… was totally fun. It was a while ago now, but I wrote some notes about being there:
“In a departure lounge, newspapers take on a special pre-internet significance, as though this is the last word of home you’re going to get for a long while. I’m only heading off for a few days at the Sydney Writers Festival, but it’s enough to make me read theHerald, which announces record numbers of Kiwis emigrating to Australia. (I’m not sure this can be described as news any more.) On the next page is a piece on Paul Henry distinguishing himself in Sydney by making nasty remarks about immigrants. Last time I was at an Australian literary festival an eye-wateringly posh Englishman took the piss out of my New Zealand accent during our event. The audience heaved with laughter. There might be psychological scars.”
You can read the whole piece, including more about the psychology of writers’ festivals, on the NZ Book Council blog.