I skipped the 2015 Festival as I felt no affiliation with the authors that year, largely by dint of not having read any of their most recent books. Eve and I went to a lot more of the 2016 Festival than in 2013 and 2014, in part out of FOMO. It was well worth the effort!
I bought ‘A brief history of seven killings’ by Marlon James, and planned around that. We attended a talk by Gloria Steinem with Jennifer Byrne at 6.15 on the Friday night (20May), followed (after dinner in the QVB) by Richard Glover hosting a panel on The Book That Saved Me that included Jeanette Winterson, Kate Tempest, Vivian Gornick, Herman Koch, Marlon James and Andrew Denton. It was a lot of fun, but we agreed Gloria won the day.
Taking up a curated package on the Saturday saw us at another panel (Gloria Steinem (again), Indian writer and activist Ira Trivedi and Australian journalist Laura Tingle) on Why Women Should Rule the World, then Richard Fidler interviewing James Rebanks. I attended an interview with Marlon James and after lunch we attended a wonderful talk by Stan Grant. We bailed on the last session, which was trawling the familiar ditch of ‘Donald Trump. WTF?’
We ended up with multiple copies of Gloria’s My Life On The Road, a couple of Stan Grant books, signed for the girls, and Rebanks’s A Shepherd’s Life, which I’m reading now.
University of Sydney SWF Recount featuring Gloria Steinem and Marlon James