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Grace Tame joins 2022 Adelaide Writers’ Week line-up


High-profile advocate for survivors of sexual assault Grace Tame is among more than 90 new guests added to the line-up for this year’s Adelaide Writers’ Week in its full six-day program.

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With the theme A Better Picture, the March 5-10 literary festival will be the fourth and final event presented by outgoing director Jo Dyer, who is also standing as an independent candidate in the SA seat of Boothby in the 2022 federal election.

A total of 165 guests will take part in free sessions in the Pioneer Women’s Memorial Garden, with Australian writers appearing in person and international authors speaking via real-time digital livestream.

Tame – the 2021 Australian of the Year, who sparked heated debate when she was photographed unsmiling alongside Prime Minister Scott Morrison in Canberra ­this week – will speak alongside Jess Hill, author of The Reckoning: How #MeToo is Changing Australia in the Quarterly Essay. The session, to be chaired by Dyer (herself a confidante of the woman at the centre of accusations of sexual assault against former attorney-general Christian Porter), will discuss “the dramatic events of the last 15 months, their impact on contemporary politics, and how the fight for women’s justice has reshaped the nation”.

Other Writers’ Week guests announced today include Australian actor Bryan Brown, whose debut novel Sweet Jimmy was published last year, and American author Anthony Doerr, best-known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel All the Light We Cannot See.

Also joining the line-up are high-profile Australian authors Richard Flanagan, Bruce Pascoe and Trent Dalton; writer and performer Jonathan Biggins (whose one-man satire The Gospel According to Paul was recently adapted into a book); and a number of South Australian writers including Poppy Nwosu, Jill Jones, Karen Wyld, Geoff Goodfellow and Vikki Wakefield.

Human rights lawyer Julia Robinson, a member of the legal team for WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, will speak at a session about Australia’s treatment of high-profile whistleblowers.

Dyer says that throughout COVID, writers have “dug deep and kept writing – exploring, imagining, interrogating and engaging in the kind of expansive thinking that opens up possibilities and helps us see things anew”.

“All our guests come ready to contribute their most insightful and provocative ideas, and I have no doubt that the combined creativity and imagination of our authors and audiences can bring a better picture into focus,” she writes in the 2022 AWW guide.

Previously announced speakers at the 2022 festival include Isabel Allende, Liane Moriarty, Michael Mohammed Ahmad, Larissa Behrendt, Michelle de Kretser, Mem Fox, Stan Grant, Kerryn Goldsworthy, Thomas Keneally, Hannah Kent, Alice Pung, Lisa Taddeo, Colm Tóibín, Christos Tsiolkas, Christian White and Charlotte Wood.

Alongside the program of free sessions, Writers’ Week is also introducing a watch-from-home ticketed series, Curated Dozen: From Our Place to Yours, with tickets available on a “pay what you can” basis. The 12 events available online will include a talk between former prime ministers Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull titled How Fast Things Fall.

Poetry and spoken word will be spotlighted in a number of events on the Plane Tree Stage, including a reading by Adelaide poet Geoff Goodfellow of his new verse novella Blight Street, and a recitation by performer Peter Carroll of poems by the late Les Murray.

The popular Kids’ Day returns on March 5, with a special program for middle and young adult readers on March 6.

Adelaide Writers’ Week will take place in the Pioneer Women’s Memorial Garden from March 5-10 as part of the 2022 Adelaide Festival. The full AWW program is online.

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