2015 #AusNZFest

Antipodean book love in London.

Following a wildly successful debut last year, it’s that wonderful time again when antipodeans congregate in London to celebrate the very best literature and art we have to offer, at the 2015 Australia & New Zealand Festival of Literature and the Arts.

I’m in London this weekend for the festival where I have the pleasure of chairing two panels with four brilliant women writers.

On Saturday I will be in conversation with authors Jesse Blackadder and Pat Lowe, whose work is inspired by and set against the dramatic backdrop of The Kimberleys in Western Australia.

Jesse Blackadder’s Paruku: The Desert Brumby is a moving tale inspired by the true story of the Kimberley brumbies (or wild horses) and their journey to Dubai.

Pat Lowe’s The Girl with No Name tells the story of Matthew and his unusual friendship with an Aboriginal girl.

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via Kimblerley Outback Tours

On Sunday I will be chatting with Elizabeth Knox and Janina Matthewson, two of New Zealand’s most exciting writers, in an event exploring alternative worlds in fiction, bringing together a range of storytelling, from fantasy to fairy tales to mythology.

Elizabeth Knox (NZ) is the author of ten novels, including the critically acclaimed and award-winning The Vintner’s Luck, the account of the life of a 19th century French vintner and his relationship with a fallen angel. Her latest work out now in the UK is Wake, a book about extreme events, ordinary people, heroic compassion – and invisible monsters.

Janina Matthewson (NZ) is a writer, freelance columnist and film critic based in London. Her debut novel Of Things Gone Astray, published in 2014, tells the story of a group of people who,on one seemingly normal day in London, all lose something dear to them, something dear but peculiar. The novel is a magical fable about modern life, values and finding the things that really matter.

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The sun has come out this afternoon and is pooling on my coffee table in a corner cafe, but even if it dashes away again, there’ll be plenty of festival sunshine warming the halls of King’s College on The Strand over the next two days. If you’re in the big smoke and fancy it, tickets are still available.

I’ll be sharing the festival on Twitter, and as always will have a seat saved for you.

So. Frocks are ready. Notebook and pens are packed. All that’s left is to unroll the wonders of this weekend of antipodean words…let the festivities begin!

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