Sydney Writers Festival: Our picks

From acclaimed literature to binge-worthy HBO drama and even international pop superstars, this year’s Sydney Writers Festival program is bursting at the bookends. There’s so much to choose from. Where to start? These are our top 5 picks.

Paul Beatty: The Sellout

The Sellout was the first novel penned by an American to win the Man Booker Prize. The satirical work tells the story of an urban farmer who tries to reinstate slavery and segregation in LA. Paul Beatty speaks with ABC Radio National’s Michael Cathcart about the knife edge he walks in making fun of race relations in the United States.

Saturday 27 May, 11.30am
Pier 2/3 Hickson Road
Walsh Bay

Liane Moriarty: Truly Madly Guilty

Take one Australian New York Times bestseller. Two major Hollywood icons (Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon). And an adaptation for the small screen by one of Hollywood’s leading screenwriters (David E. Kelley). The result? Big Little Lies, your new favourite show. Liane Moriarty discusses the book on which it’s based and her newest work at this year’s fest.

Thursday 25 May, 1.30pm
22 Hickson Road
Walsh Bay

Elaine Welteroth: On editing Teen Vogue

Named editor of Teen Vogue in 2016, Elaine Welteroth was the youngest person ever to take the role at the magazine. Teen Vogue now has its finger on the pulse of current affairs for the socially conscious, with features on US President Donald Trump, religious freedom and videos from Native American women protesting the Dakota Access pipeline. She sits with Slate editor-in-chief Julia Turner.

Friday 26 May, 6pm
22 Hickson Road
Walsh Bay

On Brett Whiteley: Art, Life and the Other Thing

For his tome about the Australian artist, Ashleigh Wilson had unsurpassed access to rare sketches and family photos, courtesy of the late figure’s wife, Wendy Whiteley. The resulting work is a dazzling biography of Brett. Wendy and Ashleigh discuss the process behind honouring a great name.

Friday 26 May, 4.30pm
Pier 4/5 Hickson Road
Walsh Bay

Liam Pieper: On Taylor Swift

You know all those Taylor Swift songs you’ve memorised and now know off by heart? All that hard work is totally going to pay off at this discussion. Stay with us: French philosopher Jean Baudrillard claimed that society has replaced all reality and meaning with symbols and signs. Writer Liam Pieper argues that Swift is Baudrillard’s theory come to life, a copy of a thing that never existed. It all makes sense at his talk with James Reilly.

Sunday 28 May, 1.30pm
Pier 2/3 Hickson Road
Walsh Bay

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