The following article by Linda Herrick appears today in the New Zealand Herald:
A Sydney writer who describes himself as “an atheist Jewish-Australian political activist” is coming to Auckland in May as part of the international lineup for the Writers and Readers Festival.
Antony Loewenstein is the author of My Israel Question, a highly critical book on Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. It has been the subject of heated debate around the world over Loewenstein’s call for Israel to end the occupation of Gaza.
His latest book is The Blogging Revolution, on the impact of the internet in repressive regimes, and he co-founded the advocacy group Independent Australian Jewish Voices.
Loewenstein joins a diverse lineup in the festival, which this year celebrates its 10th birthday.
Historian and travel writer William Dalrymple, who lives part of each year in India and known for his prize-winning books City of Djinns, The Age of Kali and White Mughals, will be here to discuss his latest book, Nine Lives: In Search of the Sacred in Modern India.
Also appearing will be John Carey, Emeritus Merton Professor of English at Oxford University and chief book reviewer for the Sunday Times, who has won rave reviews for last year’s biography of Lord of the Flies author William Golding.
At the other end of the spectrum, flamboyant DJ Charlie Dark, a member of the hip-hop group Attica Blues, will liven up the festival with his repertoire of spoken word and fast moves. English poet and novelist Jill Dawson will also be at the festival, with popular young adult writer Charlie Higson, who starred in Harry Enfield’s Fast Show. His new zombie adventure series for kids is called The Enemy.
A range of New Zealand writers, including Charlotte Grimshaw, Rachael King, Gordon McLachlan, Lloyd Jones, Anne Salmond and Ian Wedde, will complement the lineup.
Tickets to seven “special events” went on sale this week, and all other tickets will be available from March 29. The festival runs from May 12 to 16 at the Aotea Centre.