In 2005 we were proud to present more than 50 overseas guests in our biggest international line-up to date. They took to the stage with more than 150 Australian writers to make it a truly global celebration of the written word and an exciting forum of cultural exchange.
Joining us from the US was Lewis Lapham, author and editor of Harper's Magazine, who delivered our opening night address in Sydney. He also had a lively conversation with the Premier, Bob Carr, about the Bush administration and Iraq. That event was held in Newcastle- our first event there.
We welcomed from Britain the 2004 winner of the Man Booker Prize, Alan Hollinghurst, who spoke about his novel The Line of Beauty and Henry James.
Another award-winner is biographer, Deirdre Bair, joined us to talk about her critically acclaimed account of the complex life of Carl Jung.
We had exciting new voices from Canada in Michael Winter, Colin McAdam and Miriam Toews, whose book, A Complicated Kindness, took out their country's prestigious Governor Generals' Prize.
And, what would a Writers' Festival be without a debate about the state of fiction and the literary canon? Who better to discuss such issues than the world's leading critic of the past 25 years? Professor Harold Bloom joined us via satellite from New York City for a conversation with Australian poet John Kinsella at Sydney Theatre.
We also had debate about the big issues. Tariq Ali spoke about fundamentalism, memoir and writing novels, Susan George examined globalisation and third world debt, and David Suzuki and Jared Diamond discussed the environment.
Suad Amiry joined us from Ramallah to talk about life in the Occupied Territories, and a number of Chinese writers, poets, novelists, biographers. Memoirists, non-fiction writers and, most importantly, readers, what was a truly memorable week.