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Photo: Lucy Dickens

at Athenaeum Theatre

Max Porter: Lanny

Max Porter's first book, Grief Is the Thing with Feathers, was an astonishing work about despair, love, memory ... and Ted Hughes.

A strange and beautiful novel of poetry and prose, it told the story of a widower and his two small boys who are visited in their grief by Crow, a self-described 'sentimental bird', and a trickster presence in the household. It won the 2016 International Dylan Thomas Prize, the 2017 Europese Literatuurprijs and was adapted for the stage in a production starring Cillian Murphy. Critics praised the book for its ambition, sensitivity and originality.

Porter's new book, Lanny follows up in the same experimental vein, again imbuing domestic dramas with magical elements and looming mythical, malevolent figures. It's a novel about childhood and creativity, filled with suspense, dread and hope.

In conversation with Ronnie Scott, Porter will discuss fiction, fabulism, literary heroes and literary risks.

Sun Bookshop will be our bookseller for this event.

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Portrait of Max Porter

Max Porter

Max Porter's 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.

Portrait of Ronnie Scott

Ronnie Scott

Ronnie Scott writes essays and criticism for newspapers, websites and magazines. In 2007 he founded the Lifted Brow, an independent literary magazine. He's a Lecturer in the Writing and Publishing discipline at RMIT University. The Adversary is his first novel.


An alchemy of writers. An explosion of ideas.

Do you like your military history with a side of hip-hop? How about fabulist fiction beside trailblazing journalism? This May, take your brain out for a spin. You’ll meet Pulitzer-winners, YA stars, eminent historians, poets, rappers and some of the world’s best living novelists.

Event partners

Logos of partner organisations: Sydney Writers Festival, Auckland Writers Festival, State Library Victoria, State Library of Queensland, Byron Writers Festival and 3RRR


More about this venue, including large map, parking, public transport and accessibility.