Festival guests Nicole-Dennis Benn and An Yu join hosts Kate Evans and Cassie McCullagh from ABC Radio National’s The Bookshelf to discuss the books they’re enjoying and being challenged by. 

Ann Patchett is no longer appearing at this event. She is unable to attend the Sydney Writers’ Festival due to travel concerns.


An Yu (International)

An Yu

An Yu was born and raised in Beijing, and left at the age of 18 to study in New York at NYU. A graduate of the NYU MFA in Creative Writing, she writes her fiction in English. Her short stories were finalists for the Short-Story Award For New Writers from Glimmer Train and the Annual Contest from Dogwood Journal. Braised Pork is her first novel, and is due to be published in six languages worldwide.

Nicole Dennis-Benn (International)

Nicole Dennis-Benn

Nicole Dennis-Benn is the author of the bestselling novel Patsy. Her debut novel Here Comes the Sun was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, won the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Fiction and was a finalist for The Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. Nicole is a recipient of the New York Foundation for the Arts Artist Grant and the 2018 Caribbean Life Impact Award. Her writing has been awarded a Richard and Julie Logsdon Fiction Prize, and two of her stories have been nominated for the prestigious Pushcart Prize in Fiction.

Kate Evans (Australian)

Kate Evans

Kate Evans presents The Bookshelf on ABC Radio National (with Cassie McCullagh). She has a PhD in history, a lot of books and regrets neither.

Cassie McCullagh (Australian)

Cassie McCullagh

Cassie McCullagh presents ABC Radio Sydney's Focus program on weekday mornings at 10am, discussing contemporary social, political and cultural issues of the day. She also co-hosts The Bookshelf with Kate Evans on ABC Radio National, a weekly review of the latest Australian and international fiction. Cassie has also presented Radio National's flagship social affairs program Life Matters, and reported on books, arts and popular culture. Prior to joining the ABC, Cassie worked in print journalism as a feature writer, news reporter and columnist.