Sydney Writers’ Festival: Jewish connections

May 8, 2017 by J-Wire Staff
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The Sydney Writers’ Festival brings a wealth of talent from both overseas and homegrown later this month…J-Wire present a list of participants both Jewish and Jewish connected.

INTERNATIONAL GUESTS

Nadja Spiegelman

Nadja Spiegelman

Nadja Spiegelman is the author of I’m Supposed to Protect You from All This, a memoir about the nuances of love and family, exploring the lives her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother and the fallibility of memory. She is also the Eisner Award-nominated author of the Zig and Wikki graphic novel series for young children and Lost in NYC: A Subway Adventure. She has received fellowships from Lemon Tree House and The MacDowell Colony.

https://www.swf.org.au/authors/nadja-spiegelman/

Susan Faludi

Susan Faludi

Susan Faludi is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and the author of the bestselling Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction, Stiffed: The Betrayal of the American Man, and The Terror Dream: Myth and Misogyny in an Insecure America, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism. Her most recent book, In the Darkroom, won the 2016 Kirkus Prize for Non-Fiction and was named one of the top ten best books of the year by The New York Times. Faludi’s work has appeared in The New YorkerThe Wall Street JournalThe New York TimesHarper’s, and many other publications.

https://www.swf.org.au/authors/susan-faludi/

Thomas Friedman

Thomas Friedman

Thomas Friedman is an internationally renowned author and journalist. He is the recipient of three Pulitzer Prizes: in 1983 for international reporting (from Lebanon); in 1988 for international reporting (from Israel); and in 2002 for his columns after the September 11th attacks. He is also the author of seven bestselling books, among them the National Book Award-winning From Beirut to Jerusalem and the #1 New York Times bestseller The World Is Flat, which received the inaugural Financial Times/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award. He is also the author of Hot, Flat, and Crowded and That Used to Be Us. His latest book is Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations.

https://www.swf.org.au/authors/thomas-friedman/

Chris Kraus

Chris Kraus

Chris Kraus is a writer and cultural critic whose novels include TorporAliens & Anorexia and Summer of Hate. Her first book, I Love Dick, is considered a late-20th century classic. Kraus is coeditor of the influential publishing house Semiotext(e), which has presented groundbreaking works of economic and critical theory, literature, poetics and sexuality. Her critical biography of the American writer Kathy Acker will be published in 2017.

https://www.swf.org.au/authors/chris-kraus/

Bill Hayes

Bill Hayes

Bill Hayes is a writer, photographer and contributor to the New York Times. He is the author of Insomniac City: New York, Oliver, and Me, an intimate glimpse into his relationship with the late Oliver Sacks. He is currently at work on a new book, Sweat: A History of Exercise, as well as a collection of his New York street photography. His other books include Sleep DemonsFive Quarts; and The Anatomist. Hayes is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in nonfiction, and has been a Visiting Scholar at the American Academy in Rome. According to the New York Times, Hayes ‘has an unusual set of skills … He is part science writer, part memoirist, part culture explainer.’

https://www.swf.org.au/festivals/festival-2017/bill-hayes-insomniac-city/

AUSTRALIAN GUESTS

Steven Amsterdam

Steven Amsterdam

Steven Amsterdam is the author of Things We Didn’t See Coming (which won The Age Book of the Year)  as well as What the Family Needed. His most recent book is The Easy Way Out. His short fiction and non-fiction has appeared in publications including The GuardianThe Lifted BrowMeanjin, and Salon. He is also a palliative care nurse.

https://www.swf.org.au/authors/steven-amsterdam/

Caroline Baum

Caroline Baum

Caroline Baum is a writer, journalist and broadcaster. The founding editor of Good Reading magazine and former features editor of Vogue Australia, Caroline was the editorial director of Booktopia and has also been a presenter for the ABC TV and a producer (RN). In 2015 Caroline was awarded the Hazel Rowley Fellowship. Her first book, Only: A singular memoir, is an exploration of the often fraught terrain of being the only child of parents with a troubled European past.

https://www.swf.org.au/authors/caroline-baum/

Mia Freedman

Mia Freedman

Mia Freedman is the co-founder and creative director of the Mamamia Women’s Media Company. As Australia’s largest women’s media company, Mamamia reaches more than 6 million women every month via its vast network of websites, videos and podcasts and employs more than 100 women. Mia is a journalist, former editor and host of the No Filter interview podcast. She is the author of three non-fiction titles, her most recent book is Work Strife Balance.

https://www.swf.org.au/authors/mia-freedman/

Jessica Friedmann

Jessica Friedmann

Jessica Friedmann has worked as an editor at independent Australian journals Going Down Swinging and Dumbo Feather, and her essays, criticism, and feature writing have appeared in Australian and international magazines and journals. Things That Helped is her first published collection.

