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Sessions recorded at Writers and Readers Festivals in New Zealand

A collection of Radio New Zealand interviews with writers associated with the Auckland Writers Festival 2014

Camilla Läckberg: Sweden and crime writing

Camilla L ckbergJust what is it about Sweden and crime writing? One person who is a star in the genre is Camilla Läckberg who has been described as Europe’s Queen of Crime. She has sold more than 10 million books in 55 countries, outselling even Steig Larson of the famed Millenium trilogy.

Originally an economist, Camilla Läckberg changed careers and began writing her immensely successful thrillers. She has also written cookbooks and children’s books, and she has been published in over 50 countries.

Playing Favourites with Sandi Toksvig

Toksvig Sandi credit Catherine ShakespeareAuthor, playwright and broadcaster Sandi Toksvig has written more than twenty books of fiction and non-fiction for adults and children, most recently Boer War novel Valentine Grey (Virago), and Peas and Queues: the Minefield of Modern Manners (Profile Books).
She is a columnist for Good Housekeeping, a regular panelist on the BBC quiz programme QI, and a guest of the Auckland Writers Festival 2014.
Here she is choosing tunes and chatting with Kim Hill.
Photo: Catherine Shakespeare.

Sue Healey: Auckland Writers Festival

Sydney based NZ choreographer and film maker presenting 'White Cloud' in collaboration with musician Tim Finn and playwright Tim Duncum.

Jacques Roubaud - French poet, essayist and novelist

Jacques RoubaudFrench writer and poet Jacques Roubaud is described as a senior statesman of European literature and world poetry.

His latest translated book, Mathematics, pays homage to one of the great passions of his life: mathematics.

Here he is in conversation with Kathryn Ryan during a visit to New Zealand to speak at the Auckland Writers Festival.

Lucy Hughes-Hallett: The Pike

Award winning British author featuring at the Auckland Writers Festival.Lucy Hughes Hallett

Image: Lucy Hughes-Hallett.

Scottish author Irvine Welsh

Welsh Irvine credit Murdo MacLeod for the GuardianScottish author Irvine Welsh is known for his grimy dialogue and raw depiction of the darker side of life. His first novel, Trainspotting was made into a critically-acclaimed film. He is a guest at the Auckland Writers festival, where he'll be discussing his latest book The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins, which he describes as swampy Floridian lesbian noir, and the challenges of adapting the page to the big screen.

Photograph by Murdo MacLeod for The Guardian.

Damien Wilkins: AK Writers Festival

Damien Wilkins by Aaron SmaleWellington-based author Damien Wilkins, a featured New Zealand author at the Auckland Writers Festival 2014, talks to Eva Radich.

Photo of Damien Wilkins by Aaron Smale.

Janice Galloway: University of Otago Scottish Writers Fellow

Janice GallowayThe first University of Otago Scottish Writers Fellow combines her love of music with her desire to write.

Janice Galloway has collaborated with opera companies and artists, and written a much loved novel Clara about the life of composer Clara Schumann. She's also written award-winning memoirs, poems, short stories - and here in New Zealand, one of her planned projects involves learning more about our sheep. Janice is a guest at both the Auckland and Dunedin Writers and Readers Festivals.

Adam Johnson - North Korean Love Story

The novel, The Orphan Master's Son, follows the story of a boy who is trained Adam Johnson photo by Tamara Beckwithto be an assassin and a spy for North Korea. Adam lives in California and he says when discovered that most North Koreans can't tell their own story, he had a sense of mission to speak about the topic.
The Orphan Master's Son won The 2013 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Adam Johnson teaches creative writing at Stanford University, and is at the Auckland Writers festival in May 2014

Jang Jin-sung - Secrets of North Korea

Jang Jin SungJang Jin-sung defected after having served as a counter-intelligence officer, and poet laureate, for North Korea’s former dictator Kim Jong-il. In his memoir Dear Leader he gives insights into the workings of one of the world’s most oppressive regimes, and he talks to Wallace about the fate of his country, and what drove him to reveal its secrets. Publication of Jang Jin-sung's book Dear Leader (Random House) coincides with an appearance at the Auckland Writers Festival in May 2014.

Inua Ellams - Nigerian word and graphic artist

Inua EllamsInua Ellams is a word and graphic artist born in Plateau State, Nigeria. He is a writer with a style influenced as much by classic literature as it is by hip hop, by John Keats as it is by MosDef.

Also a playwright and performer, 2009 saw the debut of his first play The 14th Tale, which won a prestigious Fringe First Award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. His second play toured the UK for 30 dates in 2010.

In 2006, he started the urban movement The Midnight Run, which has been held in several cities and has an upcoming date at the Auckland Writers Festival.

