From Forrests to the South Seas
Among the exceptional literary talent appearing at the May Readers and Writers Festival are several authors from The University of Auckland.
Famed novelist Emily Perkins will speak about her anticipated soon-to-be released novel The Forrests at a session on Friday May 11. A lecturer in the Department of English, her new book follows Dorothy Forrest from New York to Auckland at the age of seven, through to the end of her life in a narrative that shifts and moves, growing as wild as the characters. She will also appear with acclaimed US writer Jeffrey Eugenides, discussing the future of the novel.
Distinguished Professor Dame Anne Salmond hosts a session in conversation with fellow writer Paul Diamond about her internationally acclaimed triumph Bligh: William Bligh in the South Seas (2011). Inspired by her research for the earlier Aphrodites Island (2010), the beautifully told story captures the excitement, drama and terror that surrounded the life of the captain of the mutinous Bounty.
Distinguished Professor Brian Boyd is the world’s leading Nabokov scholar, as well as a professor of English at The University of Auckland. Brian will talk about his work old and new, including his latest book Why Lyrics Last: Evolution, Cognition, and Shakespeare’s Sonnets (2012), in conversation with poet, critic, author and alumnus Iain Sharp.
Emeritus Professor Witi Ihimaera will talk about his new book The Parihaka Woman. An eclectic combination of fiction and history, central character Erenora guides readers through the tumultuous times of the Taranaki.
Award-winning scientist Professor Lawrence Krauss from Arizona State University is visiting New Zealand as a University of Auckland Hood Fellow. One of the world’s leading figures in the rich and mysterious world of cosmology, Professor Krauss will discuss his New York Times Bestseller A Universe from Nothing.
University staff feature prominently as writers, panellists and chairs right across the festival programme.
In addition, The University of Auckland is this year hosting the Writers on Campus event. Four contemporary sessions - on war, social media, performance poetry and powerful fiction – will be hosted at the Business School’s Fisher and Paykel Auditorium on Saturday.
The University of Auckland is a proud sponsor of the festival. University staff, students and alumni make a significant contribution to the literary landscape and our collaboration underlines our commitment to excellence in the Arts.
The Auckland Writers and Readers Festival is on from 9 to 13 May. For full details on events and to purchase tickets visit www.writersfestival.co.nz
- An Hour with Witi Ihimaera. Friday May 11, 10am to 11am. Lower NZI Room Aotea Centre.
- Captain Bligh. Distinguished Professor Dame Anne Salmond and Paul Diamond. Friday May 11, 1pm to 2pm. Lower NZI Room, Aotea Centre.
- The Forrests. Emily Perkins and Paula Morris. Friday May 11, 2.30pm to 3.30pm. Lower NZI Room, Aotea Centre.
- A Universe from Nothing. Professor Lawrence Krauss and Dr Grant Christie. Friday May 11, 5.30pm to 6.30pm. ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre.
- The Future of the Novel. Jeffery Eugenides and Emily Perkins. Saturday May 12, 11.30am to 12.30pm. Lower NZI Room, Aotea Centre.
- The God Matter. Professor Lawrence Krauss. Saturday May 12, 4pm to 5pm. Lower NZI Room, Aotea Centre.
- Why Lyrics Matter. Distinguished Professor Brian Boyd. Saturday May 12, 5.30pm to 6.30pm. Lower NZI Room, Aotea Centre.
Writers on Campus: Fisher and Paykel Auditorium
- The Afghan War. Saturday May 12, 10am to 11am. Featuring Rolling Stone journalist Michael Hastings, Nicky Hagar and Associate Professor Stephen Hoadley.
- In the Shadow of History. Saturday May 12, 11.30am to 12.30pm. Featuring international writers Mal Peet, Sebastian Barry and Jesmyn Ward.
- Wild Poets, Extraordinary Words. Saturday May 12, 1pm to 2pm. Featuring seven international and local spoken word performers.
- Tweeting the Revolution. Saturday May 12, 2.30 to 3.30pm. Featuring Former Guardian journalist Toby Manhire, social media author Vaughn Davis and digital pioneer Russell Brown.