The controversial author, feminist activist and politician, Ayaan Hirsi Ali comes to Melbourne. A vocal and prominent critic of Islam, Ali has been celebrated and criticised for her work and writings. A former member of the Dutch House of Representatives, she has campaigned passionately for conflict resolution, ethics and world citizenship. Named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine in 2005, her memoir Infidel has been praised as profoundly affecting and powerful. The followup, Nomad, tells the stirring story of her search for a new life as she tries to reconcile her Islamic past with her passionate adherence to democracy and Western values.
Jennifer Byrne is a senior journalist and broadcaster who has worked in all arms of the media: print, radio and television.
Having done her cadetship at the Age and worked on Fleet Street in London, she was a founding reporter with Channel Nine’s Sunday programme and spent some 12 years traveling the world for 60 Minutes and as anchor for Foreign Correspondent.
She was publishing director of Reed Books, won national awards as a magazine columnist and, since May 2006, has hosted First Tuesday Book Club (now The Book Club) and presented literary specials for ABC1.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali was born in Somalia, raised a Muslim, and spent her childhood and young adulthood in Africa and Saudi Arabia.