Brisbane Writers Festival 2024

Join Scribe authors Ahona Guha, Jake Adelstein, Jennifer Croft, Walter Marsh, and Laura Jean McKay at this year's Brisbane Writers Festival.

Jake Adelstein: Tokyo Vice & Tokyo Noir | Friday 31 May 2.30pm

Since his early days as an intrepid reporter, Jake Adelstein has been crafting a career as the Virgil of Tokyo’s criminal underworld. Here, Adelstein discusses the incredible events behind Tokyo Vice, his memoir turned silver screen hit, and its sequel, Tokyo Noir, in conversation with a man who knows a thing or two about organised crime: Brisbane’s own Matthew Condon.

Translation | Friday 31 May 11.30am

Exploring the ways meaning is transformed at the borders of language and culture, authors Jennifer Croft, Joshua Ip, Nam Le, and Pascalle Burton consider what is revealed by the art of translation.

Jake Adelstein: The Last Yakuza | Saturday 1 June 4pm

Acclaimed investigative journalist Jake Adelstein tells the stranger-than-fiction tale of The Last Yakuza, a ripping yarn about the former mob boss he hired to be his bodyguard. Mapping the shifting currents of modern Japan and the lethal glamour of its criminal underbelly, The Last Yakuza is an unputdownable history of a man’s life outside the law.

Griffith Review 84: Attachment Styles | Saturday 1 June 7pm

Join Ahona Guha, Ceridwen Dovey, and Anna McGahan s as they unpick the threads of our complex emotional bonds. From therapy speak and method acting to the mysteries that live within our bodies, these writers’ spellbinding contributions to the latest edition of Griffith Review reveal the pleasures, pitfalls and peculiarities of our messy human relations.

Murder Mystery | Saturday 1 June 4pm

Expect the unexpected in these innovative treatments of the classic murder mystery. Equal parts gripping yarns and elegant intellectual puzzles, these books are love letters to a classic genre. WIth Jennifer Croft, Balli Kaur Jaswal, Dann McDorman, and Sarah Smith.

Awful People | Saturday 1 June 1pm

The absurdities and indignities of modern life are rendered in lapidary detail in these funny, humane and strangely uplifting stories. Imbuing the everyday with a sense of the Kafkaesque or responding to the observably surreal, these writers give us pause to consider the world as we know it. With Jennifer Croft, David Cohen, Daryl Qilin Yam, and Lei Freiman.

Pardon My Speech | Saturday 1 June 2.30pm

Much ink has been spilled over the phenomenon of partisan politics. Dr Ahona Guha, Graeme Turner, Amy Remeikis, Lucinda Holdforth, and Amber Gwynne discuss, and debate, the hyper-factional nature of modern political discourse and propose some different ways of being.

Speed Reads Salon | Saturday 1 June 7pm

Join us for a rapid-fire extravaganza, where a sensational selection of authors will read from their work in less than an hour. Will we beat the clock? Hopefully. Will it be wildly entertaining either way? Absolutely. Come along for more yarns than you could poke a forked stick at and discover your new favourite writer in the process!

Yesterday's News | Sunday 2 June 11.30am

Stop press! These gripping investigations into the golden era of print news, and the controversial figures who dominated the headlines, are as informative as they are compelling. Join Walter Marsh, Sally Young, and Michael Ondaatje.

Inverted Perspectives | Sunday 2 June 2.30pm

The glee of experimentation is gloriously showcased in these books, whose writers consider the meaning of life by de-centering the human perspective. Whether floating in space or flowing with the cycles of nature, these works invite us to consider our place in the cosmos. Join Laura Jean McKay, Ceridwen Dovey, Catherine Chidgey, Daryl Qilin Yam, and Ella Jeffrey.

Dr Ahona Guha: Tread with Care: Trauma-Informed Interviewing for Writers | Sunday 2 June 1pm

"Tread with Care: Trauma-Informed Interviewing for Writers" is an experiential workshop led by Dr Ahona Guha, a clinical and forensic psychologist, trauma expert, and author. Tailored for writers, journalists, and interviewers, this workshop empowers participants by providing a nuanced understanding of trauma and the trauma-informed care principles required to conduct interviews sensitively. Attendees learn to navigate delicate narratives with empathy and respect and use practical interviewing strategies to plan interviews and ensure both interviewer and interviewee feel supported throughout the process. With a blend of didactic and experiential learning, Dr Guha draws on her extensive experience with trauma treatment and clinical interviewing to support attendees to build solid, safe, respectful and ethical interviewing practises for the writers’ festival stage, and beyond.

Feeling Good | Sunday 2 June 5.30pm

Optimism can be a tall order in a world that often seems to verge on chaos. With humour, wisdom and grace, these writers map a path through a tumultuous era, considering how we might build a kinder and less annoying society. With Dr Ahona Guha, Julia Baird, Richard Glover, and Amber Gwynne.

Jennifer Croft: The Extinction of Irena Rey | Sunday 2 June 1pm

Having made her name as a peerless translator of works including Olga Tokarczuk’s Man Booker International winner Flights, Jennifer Croft has turned her talented hand to writing fiction. Her debut novel is a paranoid, hallucinatory tale about the deceptive qualities of language. Replete with an ancient forest, a global ensemble of characters and a disappearing author, The Extinction of Irena Rey is an ethereal mystery not to be missed.