Across four literature-filled days, more than the 400 of the world's leading writers and public intellectuals will come together to dissect this year's theme, Lie to Me. From politics to pop culture, history to human rights, we're sharing some of our daily highlights to help you make the most of your Sydney Writers' Festival experience. 


10am - Tim Flannery: Europe - A Natural History

If the past informs the present, then what better way to start your Festival experience than with much-loved climate campaigner and historian, Tim Flannery. In this session, Flannery will examine how Europe’s deep past might inform its future, in between enthralling stories of a time when giant hippos swam the Thames and carnivorous hedgehogs roamed the Italian countryside.

11.30am – Fault Lines 

Moving to contemporary times, five phenomenal non-fiction writers – including Akala, Beth Macy and Gabrielle Chan – will come together for Fault Lines, a discussion about pervasive inequality in modern times.

1pm –  Class Acts: Writers on Capitalism

In another critique of rampant consumer culture, Class Acts: Writers on Capitalism brings together two contemporary writers – Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah and Caoilinn Hughes – whose sharply humorous fiction works, Friday Black and Orchid and the Wasp are pointed reflections on social and racial divides.

3pm – Outside Voices

In Outside Voices, award-winning journalist Rebecca Traister shares the stage with bestselling novelist Meg Wolitzer as the pair discuss the catharsis of writing female rage, and why once unsung and sidelined stories of female fury, friendship and mentorship are newly popular today.

4.30pm –Anabel Hernández: A Massacre in Mexico

Another powerful female voice, join Anabel Hernández as she unpacks her latest book, A Massacre in Mexico, an evocative examination of the kidnapping and suspected murder of 43 student activists in 2014. Forced to flee Mexico and live in exile, Anabel's journalistic career has been marked by her unwavering pursuit of the truth, in her investigations of government corruption, sexual exploitation and drug trafficking in her home country. 

6pm – Anshel Pfeffer: Bibi – The Turbulent Life and Times of Benjamin Netanyahu

For more on politics and power, hear Anshel Pfeffer at Anshel Pfeffer: Bibi – The Turbulent Life and Times of Benjamin Netanyahu as he discusses an unsparring history of Israel and one of its most contentious figures with the ABC’s John Lyons.

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