This is an event from the 2015 Festival. Please try searching for the current event using the menu at the top or use the search box in the top righthand corner of our website.
Saturday, May 23 2015
11:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Roslyn Packer Theatre (formerly Sydney Theatre), 22 Hickson Road, Walsh Bay
A planet ravaged by climate change. A global population struck down by a fatal flu pandemic. The fictional future is a vision plagued with dystopian disaster. Why are so many of our finest novelists obsessed with the disquieting question: what next? Are these strange realities just sophisticated thought experiments or covert calls to action? Ashley Hay speaks with four writers who push the boundaries of imagined futures to reveal the anxieties of today: Emily St John Mandel, Jonathan Lethem, James Bradley and David Mitchell.
Jonathan Lethem (International)
Jonathan Lethem is one of the US’s greatest contemporary writers, exploring a range of subjects across an array of forms. He has written nine novels including Motherless Brooklyn, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award, the international bestseller The Fortress of Solitude, and his most recent, Dissident Gardens. Jonathan’s stories and essays have been collected in five volumes, and have appeared in The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, McSweeney’s and many other periodicals. His books have been translated into more than 30 languages.
David Mitchell is the bestselling author of Ghostwritten, number9dream, Cloud Atlas, Black Swan Green and The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet. He has won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize and South Bank Show Literature Award. In 2003, David was selected as one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists and has since been shortlisted twice for the Man Booker Prize. His latest novel is The Bone Clocks.
Emily St. John Mandel was born and raised on the west coast of British Columbia, Canada. Her fourth novel, Station Eleven, was a 2014 National Book Award Finalist and The Singer's Gun won the 2014 Prix Mystere de la Critique in France. Her short fiction and essays have been anthologised in numerous collections, including Best American Mystery Stories 2013. She is a staff writer for The Millions and lives in New York City with her husband.
James Bradley is the author of four novels: Clade, Wrack, The Deep Field, and The Resurrectionist, and a book of poetry, Paper Nautilus. His books have won or been shortlisted for a number of major Australian and international literary awards and have been widely translated.
Ashley Hay’s most recent novel, The Railwayman’s Wife, won the 2014 Colin Roderick Award and the People’s Choice Award in the NSW Premier’s Prize. Her previous books include The Body in the Clouds, Museum (with visual artist Robyn Stacey), and Gum: The Story of Eucalypts and Their Champions. She writes for various publications including Griffith Review and Australian Geographic and was the editor of Best Australian Science Writing 2014.