David Foster Wallace said that George Saunders was the most exciting writer in America. That kind of thing has been said a lot about George since then. For people who pay close attention to the state of American fiction, he has become a kind of superhero. The author of nine books, George has now produced his first novel Lincoln in the Bardo, an unforgettable story that uses as its touchstone the death of Abraham Lincoln’s beloved 11-year-old son, Willie. Michael Williams meets ‘the writer for our time.’

This event will be Closed Captioned. The National Relay Service is available to assist with phone bookings. Call SWF Box Office on (02) 9256 4200 or email ticketing@swf.org.au to book access tickets.

George Saunders (International)

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George Saunders is the author of nine books, including Tenth of December, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, and won the inaugural Folio Prize (for the best work of fiction in English) and the Story Prize (best short story collection). He has received MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellowships, the PEN/Malamud Prize for excellence in the short story, and was recently elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2013, he was named one of the world’s 100 most influential people by Time magazine. He teaches in the Creative Writing Program at Syracuse University. Lincoln in the Bardo is his long-awaited first novel.

Michael Williams (Australian)

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Michael Williams is the director of the Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas in Melbourne. For 2015-2016 he hosted Blueprint for Living on RN, and he remains a regular guest on ABC radio and TV. Michael has also worked as a breakfast presenter for Melbourne’s 3RRR, as a member of the Australia Council’s Literature Board, in publishing and has written extensively for publications including The Guardian Australia, The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian.