Haydn: How good was the launch of the Sydney Writers’ Festival last week? It was my second time but I know it was your first, how did you find it?
Abbey: The food was incredible, the lighting was incredible - it was a super impressive start to an excellent festival.
Haydn: I’m just so glad it’s at Carriageworks again this year. The festival could NOT be more convenient for us.
Abbey: For sure, I can’t wait to duck off to as many talks as I can after class.
Haydn: Can we talk about the theme for a second? Last year we had ‘Power’ and this year it’s ‘Lie to Me’!
Abbey: I think ‘Lie To Me’ is such a great theme! It’s kind of dark and twisted. I’m really intrigued to see the way the festival approaches it, especially the bracing, political topics.
Haydn: Oh for sure! I’m still shocked that the theme is inspired by Buffy: The Vampire Slayer! Festival Director Michaela McGuire is a literal genius. All her picks were spot on. I genuinely can’t think of any other author I would have added to the lineup.
Abbey: There’s such an interesting mix between politics, crime, love… those stories that make your jaw drop and those stories that make your heart warm.
Haydn: Who are you most keen to see?
Abbey: I’d have to say I’m most excited for Kristen Roupenian’s talk, author of Cat Person – The New Yorker short story about ghosting and consent that went viral last year - totally restored my faith in internet fiction. How about you?
Shout out to Sydney PhD students Evelyn Araluen, Ms Saffaa, and Ferdous Bahar who are speaking at the festival this year.
Haydn: I’m so excited for Susan Orlean. Adaptation is one of my favourite movies of all time, so to see the author Meryl Streep portrayed is going to be a cathartic experience to say the least.
But I’m also a little bit chuffed to see just how many USYD researchers are in the lineup. It’s making me realise the academics we encounter on campus and are taught by everyday are just as respected off campus. I feel super lucky.
Abbey: Me too! There’s something crazy like over 30 USYD scholars and grads in the lineup. Some pretty big USYD hitters in there - Eddie Woo, Gillian Triggs, Dr Tim Soutphommasane…
Haydn: Oh for sure, I am beyond excited to see ‘Vital science with Dr Karl.’ Dr Karl is the best.
Also, I think it’s so great that there’s going to be events we don’t even need to leave campus for! Like the big one with Man Book finalist Rachel Kushner. Did you see she’s going to be on campus for a free event in the new Social Sciences building?
Abbey: OMG yes! She is so inspiring and has such an extraordinary story to tell. I am 100% picking up her last book The Mars Room before hitting her talk.
Haydn: It’s so good that USYD students have a discount code too!
Abbey: I’m entering the code as we speak…
Haydn: Ha ha see you at Carriageworks!
Discover all of these highlights and more at the Sydney Writers’ Festival, from 29 April – 5 May at Carriageworks. Follow Abbey and Haydn as they capture all the festival sights and sounds first hand on Instagram and Twitter.
Keep an eye out in Student News for our exclusive discount code: 10% off student prices for most festival events.
Over the next 3 years, Dr Nicole Wegner will examine popular assumptions about the “ideal soldier” and how cultural myths shape military policies and priorities in Australia and abroad.