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Big names announced for Sydney Writers’ Festival

Nick Dent

Time to get your nose out of that book and get online – the full program of the Sydney Writers’ Festival has been announced and tickets are now on sale.

The festival, which runs May 22-28, features more than 400 events and follows the theme of ‘Refuge’ as masterminded by the new artistic director Michaela McGuire. McGuire has booked an impressive list of local international guests from the worlds of fiction, non-fiction, publishing and podcasting.

As already announced, Veep showrunner Armando Iannucci will be appearing in an early May 2 event. Another drawcard will be Teen Vogue editor Elaine Welteroth, who is credited with providing some of the most powerful political coverage of the last 12 months.

Expect to see feminist writer Roxane Gay, Lincoln on the Bardo author George Saunders, The Boat Rocker novelist Ha Jin, prize-winning author Anne Enright, memoirist Hisham Mitar, crime writer Ian Rankin, American debut novelist Brit Bennett (The Mothers), 2016 Booker Prize winner Paul Beatty, USA National Book Award winner Colson Whitehead, children's authors Kate DiCamillo, Lauren Child, and Young Adult writers Mariko Tamaki and Jennifer Niven.

Podcasters feature this year including Slate's Culture Gabfest Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens and Julia Turner, My Dad Wrote a Porno's Jamie Morton and The New York Times Book Review's Pamela Paul.

More than 400 Australian authors are featured. Highlighted writers include Saroo ‘Lion’ Brierley, Liane Moriarty, Jimmy Barnes, Tim Costello, Clementine Ford, Candice Fox, Nikki Gemmell, Stan Grant, Andy Griffiths, Anita Heiss, Tom and Meg Keneally, Hannah Kent, Melina Marchetta, Graeme Simsion, Peter Stefanovic and Tracey Spicer.

Topics to be covered include Trump, 'Advice from Nasty Women', immigration, Netflix, race, and the politics of fear. New York Times columnist Thomas Friedmann will deliver the case for optimism. Pulitzer prize-winning journalist and author Susan Faludi will deliver the closing night address.

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