Rod Moss: aboriginal life

Rod Moss portrait by Shaan Raza Australian painter and photographer Rod Moss has lived in Alice Springs since 1984. He has written two memoirs: The Hard Light of Day (2010, University of Queensland Press, ISBN: 978-0-7022-3774-4) won the Prime Minister’s Literary Award, and One Thousand Cuts: Life and Art in Central Australia (UQP, ISBN: 978-0-7022-4968-6) was published last year. Rod Moss is a guest at the Auckland Writers Festival, speaking at three sessions: An Interior Life (with Stephanie Johnson, 16 May), The Lucky Country? (with Michael Leunig and John Marsden, 17 May), and Art and Australia (18 May).

Portrait of Rod Moss by Shaan Raza.

Jessica Jackley - American entrepeneur

Jessica Jackley

Using the sharing economy to combat poverty   

American entrepeneur Jessica Jackley on how financial inclusion, and the sharing economy can combat poverty in developing countries.

Jessica Jackley is a guest at the Auckland Writers Festival in May 2014.

Frank Dikotter

Frank DikotterThe author of the Samuel Johnson prize winning book 'Mao's Great Famine', Frank Dikotter has followed up with 'The Tragedy of Liberation - A History of the Chinese Revolution 1945 - 1957'. He is in New Zealand for a session on Saturday May 17 at the Auckland Writers Festival.

Janice Galloway

Janice Galloway, author of Clara, a novel about composer Clara Schumann in conversationJanice Galloway with Eva Radich.

Alice Walker: dashed dreams and hope

Alice Walker by Ana ElenaAmerican author and activist Alice Walker is best known for her 1982 novel The Color Purple, which won her the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. Her new collection of meditations, many previously unpublished, is The Cushion in the Road (The New Press), and her new collection of poems is The World Will Follow Joy: Turning Madness Into Flowers (The New Press).

She makes one guest appearance at the Auckland Writers Festival, in discussion with Dr Selina Tusitala-Marsh.

During the interview, Alice Walker mentions the book Indaba My Children by Credo Mutwa.

Photo of Alice Walker by Ana Elena.

Michael Leunig - Australian cartoonist, artist and writer

Michael Leunig self portrait Used with permission

Australian cartoonist Michael Leunig whose work depicts the fragility and follies of the human condition - and our relationship with the natural world.

His latest book The Essential Leunig: Cartoons From A Winding Path is published by Penguin.

Michael Leunig will appear at the Auckland Writer's Festival in May 2014.

Michael Leunig, self portrait used with permission.


Alexander McCall Smith – Auden’s Guide to Life

Alexander McCall Smith thinks the poet W. H. Auden provides a great Alexander McCall Smith by Graham Clarkguide to living a good life.

He talks to Finlay Macdonald about Auden, 15 years of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series, his latest book, The Forever Girl, and about his relation, Dr George McCall Smith, who set up New Zealand's first free health service - in the Hokianga.

Alexander McCall Smith is speaking at the Auckland Writers Festival in May.

Photo of Alexander McCall Smith by Graham Clark

A. M. Homes: dark writing

American writer A.M. Homes is the author of 11 books including the A M Holmesnovels May We Be Forgiven (2012, Granta), This Book Will Save Your Life (2006, Granta), Music For Torching (1999, Granta), The End of Alice (1996, Granta), and Jack (1989, Granta), as well as non-fiction writing, and the 2007 memoir The Mistress's Daughter (Granta).

She teaches at Princeton University and is active on the boards of The Pen American Center and Yaddo, a 100 year old artists’ colony in upstate New York.

A.M. Homes is a guest at the Auckland Writers Festival, speaking at the Gala Night (15 May), doing a reading (16 May), and in conversation with Paula Morris (17 May).

Anne O'Brien: AK Writers and Readers Festival

The Auckland Writers and Readers festival director previews the 2014 event.

Reza Aslan - writer and scholar of religions

Reza AslanReza Aslan is an Iranian-American writer and scholar of religions. He is coming to New Zealand in May as part of the Auckland writers festival.

His books include: Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth and No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam which was named one of the 100 most important books of the last decade.

Comedian and writer Sandi Toksvig

After more than three decades in comedy, Sandi Toksvig is considered a British national treasure. She is the long-serving host of the BBC Radio 4 political comedy panel show, The News Quiz; author of numerous books - including, most recently, 'Peas & Queues: The Minefield of Modern Manners'; has written for television and theatre, and has just been recognised with an OBE in the British New Year's Honours. Born in Denmark, Sandi performed with the Cambridge Footlights while at university, started her career in children's television, and also played on improvisational comedy show, Whose Line is it Anyway.