Korean defector star re­cruit

The Gold Coast Bulletin - - NEWS -

WRIT­ERS, rock stars and politi­cians team up with a mix of co­me­di­ans, jour­nal­ists and a fugi­tive defector from North Korea to chal­lenge ideas and at­ti­tudes at the By­ron Writ­ers Fes­ti­val this year.

Hyeon­seo Lee, whose mem­oir The Girl With Seven Names has be­come an in­ter­na­tional best seller, is a top­i­cal in­clu­sion for this year’s event, to be held from Au­gust 3-5, as the US and North Korea set about im­prov­ing re­la­tions and work to­wards rid­ding the Korean penin­sula of nu­clear weapons.

The au­thor and ac­tivist will be a star at­trac­tion at three ses­sions as she dis­cusses life in North Korea and her es­cape to the south, where she now lives in Seoul.

Past and present politi­cians at the fes­ti­val in­clude Anne Aly, whose mem­oir Find­ing My Place has just been re­leased, for­mer for­eign min­is­ter Gareth Evans, for­mer se­na­tor Jac­qui Lam­bie, for­mer Greens leader Chris­tine Milne, in­dige­nous leader War­ren Mun­dine and Deputy Op­po­si­tion Leader Tanya Plibersek.

The 140 speak­ers also in­clude Pow­derfin­ger front­man and song­writer Bernard Fan­ning, award-win­ning jour­nal­ists Trent Dal­ton and Peter Greste, co­me­dian Kitty Flana­gan and writ­ers Tom Ke­neally, Candice Fox and Jane Harper.

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