Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Books with Spine - Sydney Writers' Festival (2)

Staff wore black Ts and volunteers wore green: sitting on the edge of the wharf listening

Being slightly dissatisfied with my 2008 fare (consisting in the main of women authors talking about their upbringing), I determined this year to be more idea oriented. Be provoked, was my mantra. But, bull-at-gate Julie, over did it. With a schedule consisting of 17 sessions - 5 ticketed, 12 free - I left home at 8 each morning and did not return until after 7 each evening. Talk about provocation!

Decisions, decisions: Saturday breakfast in the sun pouring over the choices

I enjoyed Asa Walquist on water; Brian Matthews on Manning Clark, an Oz historian; Jenny Hocking on Gough Whitlam, an Oz Prime Minister; Amanda Lohrey on Grief; Aust, Bachelard & Neighbour on investigative journalism; Doidge's lecture on neuroplasticity; as well as Holloway and Frame on religion. However, my absolute stand-outs were Hartcher, Warhaft and Ellis banging on with Tony Jones about falling governments and McGeough, Hooper and Marr bantering about turning journalism into non-fiction books. I enjoyed Richard Flanagan and must read "The sound of one hand clapping" to see if he is as bad as my daughter proclaims. I have avoided telling you what I did not like. One man's meat is another man's fish.

Pastries and a flat white for Professor BM
I missed a couple because the queues were unbelievable at times and one had to become strategic. I also missed Kate Grenville because by Sunday my brain had ceased to work. However, I had a ball. My selections were better this year. Still did not avoid the bloody bookshop though!

12 comments:

Abe Lincoln said...

The photographs you did get are really nice portraits. I like the laid back atmosphere.

Lois said...

I love all of your photgraphs of the people at the festival. It sounds like you certainly made the most of your schedule!

Tash said...

I'm getting an overload just reading about what you heard. Well done on both day's of posting. Most excellent photography of the ever elusive subject - people.

Jacob said...

What great fun. Your photos testify to an exciting and entertaining time. I'm lost once I get inside a bookstore, too.

Clueless in Boston said...

Wonderful photos of the festival. Sounds like you really covered a lot of ground there.

brattcat said...

Julie, how have you managed to post such wonderful photos, such astute comments on your site as well as other sites, and still kept your ears and mind open to ALL those different writers? I have a headache just thinking about all you've taken in over the past few days. Thank you for sharing the festival with us. Today I particularly love the final photo of the professor.

Shaun said...

I have a soft spot for candid people shots.... these are really nice...

Joan Elizabeth said...

All of the photos have a lovely sense of place. Listening to Ellis banging on with Tony Jones ... arggghh ... I had enough of that on Q&A last week with Ellis incoherently harking back to the 70s. Nonetheless I think you made an interesting selection.

Julie said...

Well that is the SWF for another year. I am glad that I have been able to convey to you the palpable joy of those who attended: readers are a breed apart but I guess I am biased.

Thank you for your comments. I do appreciate them so very much.

Saretta said...

Sounds absolutely wonderful! And your photos are excellent, as always!

AB said...

Today we get the hands and the faces!

Sally said...

SWF and S Film F are so close together, and two events I can never attend, because I jyst can't take leave. When I retire I fully intend to hang out at both. I think I'd like a nice little apartment in the city and be able to walk to events and go home for a rest in-between!