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Sarah Dunant joins Auckland Writers & Readers Fest

UK novelist Sarah Dunant joins Auckland Writers & Readers Festival line-up

The Auckland Writers and Readers Festival is delighted to announce the addition of British novelist, broadcaster and critic Sarah Dunant to its line-up of international writers.

The festival is being held at the Hyatt Regency from May 15th – 18th, and has more than 45 events featuring 16 international authors and over 80 New Zealand participants.

Sarah Dunant has written eight novels. Her latest, The Birth of Venus is a tale of art, passion, politics and danger, set in Renaissance Florence. She is also the award-winning creator of private investigator Hannah Wolfe, featured in Birth Marks, Fatlands and Under My Skin. A patron of the Orange Prize for Fiction, she reviews books for The Times and The Observer, and is a BBC radio presenter.

Two of the international authors originally confirmed are now no longer coming. US novelist Annie Proulx has cancelled all international engagements until September, and British writer Iain Banks burnt his passport in protest at the war in Iraq. U.S. crime writer Jeffery Deaver, Sarah Dunant and New Zealand novelist Elizabeth Knox will be replacing them.

“While the cancellations were disappointing, we’ve got some excellent replacement sessions planned,” says festival co-creative director Stephanie Johnson.

“Both Sarah Dunant and Jeffery Deaver will be featuring in ‘Plots that take no prisoners’ on the Sunday morning. It’s going to be a great session – they’ve got a lot in common: they’re the same age, they write tight, well-researched plots and both have written series of thrillers starring a recurring hero.”

Public bookings opened last Saturday and over 1000 tickets have been already been sold. Events which are proving especially popular are those featuring The Corrections author Jonathan Franzen, and British travel writer William Dalrymple, whose latest book is White Mughals.

The festival culminates with the prestigious black tie Buddle Findlay Sargeson dinner, where British historian Anthony Beevor, author of the international bestseller, Stalingrad, will be the guest speaker.

Bookings are through Ticketek and for the most updated information, check the festival website at www.writersfestival.co.nz

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

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