True tales of the festival – Auckland Writers Festival 2016

And we're off!

With the schools programme portion of the Auckland Writers Festival wrapping up today, the public programme has now kicked off and my fellow festival-goer Roberta and I attended the gala event, True Stories Told Live: Altered States.

Jeanette Winterson and Roberta
Jeanette Winterson and Roberta, CCL Flickr File Reference: 2016-05-12-DSC00929

The concept is a simple one. Gather a clutch of writers, give them a loose theme to work to, and let them have 7 minutes in which to weave a story but one that is true and personal. In keeping with the "Read the world" tagline of the festival it was an international set of authors - Carmen Aguirre, Pettina Gappah, Tusiata Avia, Peter Garrett, Joe Bennett, Herman Koch, Vivian Gornick and Jeanette Winterson - each with an entirely different take on the theme, different message, different style, and different sensibility.

They were all excellent though for my money Carmen Aguirre kept me hooked and Jeanette Winterson was heartfelt and humorous, but a nod must also go to Festival Director Anne O'Brien who set the scene beautifully by telling the audience just how important literature is and that "literate citizens build better worlds". It's not just about literature either, it's about literacy too. Stirring words which were very enthusiastically received.

Roberta and I retired to our accommodations following the performance and had a chat about our faves and our picks for tomorrow which proves to be a day jam-packed with excellent author sessions.

Listen to part 1 (4 mins 29 sec)

Listen to part 2 (5 mins 9 sec)

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