I am settled back at my desk for the new year and working steadily towards concluding my PhD on the life stories of people from a refugee background.
Because of my study focus (anyone who has undertaken a PhD will relate to this) I’ve restricted many other activities for a while. I am, however, pleased to be participating in two sessions at the Perth Writers Week coming up later this month. The theme of this year is Our Imagined Selves, which so perfectly encapsulates to me the process of delving into a great book.
The fabulous Dianne Wolfer and I will be discussing what every parent, grandparent and any other family member needs to know about children’s literature, on the evening of Thursday 21 February at the Perth City Library. I don’t know about you, but I always scratch my head when it comes to choosing books for the younger members of my family, so I am really looking forward to our chat. Dianne is an excellent writer and is probably most famous for Lighthouse Girl, but my personal favourite is Granny Grommet and me.
Then on Sunday 24 February I will be facilitating a group session involving very different people from different countries, with amazing stories. Infinite Worlds, Infinite Words brings together writers Balli Kaur Jaswal, Carly Findlay, Heather Morris and Future D Fidel to discuss the relationships between language, freedom and identity.
One of the aspects I love about this festival is the eclectic collection of writers and topics. We have the outstanding Chinese poet Zheng Xiaoqiong sharing his work and thoughts on the vexed issue of translation; Hugh Mackay and Greg Sheridan in a lively discussion with Bill Bunbury; Benjamin Law, Ursula Martinez & madison moore talking with Ruth Little on challenging narratives of identity and family; and Gail Jones, Susan Midalia and Greg Fleet talking about style, substance and humour with Laurie Steed.
There really is something to suit every literary taste. I hope to see you there!