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Latest authors announced

Auckland Writers and Readers Festival – latest authors announced

William Dalrymple, Aminatta Forna, Rick Moody, Les Murray, David Leser and Kim Mahood all confirmed

More international authors have been confirmed for the Auckland Writers and Readers Festival which is being held from 15th – 18th May.

American author Rick Moody, William Dalrymple who is from Britain, Aminatta Forna from Sierra Leone via London and Australians Les Murray, David Leser and Kim Mahood will all be attending the festival.

Festival creative director Peter Wells says the latest confirmations add to an already impressive list of international writers.

“This is in addition to Jonathan Franzen, Annie Proulx, Iain Banks, Antony Beevor, and Linda Grant – our festival is going to be a feast for both writers and readers,” he says.

Rick Moody, described as “a master of contemporary American writing”, is best known for his novel The Ice Storm, which was adapted for film, and his short story collection Demonology was a critical hit. In 1998 he received the Addison Metcalf Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and in 2000 won a Guggenheim Fellowship.

William Dalrymple has won numerous awards for his books In Xanadu, City of Djinns, and The Age of Kali, including the Sunday Times Young British Writer of the Year award for City of Djinns. His latest work White Mughals:Seduction and Betrayal in Nineteenth Century India is the story of a passionate love affair that crossed and transcended all the cultural, religious and political boundaries of its time.

Aminatta Forna is an author, broadcaster and journalist. Her latest book, The Devil That Danced on the Water is a story of Sierra Leone’s transition to dictatorship seen through her eyes as the daughter of a dissident. She recently returned to Sierra Leone to film a documentary series ‘Africa Unmasked’ which examined many of the themes of her recent book. Her first book, Mother of All Myths, was serialised in the Independent on Sunday as well as in newspapers in Canada, Australia and South Africa.

Les Murray is Australia’s leading poets and one of the greatest contemporary poets writing in English. He has won many literary prizes, including the prestigious TS Eliot Award (1996). In 2001 he was awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry on the recommendation of Ted Hughes. His lastest collection to be published in the US was voted a Notable Book for 2001 by the American Library Association.

David Leser is one of Australia’s foremost journalists and his work has been published in newspapers and magazines worldwide. He is the author of three books and is currently a feature writer on The Bulletin. His latest book, Somebody Save Me, is a collection of articles that tackle the big ethical issues of the last decade.

Kim Mahood spent her early childhood on Aboriginal communities in the North Territory. She studied painting and sculpture in Sydney after spending several years travelling overseas. Her first book, Craft for a Dry Lake, is the story of a return to her childhood haunts after the tragic death of her father. It has won several awards, inclding the 2000 Age Book of the Year for non-fiction. Her art is held in several public collections and she continues to work as a visual artist.

“These writers will contribute hugely to our festival theme of ‘Worlds Within Worlds’ with their range of truly different perspectives,” says Festival creative director Stephanie Johnson.

The full festival programme will be announced next month, and public bookings will open in April.

The Auckland Writers and Readers Festival gold and silver sponsors are the NZ Herald, Buddle Findlay, Delmaine Fine Foods, Creative New Zealand and the Hyatt Regency Auckland.

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