Session 1 Friday 4 May 4.30pm to 5.30pm Gareth Evans discusses Incorrigible Optimist with Kerry O’Brien.
While political autobiographies are often dry, self-congratulating affairs, Gareth Evans has with Incorrigible Optimist written what the Canberra Times described as a memoir crackling with “wit, self-deprecating humour and illuminating insights”. Long regarded a masterful raconteur, Evans covers the breadth of his colourful life, including as a central figure in Australian politics for more than two decades. Kerry O’Brien sits down for a revealing chat with the man once praised by Bob Hawke as having the most acute mind among his ministers.
Session 2 Saturday 5 May 11.30am to 12.30pm Peter Greste talks about First Casualty with Hugh Riminton.
Foreign correspondent Peter Greste spent two decades reporting from the frontline in the world’s most dangerous countries before making headlines himself following his incarceration in an Egyptian prison. The First Casualty is his enlightening first-hand account of how the war on journalism spread from the battlefields of the Middle East to the governments of the West. Hugh Riminton speaks with Peter about the extent to which investigative journalism is under threat in the age of terrorism and fake news.
Session 3 Saturday 5 May 4.30am to 5.30pm Annabel Crabb’s Bookwiz with Leigh Sales, Richard Fidler, Julia Zemiro.
Which book are you ashamed of loving? Which do you reread when you’re in a reading slump? What have you always meant to read but now suspect you never will? Beloved journalist and presenter Annabel Crabb returns to the Festival for Bookwiz, a thorough interrogation of some well-known readers including 7.30 host Leigh Sales, Conversations presenter Richard Fidler, and – lending cult appeal – Rockwiz host Julia Zemiro herself.
Session 4 Sunday 6 May 3.00pm to 4.00pm Sarah Ferguson chats about On Mother with Louise Adler.
Following the sudden death of her mother, renowned ABC journalist Sarah Ferguson penned On Mother, a poignant and moving reflection on their relationship over decades and across continents. After a career spent investigating some of Australia’s most high-profile news stories, she turned the focus onto her own family to examine the individual that existed beyond motherhood. In conversation with Louise Adler, the four-time Walkley-award-winning reporter reflects on the complex bonds shared between mothers and daughters.
Session 5 Sunday 6 May 4.30pm to 5.30pm Emily Wilson talks about translating The Odyssey with Jennifer Byrne
Emily Wilson’s translation of The Odyssey breathes new life into the rousing tale of shipwrecks, monsters and magic. Aside from being the first English translation of the poem by a female, her text has been praised for a naturalness that brings the ancient epic into the 21st century – perhaps raising the eyebrows of some Homer purists along the way. Speaking with Jennifer Byrne, Emily elaborates on her approach to translating the second oldest text in Western literature and why it remains so vital today.