Festival guests Alexander Chee, Max Porter and Oyinkan Braithwaite join hosts Kate Evans and Cassie McCullagh from RN’s The Bookshelf to discuss the books they are enjoying, as well as those that are surprising or challenging them.

Alexander Chee (International)

Alexander Chee

Alexander Chee is the bestselling author of the novels The Queen of the Night and Edinburgh. He is a contributing editor at the New Republic, an editor at large at Virginia Quarterly Review, and a critic at large at the Los Angeles Times. His work has appeared in The Best American Essays 2016, The New York Times Magazine, Slate, Guernica, and Tin House, among others. He is an Associate Professor of English at Dartmouth College. How to Write an Autobiographical Novel is an essay collection exploring his education as a man, writer, and activist — and how we form our identities in life and in art. It was named a Best Book of 2018 by Publisher’s Weekly, Time Magazine, New York Magazine and the Washington Post, among others. As a novelist, Alexander Chee has been described as “masterful” by Roxane Gay, and “incendiary” by The New York Times.

Max Porter (International)

Max Porter

Max Porter's extraordinary debut Grief Is the Thing with Feathers — part novella, part polyphonic fable, part essay on grief — was published to widespread acclaim in 2015. It has been sold in 28 territories and saw Max win the Sunday Times Peter, Fraser + Dunlop Young Writer of the Year, the International Dylan Thomas Prize, the Europese Literatuurprijs and the BAMB Readers’ Award. It was also shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Goldsmiths Prize. Complicité and Wayward’s theatre production of Grief Is the Thing with Feathers has been staged in Dublin and London, and had its Off-Broadway premiere in New York in April of this year. Porter's latest novel is Lanny.

Oyinkan Braithwaite (International)

Oyinkan Braithwaite

Oyinkan Braithwaite is a graduate of Creative Writing and Law from Kingston University. Following her degree, she worked as an assistant editor at a Nigerian publishing house, and as a production manager at Ajapaworld, a children’s educational and entertainment company. She now works as a writer and editor. In 2014, she was shortlisted as a top-ten spoken-word artist in the Eko Poetry Slam, and in 2016 she was a finalist for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize. She is the author of My Sister, the Serial Killer. She lives in Lagos, Nigeria.

Kate Evans (Australian)

Kate Evans

Kate Evans is the co-host (with Cassie McCullagh) of the weekly radio show and podcast, The Bookshelf on ABC RN.

Cassie McCullagh (Australian)

Cassie McCullagh

Cassie McCullagh presents ABC Radio Sydney's Focus program on weekday mornings at 10am, discussing contemporary social, political and cultural issues of the day. She also co-hosts The Bookshelf with Kate Evans on ABC Radio National, a weekly review of the latest Australian and international fiction. Cassie has also presented RN’s flagship social affairs program Life Matters, and reported on books, arts and popular culture. Prior to joining the ABC, Cassie worked in print journalism as a feature writer, news reporter and columnist.