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Around The World In Three Days

Around The World In Three Days

Intrepid writers’ festival traverses diverse continents
and daring concepts.

The programme for the South Island’s biggest and boldest writers’ festival ever is available this Wednesday, August 9th. 100,000 copies of the 16 page, distinctively-designed tabloid size programme, containing all the details of the festival’s thirty-odd events and the 17 international and 70 New Zealand authors attending the festival over the weekend of September 8-10, will be distributed throughout the Canterbury region. The programme will also be available online at

Over just one weekend of illuminating literary explorations the festival programme will cross the continents of Europe, Asia, Antarctica through to the Pacific, with a brief tour of the solar system and the incongruous concepts of love and mathematics, science and poetry and political truths.

Australian Anna Funder and New Zealand writer Philip Temple, will take you Behind the Berlin Wall. Funder’s acclaimed book Stasiland: True Stories from behind the Berlin Wall, draws on her experiences as a resident of Berlin both before and after the wall came down, and Philip Temple is a past recipient of Creative New Zealand’s Berlin Writers’ residency.

Funder will join fellow Australians, Christopher Kremmer and Ken Haley, to take you to the edge of your comfort zone, in a session called Telling True Stories. Ken Haley is a journalist and author of the book, Emails from the Edge, and Christopher Kremmer is a foreign correspondent and the acclaimed author of The Carpet Wars and more recently, Inhaling the Mahatma.

Kremmer appears on his own in a session titled East and West and in another panel session with Anglo-Indian writer Glen Duncan and Australian writer Liz Gallois, called Indian Ink, which will explore the West’s fascination with all things Indian.

Bill Manhire, Laurence Fearnley, Margaret Mahy and Bernadette Hall will reflect on their time on the ice through the Artists to Antarctica programme, in a session titled Wide, White Page, and then Witi Ihimaera, Patrica Grace and Tahitian writer Celestine Hitiura Vaite will lure you to places more lush and fertile in a session on Pacific Voices.

Back home, New Zealanders, Don McGlashan, Andrew Fagan, Paula Morris, Karyn Hay and Emily Perkins have all spent time living and working abroad. Now they are home, some for a while and others for this event, and we welcome them to the James Hay Theatre with their stories and reflections on why New Zealanders so often need to ‘leave home’ to be able to ‘come home’ to their art, in the festival’s Gala Event, Home from Abroad. As an extra treat Don McGlashan will perform will his new band, Seven Sisters.

In between crossing continents there will be time to explore wild and wonderful concepts. Joe Bennett and Canadian writer, broadcaster, and comic, Stuart McLean will explain why Being Funny is a Serious Business and Bill Manhire will ask Irish poet and physicist, Iggy McGovern if Angels are OK? Meanwhile, a panel of award-winning journalists including New Zealanders’ Finlay Macdonald, Jane Clifton, Colin Espiner and British political cartoonist, Chris Riddell, will explore the challenges of writing truthfully in an age of spin and obfuscation in a session titled Political Truths.

If politics makes your head spin, then New Zealand writers Felicity Price and Diane Brown along with British writer Emma Darwin will ground you in the enlightening, The Mathematics of Love and Other Affairs of the Heart, while national treasure, Margaret Mahy and Australian writer Markus Zusak will tell you why writing for young adults is a challenge in Betwixt and Between.

These are just some of the highlights of the festival programme, for more sessions and detailed information please refer to the programme. Tickets to The Press Christchurch Writers’ Festival 2006 will also go on sale on August 9th. For booking information, contact the festival office on 03 365 2223, or go on-line


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