The 40th Greek Festival of Sydney is hosting the Greek Australian Writers Festival to showcase the recently-published books by Greek-Australian writers on June 12th, from 10am to 5pm at the Prince Henry Centre, Little Bay.
Although very different in style and content, all the books are united by common themes of migration, displacement and identity.
The sessions will run for 45 minutes including questions from the audience and books will be on sale with authors available for signings.
PETER PRINEAS | WILD COLONIAL GREEKS – 10:00am – 10:45am
Wild Colonial Greeks opens up a relatively unexplored period of Greek migration by chronicling those who first landed here during colonial times. From the doctor working in the goldfields, the hotelier fighting temperance laws, the man sent to Van Diemen’s land for robbing the British Museum, to encounters with Indigenous people.
Peter will be interviewed by writer Jorge Sotirios, author of Graffiti Over Marble: A Portrait of Greece in Crisis and Lonesome George C’est Moi!
NINA ANGELO | DON’T CRY, DANCE – 11:00am – 11:45 am
“My mother, a Polish Ashkenazy Jewish girl, and my father, a Greek Sephardic Jewish man, would never have met if they hadn’t both experienced the attempted extermination of their race at Auschwitz and Mauthausen. […] They knew and taught me that we cannot move on without forgiveness.”
Nina’s memoir celebrates her mother Janka and father Alberto – their survival and love story as well as their new beginning in Sydney.
Nina is a community artist and will discuss Don’t Cry, Dance with Dr Alfred Vincent. Alfred taught Modern Greek Studies at the University of Sydney and in retirement continues to research and write on Modern Greek topics.
CHILDREN OF THE REVOLUTION DIGITAL PUBLICATION LAUNCH – 12:00pm – 12:45pm
In Children of the Revolution, Greek-Australian academics, writers, poets, artists and photographers re-imagine and re-interpret ideas of identity and place and what it means to be Greek in the diaspora. This publication introduces a diverse range of voices with new knowledge on the second and third generational diasporic experience.
ANDREW PIPPOS | LUCKY’S – 1:00pm – 1:45pm
Andrew Pippos’ debut novel Lucky’s was shortlisted for Australia’s most prestigious awards: the Miles Franklin and the Prime Minister’s Literary Prize. He is a lecturer in creative writing at UTS. A former journalist, his essays and short stories have appeared in many publications.
Lucky’s celebrates Greek café culture from the 30s to the present day in a multigenerational family saga with love at its heart. Lucky’s began as a Doctorate of Creative Arts at UTS and Andrew will be interviewed by his doctoral supervisor Associate Professor Tony Macris. Tony is the author of many books including When Horse Became Saw, Capital, Great Western Highway, Aftershocks and Inexperience.
CASSI PLATE | MONSTER AND COLOSSUS – 2:00pm – 2:45pm
Costas Taktsis, one of Greece’s most important post-war writers, wrote his famous novel The Third Wedding largely in Australia. One of his closest friends was the Australian painter and gallerist Carl Plate.
Monster and Colossus is a narrative based on letters between Taktsis and his Australian friends Carl and Jocelyn, by their daughter Cassi. Cassi Plate will be interviewed by George Alexander an artist, writer and academic. He worked at the Art Gallery of NSW.
PETER PAPATHANASIOU | THE STONING – 3:00pm – 3:45pm
This is the Sydney launch of The Stoning, biologist Peter Papathanasiou’s debut crime novel. A work of outback noir, it begins with the discovery of the stoning of a woman. Enter George Manolis, a Greek-Australian detective sent to solve the murder.
The novel has enjoyed oustanding reviews here and overseas. Set in a fictitious outback town with an immigration detention centre, it explores the issues surrounding Australia’s immigration policies and racism. Peter has worked at ANU, Stanford, New York University and Imperial College London. His first book, the memoir Little One(2019), is being adapted to the screen and so is the Stoning.
The novel has been nominated for literary awards both here and in the UK including the Crime Writer’s Association prestigious Gold Dagger and New Blood Dagger. He will discuss these and more with the Writer’s Festival director, Dr Helen Vatsikopoulos.
GEORGE PAXINOS / A RIVER DIVIDED – 4:00pm – 4:45pm
Internationally renowned scientist Professor George Paxinos is an environmental activist and his eco-fiction debut novel explores the battle between humans and nature that threatens our planet’s survival. George has published 57 scientific books including the most cited work in neuroscience and third most cited in all the sciences, and has worked at the world’s top universities including Cambridge, Oxford, Stanford, UCLA and UNSW.
When a two thousand year old ossuary containing a crucified man’s bones is found near Masada, his DNA is cloned to produce two men who grow up on opposite sides of the world and clash in the Amazon on opposite sides of the climate change debate. Nature or nurture? Do we need a Messiah to save the planet? George will be interviewed by editor Kiriaki Orfanos.
The venue has a fascinating historical past. It was established as the Prince Henry Hospital in 1881 in response to a smallpox outbreak and became NSW’s first hospital for infectious diseases. It closed in 2003. There are many spaces to sit and ponder on the site. There will be water, coffee and food available and books to buy and have signed.
Prince Henry Centre, 2 Coast Hospital Rd, Little Bay
Free event, registrations necessary, from 10am-5pm, Sunday 12 June