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Diverse line-up for Akl Writers Festival

Wed 19 Mar 2014 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback

Alice Walker The author of modern American classic The Color Purple will headline a diverse Auckland Writers Festival. Alice Walker, whose famed 1982 novel brought readers the memorable lesbian romance between Celie and Shug, will appear at just one event, The Color Purple, on Sunday 18 May. The Festival runs from 14 – 18 May and the line-up also includes hilarious lesbian writer, presenter, comedian, actress and producer, Sandi Toksvig, who organisers say is a ‘must see’. She’s written more than 20 fiction and non-fiction books for children and adults and hosts both radio and TV shows in Britain, including The News Quiz on BBC Radio 4. Sandi Toksvig The Danish/British mum of three, who lives on a house boat with her civil partner, was controversially dropped as a compere by Save the Children after she came out in 1994. After protest, the charity apologised for the move. An American writer who is open about the fact she’s dated both men and women, AM Homes, is another who will appear at the Festival. She’s best known for her controversial novels and unusual stories, most notably The End of Alice, which is about a convicted child molester and murderer. She has also written a memoir, The Mistress's Daughter. Among the many other writers announced for the event is Alexander McCall Smith, a supporter of HIV charities who has made a concerted effort to include gay characters in his novels. Festival director, Anne O’Brien says the heady mix of interviews, debates, conversations, poetry, readings, children’s events, workshops, concerts, lunches and soap box stir-ups provides something for everyone. “As well as coming along to see your favourite authors, I encourage you to buy tickets to events that intrigue you, that may take you outside your comfort zone, that will open doors to places and people you may never have heard of before,” she says. Tickets go on sale from 9AM tomorrow. Find out more here.    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Wednesday, 19th March 2014 - 10:51am

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