Held Monday 19 May - Sunday 25 May, 2003
This year's event continued the Festival's tradition of bringing together leading writers from Australia and abroad to discuss issues and ideas of importance. At a time when seismic shifts in world affairs demand our urgent consideration, the Festival was in a unique position to present a range of perspectives, from analysis of the big picture to the deeply personal.
In particular, the complexity of the ongoing conflict in the Middle East was examined by Palestinian and Israeli writers, and acclaimed British scholar Antony Beevor discussed war through the lens of the historian.
US author Jonathan Franzen explained how to be alone, while French intellectual Catherine Millet talked candidly about sex and intimacy. Prominent Australians, including Ghassan Hage articulated their visions for the nation, while John Birmingham and Alan Saunders discussed whether Sydney really is a harbour paradise.
Festival 2003 celebrated the imaginative world with a line-up of exceptional novelists and poets. Internationally renowned writers, including Janette Turner Hospital, David Malouf, Nicholas Shakespeare, Sonya Hartnett and CK Stead were joined by exciting new voices.
As always, there was lots of hilarity too. A trip back to the 70s with Graham Blundell, Melbourne funny guy Danny Katz in bed and an evening of Karaoke poetry! Writers Mandy Sayer and Louis Nowra conducted a literary walking tour of Kings Cross.
And, for the first time, we offered events for children at the Festival venue including leading writers Andy Griffiths and John Larkin.