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Festival Highlights

We've hand-picked a selection of must-see events for you at this year's Festival. Many are FREE, with ticketed events starting at only $12.50. We've also included a student price throughout the program.

These are just a selection of the many riches to be found in the full Perth Writers Festival program - don't forget to check out our FREE Family Day program here.

Places are limited - book early to avoid disappointment.

Tim Flannery: Here on Earth
Professor Tim Flannery is a writer, scientist and explorer and just happened to be the 2007 Australian of the Year. His new book is a biography of our planet and our species.

Here on Earth traces our shared histories and asks us to think about how we have survived together so far and what it will take for us to continue living together. In his renowned style, he offers provocative and visionary solutions. Introduced by Josh Byrne.

This is a very good book. It should be required reading for politicians and corporate leaders. READINGS

WHEN Thur 3 March, 7pm
WHERE Winthrop Hall
PRICE $21.50 / Friends $19 / Students $15.55 BOOK NOW
An Evening with Annie Proulx
Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Annie Proulx’s work tackles bleak themes with a sharp sense of humour and masterful use of language. In acclaimed novels such as The Shipping News, she has explored the relationships of her offbeat characters with a wide and often wild landscape.

Bird Cloud is her first work of nonfiction in 20 years and documents her own relationship with the land and its inhabitants as she buys a farm in Wyoming and sets about building a home. Join her in conversation with Ramona Koval of ABC Radio National’s The Book Show.

Ms Proulx writes with all the brutal beauty of one of her Wyoming snowstorms. WALL STREET JOURNAL.

WHEN Sun 6 March, 6.30pm
WHERE Winthrop Hall
PRICE $21.50 / Friends $19 / Students $15.55 BOOK NOW
An Evening with Armistead Maupin

Get set for a fascinating one-on-one interview with one of America’s most beloved and charismatic authors as he reflects on society, life and his work, including the latest addition to his Tales of the City series, Mary Ann in Autumn.

Now in its third decade, the Tales of the City series remains sassy, sweet and surprising as cherished characters explore life and love in San Francisco. As always, Maupin writes with the insight, compassion and mordant wit that have captivated readers for years and continue to bring new fans to the fold. Chair: Geoff Hutchison

Perhaps the most sublime piece of popular literature America has ever produced … As with the Beatles, everyone seems to like Maupin’s Tales – and, really, why would you want to find someone who didn’t? SALON

WHEN Sun 6 March, 8pm
WHERE Octagon Theatre
PRICE $21.50 / Friends $19 / Students $15.55 BOOK NOW

Truth and Fiction: McCusker Charitable Foundation Opening Event
Celebrate the opening of the Perth Writers Festival as diverse and acclaimed international writers give a personal response to the theme of 'Truth and Fiction'.

Filled with unique insight and provocative ideas, this once in a lifetime gathering features: novelist Anjali Joseph (Saraswati Park); philosopher Raimond Gaita (Romulus, My Father and Gaza); biographer Lyndall Gordon (Lives Like Loaded Guns: Emily Dickenson and her Family's Feuds); twice Man Booker nominated Damon Galgut (In a Strange Room); Man Asian Literary Prize winner Miguel Syjuco (Ilustrado); and 2007 Australian of the Year and scientist Tim Flannery (Here on Earth).

Be sure to book your place at the Opening Party that follows, where you can meet writers from the entire program over beverages and canapés.

WHEN Fri 4 March, 7pm
WHERE Winthrop Hall
PRICE $35 / Friends $33
OPENING ADDRESS AND PARTY $85 / Friends $73 BOOK NOW

Science is the New Art
Annie Proulx has long been influenced by the natural world, making her home on 640 acres of Wyoming wetlands and prairie purchased from the Nature Conservancy. Tim Flannery is a writer, scientist and explorer who delves into our relationship with the planet. They discuss the connection between art and science. Chair: Stephen Romei.

