Korean defector star recruit
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.