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Sydney Writers' Festival

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In 2010, the Sydney Writer's Festival (SWF) will once more adopt the format that has made it the pride of the city's literary vanguard since its inception in 1997. Gathering both national and international talent, the Festival represents a week when creative endeavour is celebrated and the audience is delighted, entertained or challenged. The purpose of the Sydney Writers' Festival can best be described with reference to its own motto: Read, Rethink, Respond.

While the central theme of the SWF is always promising and renowned authors, the various events around Sydney, from 15 to 23 May, will have a broader theme: the possibilities of change and renewal in light of the Global Financial Crisis and wider political strife around the world.

In the spirit of political change, there is a cluster of events centered on the reform movement in Iran. On opening night, the Sydney Theatre at Walsh Bay will host Reza Aslan, a comparative religions scholar from Harvard University as he discusses "Iran, A New Beginning." In the early afternoon of Saturday, 22 May, the Festival Cafe will be transformed into a cyber-lounge, where visitors can quiz dissident writers leading the Green reform movement in Iran for "The Dissident Cafe: Tweeting from Tehran" event.

For those seeking a reform of the spirit, Elizabeth Gilbert will be discussing her best-selling book, "Eat, Pray, Love" at the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall on the Thursday evening of the Festival. In a similar vein (and in the same location), there will be an event seeing the union or William Dalrymple's "Nine Lives" with the Tamil vocal artist Susheela Raman, in "Nine Lives: An Evening of South Asian Devotional Music and Spiritual Transformation."

Apart from these themed events, the SWF has provided a raft of compelling writers, dedicating their evenings to a discussion of their most notable works.

On Thursday 20 May, Lionel Shriver will be returning to the SWF to discuss her new book, "So Much For That", which casts its critical eye on the American health system. The evening's facilitator, Caroline Baum, is compelling in her own right as a respected journalist and broadcaster.

On Friday 21 May, at the City Recital Hall in Angel Place, the SWF will present an evening with International IMPAC award-winner Colm Toibin, author of "The Blackwater Lightship" and "The Master".

The following evening, Festival-goers will be able to enjoy the talents of local treasure
Peter Carey as he discusses his latest novel, "Parrot and Oliver in America."

These are just some of the compelling literary figures that will be making an appearance at the SWF. For a full program, it is necessary to visit the Festival website. Due to the popularity of the event, it is vital to book your tickets and design your own program.
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Why? To read, rethink and respond
When: 15 - 23 May
Where: Various locations around Sydney, but primarily the Sydney Theatre in Walsh Bay
Cost: Check the Festival website to book tickets
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