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Films continue until 14 April, 2013

Now showing at Joondalup Pines: The Patience Stone

Now showing at Somerville: I Wish

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Perth Writers Festival news


Win a double passes to the following three events:

An Evening of Readings
The Time of Our Lives
The Stella Prize

To enter just fill in the form below. Entries close 5pm Monday 18 February 2013. Good luck! 


This competition has now closed.



We all love lazing away a beautiful summer’s day with nothing more taxing than the company of a good book, and now we’ve taken the hard work out of finding your next great read by selecting our top picks for you. All you need to do is relax and enjoy!

Zoe Foster You may know Zoë Foster as Australia’s favourite beauty expert, former dating columnist for Cosmopolitan and also contributing editor for hugely popular, not to mention as the new wife of Hamish Blake, but these days she’s equally well known for her delightful and unashamedly chick-lit novels. The most recent of these is The Younger Man, the witty, fun and engrossing story of gorgeous, independent Abby and her entanglement with wildly charming Marcus, who just happens to be ten year’s her junior. A hilarious exploration of the growing phenomenon of women entering into relationships with much younger men and the problems that age differences can cause, all told in Zoë’s clever, cheeky and fabulously wry style.
Anna Funder Spellbinding, gripping, moving and fascinating are just some of the adjectives used to describe All That I Am, the highly acclaimed historical fiction novel from Anna Funder. Inspired by fact, the story tells of the insidious reach of a totalitarian German state in the 1930s and centres around a group of refugees who upon fleeing to London continue their dangerous resistance work. Dora is passionate and fearless; her lover is the famous playwright Ernst Toller; and Ruth, her younger cousin, who with husband Hans, joins Dora in seeking refuge in London. Taking awe-inspiring risks in order to continue their work in secret, the comrades are ultimately betrayed by a single, chilling act of betrayal. Clever, intriguing and thought-provoking, Funder skillfully explores human bravery and compassion in the face of unspeakable fear; telling the stories of moral courage from a time that is starting to fade from our collective memories.
Geoff Since retiring as Premier of Western Australia in 2006, Geoff Gallop has returned to his pre-political career as an academic. Writing simply and clearly, Gallop reflects upon a wide range of issues related to his former political career including globalisation, climate change, religion, social democracy and multiculturalism. Encouraging us all to think more carefully, not just about political issues, but also about ourselves and how we can best contribute to the community, Politics, Society, Self is a testament to Gallop’s integrity and conviction, bringing a measured voice to debates relevant internationally, nationally and to each of us as individuals.
Peter Heller Hailed as ‘the novel about the end of the world that makes you glad to be alive’, Peter Heller’s The Dog Stars is a book unlike any you have ever read. It’s scary yet life-affirming and in essence a story of hope at the end of the world. Set in post-apocalyptic America, our narrator, Hig, is one of few survivors of a mystery sickness. Holed up with his beloved dog Jasper, his aggressive but resourceful neighbor Bangley, and his Cessna aeroplane in an old airport, Hig knows he is barely coping and his loneliness is becoming unbearable. Haunted by the thought that there might be other survivors, Hig is unable to resist setting out on a dangerous and risky journey... Poetic, action-packed, humorous, suspenseful and heart-wrenching, you’ll be gripped by this novel of loss and survival.
It’s the summer of 2001 and in Cairo’s crowded streets the heat is rising. The unsolved murders of young homeless boys are fanning the embers of religious hatred. So opens the second of Parker Bilal’s Makana Mysteries,Dogstar Rising. Parker Bilal is the pen-name of author Jamal Mahjoub and this novel, like the first in the series, The Golden Scales delivers a richly evocative mystery. Modern Cairo provides a superbly exciting and edgy setting for detective Makana’s investigation of threats that have been made to a hapless travel agent and the mystery that subsequently unfolds. A gripping page-turner, set against the backdrop of a country on the brink of revolution, this is crime fiction at its best.
James Meek The Heart Broke In is an old-fashioned story of modern times. It is a rich, ambitious family drama about love, death and money in the age of gene therapy and Internet exposes by ingenious and bestselling author James Meek. Bec Shepherd is a malaria researcher struggling to lead a good life. Ritchie, her reprobate brother, is a rock star turned TV producer. When Bec refuses an offer of marriage from a powerful newspaper editor and Ritchie’s indiscretions start to catch up with him, brother and sister are forced to choose between loyalty and betrayal. Part thriller, part satire and darkly comic, Meek’s exploration of where the idea of right and wrong comes from makes for compelling reading.
Kevin Powers Debut novel The Yellow Birds by former American solder and Iraqi war veteran, Kevin Powers was initially written as an attempt to answer the question: what was it like over there? The result of Powers’ poetic writing about the Iraqi war is admittedly harrowing and sad, yet also deeply moving and perceptive. It is also an unforgettable account of friendship and loss, vividly capturing the desperation and brutality of war, and its terrible after-effects, both on returned soldiers and also families at home. Haunting and powerful, this book is a must-read for its attempt to make sense of senseless atrocities; for its underlying story of love, great courage and survival; and most importantly because of the profound way it bears witness to the realities of war. 
Edward St Aubyn For Patrick Melrose, ‘family’ is more than a double-edged sword. As friends, relations and foes pay respects to his mother, Eleanor – an heiress who forsook the grandeur of her upbringing for ‘good works’, freely bestowed upon everyone but her own child - Patrick finds that his transition to orphanhood isn’t necessarily the liberation he had so long imagined. At Last is one of the most powerful reflections on pain and acceptance, and the treacheries of family, ever written and the culmination of author Edward St Aubyn’s five Melrose books. Written to be read as a stand-alone novel as well as fitting finale to the series, At Last is a masterpiece of glittering dark comedy and profound emotional truth.
China Mieville If you’re looking for a truly unique read, then look no further than China Mieville’s Railsea. A genre-busting blend of science fiction, action and fantasy from this wildly inventive and award-winning author. Join Sham Yes ap Soorap as he travels on board the moleship Medes on his first moldywarpe hunt – along the way you’ll encounter orphans, pirates, trainsfolk, monsters and salvage-scrabbles… this Melville inspired novel is both wonderfully crafted and engrossing beyond belief.