WHEN Sat 5 March, 9.30am
WHERE Octagon Theatre
PRICE $21.50 / Friends $19 / Students $15.55 BOOK NOW

Backstage Politics
It’s been nearly 60 years since Phillip Adams’ by-line first appeared in a newspaper. Since then, as a broadcaster, filmmaker, columnist and writer, he has made an enormous contribution to social and political debate in Australia, rubbing up against pollies of all persuasions. His new book, Backstage Politics: Fifty Years of Political Memories, takes us behind the scenes of many encounters. Chair: Geoff Hutchison.

WHEN Sat 5 March, 5pm
WHERE Octagon Theatre
PRICE $21.50 / Friends $19 / Students $15.55 BOOK NOW
Dexter is Delicious
After selling more than one million copies and inspiring a wildly popular TV show, Jeff Lindsay returns with his most hilarious, macabre, and purely entertaining novel yet, Dexter is Delicious. Everyone’s favourite serial killer is now a proud father, but has marriage and family life tamed his bloodlust? Join Jeff as he discusses Dexter and the dark side with James Lush.

WHEN Sat 5 March, 6.30pm
WHERE Octagon Theatre
PRICE $21.50 / Friends $19 / Students $15.55 BOOK NOW
Feast of Words
Join us for a Bacchanalian feast for body and mind as international and national storytellers infuse gourmet food and wine with flavourful readings. Authors Joanne Harris, Armistead Maupin, Simon Armitage and Adam Ross delight and transfix while you feast on an indulgent three-course banquet and reds and whites from the award-winning Watershed Premium Wines.

WHEN Sat 5 March, 6.30-10.30pm
WHERE The Great Court
PRICE $122.50 / Friends $112.50 BOOK NOW
The Democracy Debate

With the growing global influence of the Asia and Pacific region, the resurgence of religious fundamentalism, bigotry, widening inequality and Facebook, Google and Wikileaks, do we have to rethink how democracy will work in the coming century? How do the 19th and 20th century ideals of democracy hold up? Tariq Ali, Ken Crispin, John Keane and Antony Loewenstein share their thoughts on the future of democracy. Chair: Dr Carmen Lawrence.

WHEN Sat 5 March, 8pm
WHERE Octagon Theatre
PRICE $21.50 / Friends $19 / Students $15.55 BOOK NOW

Talking Couches
Sit back and chill out this summer on one of our comfy Festival Talking Couches, located at key locations around the City and at Perth Writers Festival Family Day. These eclectic lounges have been radically redesigned by young people and will amuse, inspire and beguile with a prerecorded selection of their stories, thoughts and hopes for the future.

WHEN All weekend
WHERE Perth Writers Precinct

Thrilling New Tastes
Joanne Harris, the bestselling author of Chocolat, has crafted a dark and intricately plotted new thriller in Blueeyedboy. Told through posts on an internet site, this is the tale of a poisonously dysfunctional family, a blind child prodigy and a serial killer who is not who he seems. Join Joanne with Geraldine Mellet for a conversation about her new novel.

WHEN Sun 6 March, 6.30pm
WHERE Octagon Theatre
PRICE $21.50 / Friends $19 / Students $15.55 BOOK NOW
The Obama Syndrome
Tariq Ali argues that very little has changed since George W Bush left the White House – especially when it comes to foreign affairs. But while the ‘war on terror’ continues abroad, at home the honeymoon is definitely over with a Republican surge in the recent mid-term elections. Join writer and filmmaker Tariq Ali for this thought-provoking lecture.

WHEN Mon 7 March, 3.30pm
WHERE Octagon Theatre
PRICE $12.50 / Friends $11.30 / Students $9.55 BOOK NOW
Andrew O'Hagan: The West (Closing Address)
Twice Man Booker-nominated novelist Andrew O’Hagan grew up on the west coast of Scotland. His people looked west to the Ireland they came from, and further west to the America that was coming to dominate their lives. For O’Hagan, the concept of The West – literature’s dream territory, cinema’s golden land – is at the centre of some of the greatest debates in modern life.

WHEN Mon 7 March, 6.30pm
WHERE Octagon Theatre
PRICE $35 / Friends $33 BOOK NOW