Across four literature-filled days, more than 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 – Huge Mood: Feelings and Politics in a Divided Age.

Start Sunday strong with an examination of the ever-expanding influence emotions seem to have in the political realm. Join three of the Festival’s most respected thinkers as they consider why many people now rely on feelings more than facts, the shifting ideologies of our times and how people’s beliefs can (or can’t) be changed in Huge Mood: Feelings and Politics in a Divided Age.

11.30am –  Brittney Cooper: Eloquent Rage

Reflecting on the positive power of emotional energy, professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and Africana Studies, co-founder of the Crunk Feminist Collective, Cosmopolitan columnist and all-round powerhouse Brittney Cooper reminds us that while black women’s anger is often caricatured as ugly and destructive, it is a powerful source of energy and strength. Don’t miss this Festival highlight in Brittney Cooper: Eloquent Rage.

1.30pm – Daisy Johnson: Everything Under

Another female force of fiction, Daisy Johnson is the youngest ever author to be shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize last year for Everything Under, her eerie rewriting of the Oedipus myth – set in an insular houseboat community on the canals of Oxfordshire. The British writer talks with Nadia Bailey about a novel that’s concerned with language, secrets and the damage wrought by what’s left unsaid.

3pm – Andrew Sean Greer: Less

Joining the line-up of literary greats gracing this year’s program, Literary sensation Andrew Sean Greer takes to the stage to discuss his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel LessIn conversation with David Marr, Andrew sheds light on his brilliantly witty and wistful satire of the literary world and the midlife crisis.

4.30pm – Finding Inspiration Everywhere

Where does inspiration for much-loved stories come from? Maxine Beneba Clarke never imagined that her childhood on the rural fringe of Sydney would become fodder for her bestselling memoir. The interest that her story received strengthened her belief that if you look closely, you can find art in everyday life. Hear from Maxine in Finding Inspiration Everywhere. 

6pm – Closing Address 

Before we bid farewell to another year, we look to the future. The Runaways author Fatima Bhutto returns to the Festival to deliver an unmissable Closing Address on the tectonic shifts that are occurring not just in global politics, but also in relation to ideas of race, class, sexuality and gender.

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