Some of the Festival’s most celebrated guests reveal the books that made them want to become writers. Literary luminaries will discuss intimate and varied influences, offering insights into what shaped them as writers and informed some of today’s important literary works. The international line-up features Booker Prize-winner Tom Keneally, acclaimed writer and essayist Robert Dessaix (The Pleasures of Leisure), Ian Rankin (bestselling crime writer of the Inspector Rebus novels) and Pulitzer Prize finalist Joy Williams (Ninety-Nine Stories of God). Hosted by ABC RN’s Kate Evans.
Please note: due to unforeseen circumstances, Hisham Matar and Hannah Kent will no longer be appearing at this event.
Thomas Keneally (Australian)
Tom Keneally won the Booker Prize in 1982 with Schindler's Ark, later made into the Academy Award-winning film Schindler's List by Steven Spielberg. His non-fiction includes the memoir Searching For Schindler and Three Famines, which was a LA Times Book of the Year. His fiction includes Shame and the Captives and The Widow And Her Hero, shortlisted for the Prime Minister's Literary Award. His novels The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, Gossip from the Forest, and Confederates were all shortlisted for the ManBooker Prize, while Bring Larks and Heroes and Three Cheers For The Paraclete won the Miles Franklin Award. The People's Train was longlisted for the Miles Franklin Award and shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize, South East Asia division. He is co-author with Meg Keneally of The Soldier’s Curse and The Unmourned, the first two books in The Monsarrat Series. His latest novel is Two Old Men Dying.
Joy Williams (International)
According to The New York Times, ÔJoy Williams might be the writerÕs writerÕs writer.Õ Over the decades, wildly different stylists including Don Barthelme, Don DeLillo, Raymond Carver, William Gass, Karen Russell, Bret Easton Ellis, James Salter, Ann Beattie and Tao Lin, have all expressed unqualified admiration. She is the author of four novels and five collections of stories. Her first novel, State of Grace, was a finalist for the National Book Award and her most recent novel, The Quick and the Dead, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2001. She is also the author as Ill Nature, a book of essays that was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism. Her latest work, 99 Stories of God, is a collection of micro fiction and was published in 2016.ÊAmong her many honors are the Rea Award for the short story and the Strauss Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.