In skilled hands, historical fiction brings the past to life in surprising ways. It also helps us make sense of our present, and even offers foreknowledge of the future. Hear from some of the country’s finest writers of historical novels – Geraldine Brooks (Horse), Pip Williams (The Bookbinder of Jericho) and emerging talent Sally Colin-James (One Illumined Thread) – as they discuss the past as prologue and how they convincingly intertwine fact and fiction in their work. This panel event is hosted by ABC RN’s The Bookshelf’s Kate Evans.
Supported by ARA.

A Sydney Writers’ Festival Live & Local Livestream event.


Geraldine Brooks AO is the author of six novels, including the recent New York Times bestseller, Horse, and the 2006 Pulitzer Prize winner, March. Born, raised, and educated in Sydney, she worked for The Sydney Morning Herald, the National Times and The Wall Street Journal, for which she covered crises in the mid-east, Africa and the Balkans. Her non-fiction works include Nine Parts of Desire and Foreign Correspondence.


Pip Williams was born in London, grew up in Sydney, and now lives in the Adelaide Hills. She has spent most of her working life as a social researcher, and she is the author of One Italian Summer, a memoir of her family’s travels in search of the good life. Her first novel, The Dictionary of Lost Words, based on her original research in the Oxford English Dictionary archives, was published in 2020 and became an international bestseller. The Bookbinder of Jericho is her second novel.


Following a successful career in communications and event management, Sally gained an Australian Postgraduate Award scholarship to complete a PhD in professional writing. One Illumined Thread won the 2020 HNSA Colleen McCullough Residency Award, the 2020 Varuna PIP Fellowship Award and a placement with the Australian Writers Mentoring program. She has been the recipient of the Byron Bay Writers’ Festival Mentorship Award and her work was shortlisted from 2,000 entries across 54 countries for the international 2021 First Pages Prize.


Kate Evans presents The Bookshelf on ABC Radio National (with co-host Cassie McCullagh). She has a PhD in history, too many books, and a tendency to over use post-it notes for fear of forgetting a beautifully-turned phrase.

Event and Ticket Details

Wheelchair Access
Bathurst Library 70-78 Keppel Street Get Directions

Tickets for this event are free but bookings are encouraged as capacity is limited.

Event Notes

Patrons will wear bluetooth headphones to be able to hear as the library will still be in normal operation. Headphones will be sanitised between uses.

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