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Archived: Top Picks for 2018 Auckland Writers Festival

15 - 20 May 2018
16 March, 2018

The country's largest literary showcase, 2018 Auckland Writers Festival, returns from 15 - 20 May with 206 events brining together local and international guest authors to share original ideas and stories. 

This year's programme contains readings, debates, stand-up poetry, literary theatre, children’s writers and free public and family events. We have selected the top 10 events that we think are a must-see.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Jeff Kinney
1 May, ASB Theatre

Diary of A Wimpy Kid writer and illustrator Jeff Kinney brings the world of Greg & Rowley, Manny and Rodrick to the Aotea Stage in a one hour treat for lively readers of all ages. Come celebrate the trials and tribulations of the creative boy who struggles to blend in with the crowd, in this special early event to kick-off Festival month.

#WHERETONOW? The University of Auckland Festival Forum
16 May, ASB Theatre

Since Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual harassment, assault and rape by multiple women, the bastion of male privilege has been under sustained attack by the #METOO and #TIMES UP movements, with a roster of men called out for similar behaviour – not only in Hollywood but in the worlds of politics, media, art, sport, and high-end charity events. For an analysis of this most extraordinary disruption of traditional male-female relations, and its likely long-term consequences, join Kurdistan poet and leader of the first gender studies programme in Iraqi Kurdistan Choman Hardi, Māori development and media specialist Ella Henry, US scientist Hope Jahren, and UK writer and comic actor Robert Webb.

Festival Gala Night - True Stories Told Live: Under Cover
17 May, ASB Theatre

Once more unto the breach go eight writers, to deliver a seven-minute true story without scripts or props, inspired by the theme “Under Cover”. Embracing the challenge are Susie Boyt (England), Lisa Dwan (Ireland); Gigi Fenster (South Africa/NZ); Alex Ross (US); Damon Salesa (Samoa/NZ); Tom Scott (NZ); Shashi Tharoor (India); and Jenny Zhang(US).

European Concerns
18 May, ASB Theatre

Two of our literary masters have recently produced books that use contemporary Europe as a backdrop, emphasising the global nature of our world. 

Wrestling with the Devil: Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o
​18 May, ASB Theatre

Kubé Jones-Neill talks with wa Thiong’o, one of the world’s literary treasures and the recipient of a 2005 Honorary Doctorate from The University of Auckland. Often mentioned as a deserving Nobel Prize nominee, and described as the Kenyan Mandela, the African writer and human rights champion Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o has spent his life grappling with the post-colonial experience. Translated into over 30 languages, his novels and memoirs tell a compelling and challenging story of Africa. 

Democracy: A.C.Grayling 
18 May, ASB Theatre

Leading British intellectual A. C. Grayling delivers a lecture on democracy’s current lowpoint, and the pressing need for reform.

An Evening with Robert Webb 
18 May, ASB Theatre

From Peep Show to Mitchell and Webb, Never Mind the Buzzcocks and Cold Feet, Robert Webb’s screen achievements as a creator, writer and actor have seen him become one of the most recognisable and best-loved faces in British comedy. In this wide-ranging conversation with Noelle McCarthy he talks about his life and work, and the way in which concepts of family and fatherhood continue to evolve.

Completely Beside Ourselves: Karen Joy Fowler 
19 May, ASB Theatre

Best-selling author Karen Joy Fowler is a maverick, with novels and short stories spanning science fiction, fantasy and literary fiction, including the Man Booker Prize finalist We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, The New York Times bestseller The Jane Austen Book Club, and the PEN/Faulkner fiction finalist Sister Noon. She speaks with Kate De Goldi.

Too Much: Durga Chew-Bose
19 May, ASB Theatre

Chew-Bose’s lyrical collection Too Much and Not the Mood offer insights into art, literature, pop-culture, and what it means to be a Bengali-Canadian. She speaks with Ella Yelich-O’Connor (Lorde). ​

An Evening with Karl Ove Knausgård
19 May, ASB Theatre

Norwegian literary phenomenon Karl Ove Knausgård leapt to notice with his arresting cycle of six autobiographical novels My Struggle (Min Kamp). The book world’s man of the moment joins Paula Morris in conversation.