Sydney Writers’ Festival events with Indian links

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Want to check out SWF but don’t know what to see? Our top writers’ fest events with links to the subcontinent
Opening Address Mohsin Hamid: Life in the Time of Permawar
Humanity’s traditional sources of solace are being disrupted. How then, are we to live?
Tuesday 19 May, 6.30pm – 7.30pm
Roslyn Packer Theatre, 22 Hickson Road, Walsh Bay

Mohsin Hamid: Life, Politics, Art and Fiction 
Mohsin Hamid, author of The Reluctant Fundamentalist, first left Pakistan at the age of 18. Discontent and its Civilisations is his series of essays on life, politics and art. Humane, clear-headed, wise and witty, it’s a front row view of how the first decade of this century has shaped so many lives.
Thursday 21 May, 1.30pm – 2.30pm
Wharf Theatre 2, Pier 4/5, Hickson Road, Walsh Bay

On Storytelling: Amit Chaudhuri and Mark Henshaw
Two novelists sit down with Stephen Romei to share their delight, wonder and fascination with the art of storytelling.
Australian Mark Henshaw’s first novel in 26 years, The Snow Kimono, is part mystery, part metaphor for the nature of storytelling. Indian-born Amit Chaudhuri’s beautiful Odysseus Abroad pays homage to Joyce and Woolf as it follows a day in the life of a young Indian student in 1980s London.
Thursday 21 May, 1.30pm – 2.30pm
Philharmonia Studio, Pier 4/5, Hickson Road, Walsh Bay

The Quest
What’s in a journey? Three novelists talk about their attraction to the search for meaning. Amit Chaudhuri’s Odysseus Abroad follows a day in the life of an Indian student in London. Amanda Lohrey’s A Short History of Richard Kline explores one man’s search for meaning. In Ben Okri’s The Age of Magic, a group of filmmakers travel from Paris to Basel for a documentary about arcadia.
Friday 22 May, 4.30pm – 5.30pm
Pier 2/3 The Loft, Pier 2/3,Hickson Road, Walsh Bay
Writers on Writers: Musings in the City
Writers Patti Miller and Amit Chaudhuri have written odes to the cities they can’t stay away from, filled with meditations on the writers that inspired and accompanied them on their wanderings. In Paris, Patti is joined by Montaigne, Rousseau and de Beauvoir as she journeys through the streets. Calcutta is Amit’s childhood mecca. When he returns to live there and write about modernity, he recalls the writings of Baudelaire, Bengali poets, Kipling and many more.
Saturday 23 May, 11.30am – 12.30pm
Richard Wherrett Studio, Roslyn Packer Theatre, 22 Hickson Road, Walsh Bay

What Matters in the End
Acclaimed science writer and Boston surgeon, Atul Gawande fearlessly explores the limitations of the medical profession in the modern age.
Wednesday 20 May, 6.30pm – 7.30pm
Sydney Opera House, Joan Sutherland Theatre

In the Light of What We Know
Bangladeshi-born British author Zia Haider Rahman’s debut novel has been called ‘dazzling in its erudition’, ‘satisfyingly and richly argumentative’ and ‘encyclopaedic in its reach’. In the Light of What We Know grapples with questions of knowledge, class, exile and belonging, and has been critically acclaimed around the world.
Thursday 21 May, 11.30am – 12.30pm
Wharf Theatre 2, Pier 4/5, Hickson Road, Walsh Bay
Saturday 23 May, 1.30pm – 2.30pm
Wharf Theatre 2, Pier 4/5, Hickson Road, Walsh Bay
On Exile and Home
Exile is a theme both topical and ancient. The image of a wandering soul searching for home, whether aimlessly or with determination, has been a recurring trope in literature, representing a timeless human urge to find the one place on Earth where you are an insider.
Friday 22 May, 11.30am – 12.30pm
Philharmonia Studio, Pier 4/5, Hickson Road, Walsh Bay

Latika Bourke

A Pack of Lies: Narration in Fiction
Readers happily suspend disbelief for a good story, but do we take much notice of who’s telling it? How do writers choose their narrator and what affect does that have on the reading experience? What is the line between innovative and irritating when it comes to an intrusive narrative voice?
Featuring Indian Link’s own Roanna Gonsalves, the panel also features UNSW academic Paul Dawson, novelist Anna Westbrook and up-and-coming writer Ellen van Neerven.
Thursday 21 May, 11.30am – 12.30pm
Sydney Dance 2, Pier 4/5, Hickson Road, Walsh Bay

A Radical Rethink
Can we change our brains? If so, how? Is it possible to retain quality of life into old age? How should we talk about dying? When it comes to health and wellbeing, the simplest questions are usually the most difficult to answer.
The panel features oncologist, Fulbright scholar and award-winning author Ranjana Srivastava as well as Norman Doidge and Karen Hitchcock.
Saturday 23 May, 10am – 11am
Roslyn Packer Theatre (formerly Sydney Theatre), 22 Hickson Road, Walsh Bay
Sami Shah

Australian Story
Surgeon Munjed Al Muderis escaped Iraq after refusing to cut off the ears of dissidents in hospital, then endured 10 months in an Australian detention centre. Journalist Latika Bourke knew only Australia as home until she recognised her name in the film Slumdog Millionaire and started searching for her roots. Comedian Sami Shah fled his beloved, but war-torn home of Pakistan and found himself in rural Western Australia. Join these authors in a funny and fearless chat about diversity and what it means to call Australia home with 702 ABC Sydney’s Richard Glover.
Saturday 23 May, 11.30am – 12.30pm
Pier 2/3 Club Stage, Pier 2/3, Hickson Road,Walsh Bay
SWF Night of Listening: Storytelling with Sound
Ever wondered why the audio stories you love are so addictive? Behind every great podcast and radio program is spectacular sound design. Sunil Badami, Emily St John Mandel and Triple J’s Tom Tilley chat with ABC RN’s Jesse Cox.
Thursday 21 May, 6.30pm-8pm
Pier 2/3 Club Stage, Pier 2/3, Hickson Road,Walsh Bay
See also: Our pick of the FREE events at SWF 2015

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