The Great Believers author Rebecca Makkai delivers an illuminating talk on the social and political past of Chicago, how the media get the city wrong, and why it’s the best place to be an American writer today.

Rebecca Makkai (International)

Rebecca Makkai

Rebecca Makkai is the Chicago-based author of the novel The Great Believers, winner of the ALA Carneige Medal, one of the New York Times' top ten books for 2018, a finalist for the National Book Award, winner of the Chicago Review of Books Award, and a pick for the New York Public Library’s 2018 Best Books. Her other books are the novels The Borrower and The Hundred-Year House, and the collection Music for Wartime — four stories from which appeared in The Best American Short Stories. The recipient of a 2014 NEA Fellowship, Rebecca has taught at the Tin House Writers' Conference and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and is on the MFA faculties of Sierra Nevada College and Northwestern University. She is Artistic Director of StoryStudio Chicago.

Liam Pieper (Australian)

Liam Pieper

Liam Pieper's 2014 memoir, The Feel-Good Hit of the Year was shortlisted for the National Biography Award and the Ned Kelly Best True Crime award. This was followed by Mistakes Were Made, a collection of essays about why you should never write a memoir. In 2015 he was the inaugural creative resident of the UNESCO City of Literature of Prague, where he completed his first novel The Toymaker which has been widely translated and won the Fellowship of Australian Writers Christina Stead Fiction Award. He was the 2018 National Library of Australia Creative Arts Fellow for Australian Writing.