Sydney Writers' Festival in Tamworth

Challenging story: Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and bestselling author Susan Faludi will be one of the speakers at the Sydney Writers' Festival.

Challenging story: Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and bestselling author Susan Faludi will be one of the speakers at the Sydney Writers' Festival.

Sydney Writers’ Festival Live & Local program has been announced and is set to be a day of great panel discussion and audience interaction.

This full-day program, locally presented by Collins Booksellers, starts at 10am on May 26 with a panel discussion – A Murderer in the Family -  presented by Nadja Spiegelman, Hisham Matar and Susan Faludi and facilitated by Michael Williams.

Three authors talk to Michael Williams about the challenges and consequences of writing from life. Journalist and author Susan Faludi (In The Darkroom) talks about her father’s life and their reconciliation after her father, Stefanie, has gender confirmation surgery.

Hisham Matar (The Return) discusses the influence of his father’s disappearance on his writing, and his trip back to Libya three decades after his family’s exile. Nadja Spiegelman (I’m Supposed to Protect You from All This) talks about retracing three generations of mother-daughter relations.

The next item on the day’s agenda is Deng Adut: Songs of a War Boy – a conversation presented by Deng Adut and facilitated by Suzanne Leal. Conscripted at age seven into Sudan’s brutal civil war, Deng Adut was groomed to handle an AK47 instead of a pencil. He escaped atrocities and near starvation to become a lawyer, refugee advocate and NSW Australian of the Year. 

Then, following a light lunch, James Shapiro presents The Year of Lear, facilitated by Tom Wright. James Shapiro is one of the world’s leading experts on Shakespeare. His latest book on the great Bard, 1606: The Year of Lear was listed among the best books of 2016.

Following on at 3pm is In The Darkroom presented by Susan Faludi and facilitated by Sofija Stefanovic. When Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and bestselling author of Backlash Susan Faludi learned her estranged 76-year-old father had undergone gender confirmation surgery, she began examining the meaning of identity.

Susan also analysed her enigmatic father and her own family’s haunted past.

The last item on the Live & Local program for the day is a panel discussion:  Writing Race presented by Anuk  Arudpragasam, Paul Beatty, Maxine Beneba Clarke and Ellen van Neerven, facilitated by Roanna Gonsalves.

Paul Beatty (The Sellout), Anuk Arudpragasam (The Story of a Brief Marriage), Maxine Beneba Clarke (The Hate Race) and guest curator Ellen van Neerven (Comfort Food) discuss race in today’s literary and cultural landscape, with Roanna Gonsalves (The Permanent Resident) as moderato. 

Tickets are available at entertainmentvenues.com.au or by calling 6766 2028, or visiting the Box Office at Capitol Theatre and The Big Golden Guitar.