Get reading with our special book giveaway to celebrate the launch of the 2013 Perth Writers Festival program. One lucky winner will recieve a copy of each of the following:

  • Robert Dessaix: As I Was Saying
  • Loretta Napoleoni: 10 Years That Shook The World
  • Phillip Adams: Bedtime Stories
  • Jared Diamond: The World Until Yesterday
  • Michelle de Kretser: Questions of Travel

To enter please provide your details ni the form, below. Entries close Tuesday 5 February 2013, so get your entry in quick! 

*Terms and Conditions apply.  Please see our click here for full details.


This competition has now closed. Good luck!



Top Ten Christmas Gift Books

Looking for a good read for that special person in your life this Christmas but have little time to wander from shelf to shelf in a bookstore or trawl through the never-ending pages of books on a website? Get out your pens and add some of these top picks to your Christmas shopping list. From this varied and illustrious selection, you are guaranteed to find just the right under-the-tree gift.

Click here for more information about the 2013 Perth Writers Festival.

Lawrence Norfolk

Saturnall's Feast, Lawrence Norfolk 

Christmas as we know is a time for feasting, so what could be more suitable than John Saturnall’s Feast, the story of one man’s life from steaming kitchens to illicit bedchambers, through battlefields and ancient magical woods. Expertly weaving fact with myth, Lawrence Norfolk has created a rich, complex and mesmerising story of 17-century life, love and war. This is historical fiction at its best and has been described as Downtown Abbey meets Heston Blumenthal, what more could you want to get those taste buds tingling!

Oliver Burkman

The Antidote, Oliver Burkeman 

Love them or hate them, you’ll see a plethora of self-help books in stores every year, which is why Oliver Burkeman’s The Antidote: Happiness for people who can’t stand positive thinking makes such a refreshing change! Burkeman celebrates the power of negative thinking and takes us on a thoroughly liberating, enjoyable and most happy journey. Along the way we’ll meet experimental psychologists, terrorism experts, Buddhists, anthropologists and hard-hearted business consultants, all of whom recommend an alternative, ‘negative path’ to happiness that embraces failure, pessimism, insecurity and uncertainty – the very things we spend our lives trying to avoid. Utterly hilarious and thought-provoking!

Gideon Haigh

On Warne, Gideon Haigh

Shane Warne is undisputedly one of Australia’s greatest sportsmen, famous for dominating the airwaves with his sporting conquests and controversies as well as his off-field behaviour. Leading cricket writer Gideon Haigh has spent over two decades watching Shane Warne play. Now, drawing on his many interviews conducted with Warne, Haigh has written On Warne, one of the finest books on cricket, reliving the Warne era of highs, lows, fun and follies. He focuses on what it was like to watch Warne at his peak, the man of a thousand international wickets, the incarnation of Australian audacity and cheek, and has delivered the definitive account on this sporting legend.

Ramona Koval

By The Book: A Reader's Guide To Life, Ramona Koval

Writer, journalist and broadcaster Ramona Koval has spellbound avid readers and listeners over the years with her warm, witty and enthusiastic appraisal of many literary works. By the Book: A Readers Guide to Life is Koval’s deeply personal love letter to books and writing and will be eagerly devoured by our book-loving nation. Koval writes about reading and living and the authors that have written themselves into her life: from Oliver Sacks to Oscar Wilde, Christina Stead to Grace Paley. Often heralded as ‘Australia’s literary microphone mistress’ this intriguing journey through the world of literature encourages us to treasure the role of books in our lives.

