Charlotte Wood contemplates the power of laughter and how it can be used to tell uncomfortable truths across her three curated sessions in 2018. We caught up with the Stella Prize winning novelist to find out about why she's thrilled to be a guest curator at Sydney Writers' Festival this year. 

Why are you excited to be a guest curator this year?

It's fun to put insightful, sharp thinkers together to see what emerges from their conversations.

Why do you think the Festival's theme of power is timely in 2018?

Power is expressed in many different ways, at all levels of relationships – between intimates, between genders, races, countries, species. It’s never not been relevant.

How, in your sessions, will you respond to the Festival's theme?

I've chosen the theme of 'laughter' as a counterpoint to the way we usually think about power, which is in terms of conflict and force. But laughter is in itself a powerful tool, in relationships as in art. 

 

I wanted to turn my mind to different forms of power, having explored one kind in my most recent work. I like overturning expectations, and I wanted to bring lightness and joy into discussions that so easily turn toward darkness and misery.

Charlotte Wood

What prompted, or motivated you, as you were thinking about the sessions you've curated?

I wanted to turn my mind to different forms of power, having explored one kind in my most recent work. I like overturning expectations, and I wanted to bring lightness and joy into discussions that so easily turn toward darkness and misery.

Are there any particular events you are excited about this year?

I'm especially keen to talk once again with Amy Bloom. Her new novel, White Houses, is beautifully written, wry, truthful, funny – and it’s about deep, enduring love.

Events curated by Charlotte Wood