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Adelaide Writers' Week Lunch Event THE DRUNKEN BOTANIST with Amy Stewart Sold Out

Excitement is building for Adelaide Writers' Week at the 2017 Adelaide Festival, with New York Times' best-selling author Amy Stewart's special lunch event The Drunken Botanist selling out seven weeks before the full program launch.

The only ticketed event at Writers' Week, the three course lunch at the Botanic Gardens Restaurant curated by chef Paul Baker and featuring a talk by crime and gardening writer Ms Stewart sold out in just seven weeks.

This exciting news sets the scene for the rest of the Adelaide Writers' Week program to be unveiled on February 1, 2017, featuring a wide range of poets, historians, novelists, biographers, journalists, refugees, feminists and some of contemporary literature's most exciting writers and thinkers from near and far.

Among the 60 writers already announced for the program are Irish playwright, novelist and poet Sebastian Barry, internationally best-selling author Jessie Burton (UK), journalist and war correspondent Patrick Cockburn (UK), Australian journalist and broadcaster Richard Fidler, 2016 Booker Prize nominated Canadian author Madeleine Thien, and American feminist and internet troll hunter Lindy West.

In her sixth year as Adelaide Writers' Week Director, Laura Kroetsch said she was delighted The Drunken Botanist had proved to be such a hot ticket for the 2017 event.

"I'm thrilled the lunch has been so popular, I know it will be a magical afternoon," Ms Kroetsch said.

"The good news is Amy Stewart will also be appearing at the main Writers' Week event in the Pioneer Women's Memorial Garden, so everyone can get a chance to hear her speak. Watch out for her session when the program launches on February 1."

Amy Stewart said: "I'm so delighted to learn that we'll have a full house for our Drunken Botanist event at Adelaide Writers' Week. At this moment, nothing sounds better than doing some daytime drinking with a crowd of friendly Australians, so you can be sure I am counting the days!"

Set in the picturesque Pioneer Women's Memorial Garden in the heart of Adelaide's CBD, Adelaide Writers' Week is six days of free public readings, talks and debates with a range of fascinating writers, from poets to pedants, biographers to botanists and other courageous souls in between.

Themes of war, borders and political unrest will feature strongly on the 2017 program, with Janine di Giovanni (US) taking us behind the lines of today's Syrian conflict with her blistering reporting in The Morning They Came for Us: Dispatches from Syria. Visitors will travel into the fray of the American civil war with Sebastian Barry's brilliant new novel, Days Without End, and explore World War II with Cuban author Armando Lucas Correa's stunning debut The German Girl.

Australian Afro-Caribbean writer Maxine Beneba Clarke will discuss race, Australian journalist Peter Mares will tackle the topic of migration, Ben Ehrenreich (US) will discuss Palestine, Patrick Cockburn will look at the Islamic State, Mei Fong (US) will take us to China and Mexican author Yuri Herrera will examine the US/Mexico border, while Lindy West will speak about women, the internet and being loud.

The Writers' Week program will also take a look back at our past with historical novels like UK author Ian McGuire's brutal journey into the dark of the whaling industry The North Water and Madeleine Thien's account of 20th century China Do Not Say We Have Nothing. Adelaide's own Hannah Kent will present her new novel, The Good People, which takes us to a remote part of Ireland in 1825, while Korean author Krys Lee will talk about her book How I Became a North Korean.

The program will also present some big books on big subjects including Richard Fidler's Ghost Empire, an intimate history of the lost Byzantine city of Constantinople, American author Jane Smiley's trilogy The Last Hundred Years (US), and Ashleigh Wilson's (AUS) exploration of the life of a gifted artist, Brett Whiteley: Art, Life and the Other Thing.

Now in its 57th year, Adelaide Writers' Week is regarded as one of the world's most significant writers' festivals, and is a highlight of the annual Adelaide Festival. With its unique parkland setting and high quality of writers and industry guests, it attracts more than 100,000 attendees every year.

2017 Adelaide Writers' Week runs from Saturday, March 4 to Thursday, March 9 in the Pioneer Women's Memorial Garden, King William Road, Adelaide, as part of the 2017 Adelaide Festival (March 3 to 19).

With a diverse range of theatre, music, dance, visual art and more for every taste and interest, tickets to all Adelaide Festival shows are available now through BASS on 131 246 or via www.adelaidefestival.com.au .


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