Meg McKinlay

Ten Tiny Things, Meg McKinlay & Kyle Hughes-Odgers

Those special little ones in your life will fall in love with Meg McKinlay’s latest picture book, Ten Tiny Things. From the very texture of the book, with its distinctive matt pages that feel beautiful under your fingers, to the unique, futuristic and other-worldly illustrations by artist Kyle Hughes-Odgers, with their vibrant colours, patterns and textures, this book is wonderful from first page to last. The rich yet simplistic language is peppered with alliteration and is a sheer joy to read out loud. Most of all, this book will be adored for its subtle message to parents and children alike to slow down and see the beautiful things all around us.

Andrew Croome

Midnight Empire, Andrew Croome

Powerful and intelligent crime thrillers don’t get much better than Midnight Empire by novelist Andrew Croome. Described as an intriguing spy thriller in the tradition of William Boyd, Croome’s novel centres on young Australian computer programmer Daniel Carter working at the heart of the American war machine – the drone program at Creech Air Force Base, Indiana Springs. An exploration of war, love and connection in the modern age, Croome presents a terrifying vision of a world with dangerous new realities and how they threaten to transform us. Complex, morally ambiguous and skilfully rendered, this novel should not be missed.

Michelle De Krester

Questions of Travel, Michelle De Krester

Mesmerising, wonderfully written, funny and intensely moving, Questions of Travel is an extraordinary work of imagination from award-winning author Michelle de Kretser. The novel charts two very different lives: Laura, who travels the world before returning to Sydney, where she works for a publisher of travel guides; and Ravi, who dreams of being a tourist until he is driven from Sri Lanka by devastating events. Around these two superbly drawn characters, a double narrative assembles an enthralling array of people, places and stories. This is a brilliant evocation of the way we live now, illuminating travel, work and modern dreams constructed around a gripping story.

Philip Adams

Bedtime Stories: Tales from My 21 Years at Late Night Live, Phillip Adams

Phillip Adams has entertained listeners for over two decades as the witty, smooth and informed host of Radio National’s Late Night Live show. Bedtime Stories: Tales from My 21 Years at Late Night Live gives followers of Adams’ enormously popular radio show behind-the-scenes anecdotes and secrets about what really goes on during the production of live radio. In the studio we regularly hear Adams bat questions to world leaders, thinkers, ideologues, crackpots and gurus, but what about the stories that don’t make it to air? The guests who don’t behave, the tricky questions, the interviewees who don’t pause for breath or even worse, refuse to speak? Reflecting on the many comic, poignant, fraught, wacky and unexpected moments that combine to produce live radio, this memoir provides not only entertainment but also insight into some of the world’s greatest minds.

Maxine McKew

Tales from the Political Trenches, Maxine McKew

A must-read for those who have followed political events over the past few years is Tales from the Political Trenches by former politician and journalist Maxine McKew. McKew wrote herself into Australian political history as only the second candidate to have ever defeated a sitting prime minister in his constituency seat when she won a spectacular victory against John Howard at the 2007 federal election. Her story is an intimate account of one of the most tumultuous periods in Australian politics. The story of Kevin Rudd’s deposition as Prime Minister by his then deputy Julia Gillard, whom McKew claims manufactured a crises around Rudd’s leadership in order to contrive her own rise to power is told with a reporter’s eye and an insider’s knowledge.

Ahdaf Soueif

Cairo: My City, Our Revolution, Ahdaf Soueif

Novelist, commentator, political analyst and activist Ahdaf Soueif, most widely known for her Man Booker Short-listed novel, The Map of Love from 1999, has now written a beautiful and unique book, Cairo: My City, Our Revolution, which takes us on a journey through the city of her birth and traces the path of the Egyptian Revolution that erupted on 25 January 2011. Along with thousands of others, Soueif called Tahrir Square home for 18 days during the revolution and she reported tirelessly for the world’s media. Weaving together stories, both private and public, Soueif’s novel shares this extraordinary moment in history, both intimately hers and collectively Egyptian, and provides us with a beautiful meditation on what Cairo means to her.


Perth Writers Festival Christmas Competition

As a special Christmas treat, we are giving one lucky eNews reader a chance to WIN five of our titles featured in the Top Ten Christmas Book list:

• Oliver Burkeman – The Antidote
• Andrew Croome – Midnight Empire
• Michelle de Kretser – Questions of Travel
• Meg McKinlay – Ten Tiny Things
• Gideon Haigh – On Warne

To enter please fill in your details into the form below.  

Competition open to Australian residents only. One entry per person will be accepted.  Entries close Midnight on Tuesday 18 December 2012. Winner will be drawn at random at 10am Wednesday 19 December 2012 at the Perth Festival Office.  Winner will be notified by email. Prize is not transferrable. Full terms and conditions available here.


This competition has now closed.