https://www.swf.org.au/authors/jessica-friedmann/

Alexandra Joel

Alexandra Joel is the author of Rosetta: A Scandalous True Story, a memoir in which she

Alexandra Joel

recounts the extraordinary life of her mysterious great-grandmother, a woman who captivated British and European society, beguiling famous writers and inventors, lords and ladies, princes and princesses. Alexandra is also the author of Best Dressed: 200 Years of Fashion in Australia and Parade: the Story of Fashion in Australia. Both books detail the development of fashion, style and national identity. Alexandra is a former editor of Harper’s Bazaar and of Portfolio, Australia’s first magazine for working women. She has been a contributor to a number of national magazines as well as The Australian and The Sydney Morning Herald. For ten years Alexandra also practised as a counsellor and psychotherapist.

https://www.swf.org.au/authors/alexandra-joel/

Monday Morning Cooking Club

Monday mornings are the best time of the week for Merelyn Chalmers, a founding member of Monday Morning Cooking Club. She loves spending time with the MMCC girls and bringing her food PR experience to the team. She loves sharing cooking tips and techniques, teaching unconfident cooks and talking about food till forever.  Merelyn has a pedantic respect for well measured ingredients and classic pairings and loves the precision of her digital scales and a freshly sharpened cooks knife. She has inherited her mother’s passion for searching out elusive ingredients, believing she can cure her family’s ills with food, and endless cups of tea.

Working with Monday Morning Cooking Club for the last ten years has meant that Natanya Eskin’s three children have basically grown up asking her every time she cooks something new, ‘Is this a tester for the next book?’ Natanya has always been happiest in her kitchen, cooking for her family. She has also developed a strong passion for uncovering and preserving recipes, especially from the older generations. Her favourite part of Monday Morning Cooking Club is standing in the kitchen with the girls, discussing and debating what to cook, laughing and sometimes crying together, working as a team to create something special for generations to come.

Lisa Goldberg is now happily entrenched in the Monday Morning Cooking Club as Chief Pot Stirrer, a delicious change from starting professional life as a solicitor. It has been such a joy since 2006 for Lisa to be with ‘this truly amazing bunch of gorgeous women’ to produce and publish three extraordinary cookbooks. She calls herself a ‘fresser’ with enormous (and sometimes unbridled!) passion for food and cooking. She hangs onto the part of Jewish culture which embodies the saying ‘it’s always about the food’. This project has changed her life and pushed her obsession with food to a whole new level.

EVENTS

Gratefully Yours

May 21, 2:30pm-4:00pm Sydney Jewish Museum

At Gratefully Yours, ordinary people read letters of gratitude written to the everyday heroes who saved their lives during WWII. This event will highlight the current exhibition, {The Righteous Among the Nations – I Am My Brother’s Keeper}, which honours non-Jewish people who had the courage and moral fortitude to save the lives of Jews during the Holocaust.

$15 Bookings 02 9360 7999 rsvp@sjm.com.au

Monday Morning Cooking Club: It’s Always About the Food

May 26, 10:00am-11:00am Sydney Dance Lounge

Food is not really about the ingredients; it’s about the joy of sharing a good meal, good conversation and personal history. Three members of The Monday Morning Cooking Club – Merelyn Chalmers, Natanya Eskin and Lisa Goldberg – talk to Caroline Baum about their third stunning cookbook, {It’s Always About the Food}, the result of a two-year search for delicious recipes and rich stories of the Jewish diaspora. These are the unstoppable Sydney Jewish women who know more than a thing or two about ‘fressing’ and food.

Free, no bookings

Sarah Bakewell: On Bambi as an Existentialist Hero

May 25, 11:00am-11:40am Pier 2/3 Curiosity Stage

The Disneyfied version of Bambi has eclipsed the original story. But it is the 1923 Austrian novel that inspires and terrifies bestselling author Sarah Bakewell ({At the Existentialist Cafe}). It has been interpreted as a defence of animal rights, an allegory of the Jewish-European experience, a coming-of-age tale, and even a Kafkaesque parable. Hear Bakewell talk about these afterlives, what we look for in stories, and why we change them.

{Supported by the University of Sydney.} Free, no bookings

2017 Closing Address: Susan Faludi

May 28, 6:00pm-7:00pm Roslyn Packer Theatre

Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Susan Faludi ({In the Darkroom}, {Backlash}) delivers the Festival’s closing address. She explores the theme of refuge, from the metaphorical shelter of books to the basic physical safety that millions seek today. Refuge, even more than freedom, has become the principle issue rocking our societies. Susan confronted the quandaries of refuge through the struggles of her father – who survived the Holocaust and later changed gender identity – bringing her experience to bear on urgent questions. When is refuge real and when is it illusory? And who among us doesn’t seek it?

$35/$25 Bookings 02 9250 1988, swf.org.au

The Sydney Writers’ Festival will run from May 22 to May 28

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