Writers’ Week in Adelaide
Today I attended the last day of this year’s Writers’ Week in Adelaide, South Australia. This is part of the Adelaide Festival of Arts held every second year. Writers from all over Australia and many from overseas gather for a week long series of talks, panel discussions and book launches. Held in the beautiful parklands of the capital city of South Australia, this highly popular event attracts hundreds of authors and thousands of eager readers every day of the week long event. Many line up to buy the featured books in the Bookshop tent, and then line up again to have their new purchases autographed by the visiting authors.
One of the featured Australian writers at this year’s festival event was Sonya Hartnett. She spoke passionately about her books and the craft of writing, the influences on her writing and read passages from several of her books. She is also adamant – and quite outspoken on the topic – that far too many poorly written books are being published.
Author Highlight and Book Launch
Perhaps the highlight of the day was a book launch by a local author. Mary Gunther, an elderly Adelaide doctor, started her medical career in New Guinea working in a hospital run by the Lutheran Church. During her years there she experienced many difficulties living in a strange land with many frightening aspects, such as spiders i her shower, snakes in her toilet and ants that seemed to be able to eat anything.
She gave an enthusiastic and graphic account of some of her adventures – and misadventures – and the MC eventually had to interrupt her account to say that her time was up. Since returning to various medical practices in Adelaide she has been asked numerous times to “write a book.” A few years ago her husband rediscovered a box in their shed left by her mother. It contained all of her letters written weekly from New Guinea to her family at home. This became the source material for her book, called “Doctors in Paradise.”