006 he was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship. In 2013 he was awarded the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction and was included in Time’s list of the one hundred most influential people in the world. He teaches in the creative writing program at Syracuse University. Fox 8 is his latest book.