International writers live and local in Tamworth

Story to tell: Award-winning journalist and writer Susan Faludi is among the talented speakers at the Sydney Writers' Festival.

Story to tell: Award-winning journalist and writer Susan Faludi is among the talented speakers at the Sydney Writers' Festival.

Sydney Writers’ Festival Live & Local program has been announced and is set to be a day of great panel discussion and audience interaction.

This full-day program, locally presented by Collins Booksellers, starts at 10am on May 26 with a panel discussion – A Murderer in the Family -  presented by Nadja Spiegelman, Hisham Matar and Susan Faludi and facilitated by Michael Williams.

Three authors talk to Michael Williams about the challenges and consequences of writing from life. Susan Faludi (In The Darkroom) talks about her father’s life and their reconciliation after her father, Stefanie, has gender confirmation surgery.

Hisham Matar (The Return) discusses the influence of his father’s disappearance on his writing, and his trip back to Libya three decades after his family’s exile. Nadja Spiegelman (I’m Supposed to Protect You from All This) talks about retracing three generations of mother-daughter relations.

The next item on the days agenda is Deng Adut: Songs of a War Boy – a conversation presented by Deng Adut and facilitated by Suzanne Leal.

Conscripted at age seven into Sudan’s brutal civil war, Deng Adut was groomed to handle an AK47 instead of a pencil.

He escaped bullet wounds, atrocities and near starvation to become a lawyer, refugee advocate and NSW Australian of the Year. His memoir, Songs of a War Boy, is equally remarkable as it was written by a man who learned English by watching The Wiggles.

Then, following a light lunch, James Shapiro presents The Year of Lear, facilitated by Tom Wright.

James Shapiro is one of the world’s leading experts on Shakespeare. His latest book on the great Bard, 1606: The Year of Lear, has been listed among the best books of 2016.

He speaks with Tom Wright about 1606: the year that produced King Lear, Macbeth and Antony and Cleopatra.

Following on at 3pm is In The Darkroom presented by Susan Faludi and facilitated by Sofija Stefanovic. When Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and bestselling author of Backlash Susan Faludi learned her estranged 76-year-old father had undergone gender confirmation surgery, she began examining the meaning of identity.

The last item on the Live & Local program for the day is a panel discussion: Writing Race presented by Anuk  Arudpragasam, Paul Beatty, Maxine Beneba Clarke and Ellen van Neerven, facilitated by Roanna Gonsalves.

Tickets are available for whole-day and half-day sessions to the Sydney Writers’ Festival Live & Local program.

Tickets for these and more, available online at or by phone on 6766 2028.