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Melbourne Writers Festival 2021

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by Vicky Rae Ellmore (subscribe)
Proudly South African. Currently residing in amazing Melbourne. Lover of music, reading, animals and exploring. Vet nurse/freelance writer and editor. www.instagram.com/melbournetogo
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Get literary in lockdown
Many of us may be thinking "Tell me when it ends!" right now, but the theme of this year's Melbourne Writers Festival is 'Tell Me How It Ends' and the festival will be held digitally this year, allowing us to get literary in lockdown.

The festival illuminates today's most engaging international literary voices and explores the current literary landscape.



Describing this year's program, the festival notes: "Across the program, journalists, lawyers, activists and writers argue for structural change, and some of our brightest political commentators tackle the biggest stories of our lives.⁠

This festival program stubbornly resists the neat ending. Instead, we'll contest and interrogate the pre-existing conditions that have been exacerbated by the pandemic and dragged into the harsh light of day. Together, we'll tackle the tensions of racism, classism, sexism, colonialism and nationalism and imagine a new way forward.

This festival defies the deep desire to impose a narrative structure on chaos. There are no foregone conclusions here—but infinite possibilities."



From Pulitzer Prize winners and exhilarating debut authors to the most talked-about novelists of the year, Melbourne Writers Festival Digital will enable us to listen to and hear from some of the world's essential literary voices from the comfort of our own homes via video.

The festival's events will feature Rachel Cusk, Jhumpa Lahiri, Emma Dabiri, Rumaan Alam, Akala, Natasha Brown, Brandon Taylor, AC Grayling, Viet Thanh Nguyen and Sigrid Nunez in conversation with some of Australia's most beloved interviewers and broadcasters.

Highlights include:
Rumaan Alam in conversation with Osman Faruqi on Alam's novel Leave the World Behind, touted as "a tautly dystopic story of a family vacation interrupted by unexpected visitors and unseen disaster".

Renowned academic and public intellectual, Marcia Langton and Jingili Mudburra editor, Bridget Caldwell-Bright curate and host conversations with an array of writers, poets and thinkers, carrying forward a millennia long tradition of storytelling and challenging our founding colonial myths.⁠

Eleven original works of fiction and non-fiction by Australian writers including Melanie Cheng, Timmah Ball, Laura McPhee-Browne, Maddee Clark, Ronnie Scott, and more. Each commission tells a story that reflects life in our city. Excerpts from each work will be displayed alongside illustrations by local artists Marc Martin, Nyein Chan Aung and Jackie Nguyen at City Square on Swanston Street when restrictions ease.



You can explore the full programme, which includes author chats, conversations, screenings and more, here: mwf.com.au/program.

And you can browse books from authors appearing in the Melbourne Writers Festival 2021 programme on Readings, which is the official booksellers for this year's Melbourne Writers Festival, here: www.readings.com.au/mwf-shop.



Melbourne Writers Festival Digital will be streaming online for an extended period from 8am on 3 September to midnight on 15 September 2021. Events are available to book individually on a Pay What You Can model, or festival supporters can go all in and purchase a Digital Pass.

Book via the Melbourne Writers Festival website.
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Why? Listen to and hear from some of the world's essential literary voices from the comfort of your own homes
When: 3 September 2021–15 September 2021
Where: Online
Cost: Pay As you Feel
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