Simon Winchester is a giant of narrative non-fiction. Across four decades of working as a journalist and author, Winchester’s reverence for the natural world and love of adventure have defined his extraordinary career. This is a man, after all, who has travelled on a Russian tramp steamer from Antarctica to England and seen the inside of an Argentine jail cell.
As a foreign correspondent during the 1970s and 1980s, Winchester covered major international events including the Troubles in Northern Ireland, the Watergate scandal and the Falklands War, and is the author of books on a dizzying array of subjects. He’s written about the history of the Yangtze River, the eruption of Krakatoa and, perhaps most famously, the making of the Oxford English Dictionary in the bestselling The Surgeon of Crowthorne.
Winchester’s timely new book, Pacific, profiles the world’s largest ocean and considers its crucial role in the planet’s present and future. From the Bikini atoll hydrogen bomb tests of the 1950s to the rise of China as a global economic superpower, Winchester explores the history of the Pacific – and the countries that border it.
Join us for lunch with one of the most prolific, polymathic writers of our time in conversation with Sophie Black.
Simon Winchester studied Geology at Oxford University. He is the author of A Crack in the Edge of the World, Krakatoa, The Map that Changed the World, The Professor and the Madman, The Fracture Zone, Outposts, and Korea, among many other titles. He lives in Massachusetts and in the Western Isles of Scotland.
Sophie Black is head of publishing at the Wheeler Centre where she has worked on projects such as the national to writers scheme The Next Chapter, the multi-award-winning podcast, The Messenger, and the ABC RN program, Talkfest. Previously she was editor-in-chief at Private Media, where she headed up titles such as Crikey, Women’s Agenda, Daily Review and SmartCompany. In 2013, she delivered the Adelaide Festival of Ideas as Director. She sits on the advisory board for Melbourne University’s Centre for Advancing Journalism and the human rights publication Right Now.