This is an event from the May 2016 Festival.

Code: 28  |  Type: Panel   |  Genres: Biography & Memoir, Food, Travel

Home and family, here and there. Wherever there is friction there is a great story. Debra Jopson’s wonderful debut novel, Oliver of the Levant, is about a family that moves from Bondi to Beirut. Beth Yahp’s memoir Eat First, Talk Later recalls food, family and a return to Malaysia, and Adam Aitken’s memoir One Hundred Letters Home explores his cross-cultural parentage. Beth, Adam and Debra talk to Joy Lawn about existing in between two worlds, and writing about the complicated relationship between heritage, family and home.

Thursday 19 May 2016 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Philharmonia Studio, Pier 4/5, Hickson Road, Walsh Bay

Beth Yahp (Australian)

Beth Yahp is an award-winning author, editor and creative-writing teacher of adults and children. Her novel The Crocodile Fury has been translated into several languages and her libretto Moon Spirit Feasting, for composer Liza Lim, won the APRA Award for Best Classical Composition in 2003. Beth has worked as an editor and taught creative writing in universities for many years. She was the presenter of Elsewhere, a program for travellers on ABC Radio National (2010-11). Her latest book is her memoir, Eat First, Talk Later.

Debra Jopson (Australian)

Born in Sydney, Debra Jopson spent part of her childhood in Beirut and continued to visit her family there during the first rounds of the 1970s Lebanese civil war. She won a Walkley award and numerous Human Rights Commission honours at The Sydney Morning Herald, where she specialised in Aboriginal affairs and major investigations. Over the past three years she has devoted herself to writing fiction and long-form journalism, contributing to The Global Mail, The Saturday Paper, Good Weekend, ABCTV's Four Corners and SBS. In 2014, she became the Walkley Awards Freelance Journalist of the Year.

Adam Aitken (Australian)

Adam Aitken is a researcher in writing at the University of Technology, Sydney. He spent his early childhood in London, Thailand and Malaysia, before settling in Sydney. He is the author of numerous articles on poetry, works of creative non-fiction, and four books of poetry. He was Poet in Residence at the Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris in 2011, and co-edited the contemporary Asian Australian Poets anthology (Puncher & Wattmann) in 2013. His most recent poetry and essays have recently appeared in HEAT, Axon, Canadian journal Arc and in Transnational Literature. His memoir is One Hundred Letters Home (Vagabond Press 2016).

Joy Lawn (Australian)

Joy Lawn is a freelance writer and reviewer for The Weekend Australian and Magpies magazine. Her work has also appeared in Books+Publishing, SMH and ABR. Joy judges several literary awards. She blogs about literary fiction, young adult and children’s literature at Boomerang Books blog and teaches at USQ (external). She is fascinated by ideas and images and how authors and illustrators express these with truth and originality.



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