Linger in the Gardens with Writers’ Week Director Jo Dyer for our last hurrah for 2020 as our funny, fierce and fearless authors offer their final reflections for the week. Addressing the Festival theme of Being Human, our delightful, distinguished line-up has up to 10 minutes each to ponder contemporary life and humanity in all its messy glory.
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Jokha Alharthi is the author of two previous collections of short fiction, a children's book, and three novels, and teaches at Sultan Qaboos University in Muscat. She is the only Arabic author to win the International Booker Prize, awarded to her novel Celestial Bodies in 2019.
Mohammed Massoud Morsi was born in Copenhagen to Egyptian parents. A writer, journalist and photographer, he has lived in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia before moving to Australia in 2011. His fiction and non-fiction works have appeared in Australian and international publications, and his most recent three stories have been published in the collection The Palace of Angels. Morsi now lives in Perth with his son.
Robert Elliott Smith is the author of Rage Inside the Machine: The Prejudice of Algorithms, and How to Stop the Internet Making Bigots of Us All. He has worked in artificial intelligence for 30 years, helping create software systems that learn fighter jet manoeuvres, describe immune systems, reveal emotion in financial markets, and suggest how social networks propagate political polarisation. He is the CTO of BOXARR Ltd. and a faculty member at University College London.
Dennis Altman is currently Emeritus Professor and Professorial Fellow in Human Security at La Trobe University. He is the author of thirteen books, most recently Queer Wars and his memoir Unrequited Love: Diary of an Accidental Activist. Altman has been President of the AIDS Society of Asia and the Pacific and is a patron of the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives and the Pride Foundation.
Hannah Critchlow is the Science Outreach Fellow at Magdalene College, University of Cambridge, and has been named a Top 100 UK Scientist by the Science Council for her work in science communication. Mentioned by Nature magazine as a rising star in the life sciences in 2019, she is listed as one of the University of Cambridge's 'inspirational and successful women in science'. The Science of Fate: Why Your Future is More Predictable Than You Think is her first book.
Tony McAleer is an international speaker, change maker, and father of two. A former leader in the North American white supremacist movement, he has since made it his mission to help people leave hate groups, and is the co-founder and Board Chair for the non-profit organisation Life After Hate. The Cure for Hate: A Former White Supremacist’s Journey from Violent Extremism to Radical Compassion is his first book. He lives in Vancouver, Canada.
Mandy Whyte is a New Zealander who has worked for thirty years advising and managing aid and development programmes in the Pacific and Indonesia, and currently in the Solomon Islands. Dancing on a Razor’s Edge is her first book.
Vicki Laveau-Harvie was born in Canada, lived for many years in France and is now based in Australia. She has worked as a translator, a business editor and an academic. Her memoir, The Erratics, is her first book and won the 2018 Finch Memoir Prize and the 2019 Stella Prize. She has also won prizes for her short fiction and poetry.