Inner West Council

Authors at Ashfield since 2002 Author signing autography : photo by Monde Photography

Authors at Ashfield is a popular series of free literary events presented by Ashfield Library since 2002.  Come along to hear bestselling Australian and international authors and professional lecturers talk about their latest books or literary topics. These topics are: art, literature, religion, politics.  The series has featured authors including Richard Glover, Tim Flannery, Caroline Jones, Susannah Fullerton, Maeve O'Meara, Bob Carr and Geraldine Brooks. All events are free.  Books are available for sale and signing (except lectures). We present a mix of lunchtime and evening events. Better Read Than Dead, Newtown are our booksellers. Venue is 260 Liverpool Road, Level 6 Civic Centre, Ashfield.

Enquiries Therese Scott 9716 1821.

2017 Program


May 2017


Wednesday May 31  11am Level 6 Council Chambers

Jo Henwood illustrated lecture : Robin Hood around the world: the outlaw hero in legend and history

Robbing from the rich to give to the poor- it’s a potent image of justice over the law, and from Hereward the Wake to Ned Kelly, from Janos Janucik to Song Jiang, the legend of the Outlaw Hero has been told in many different cultures.

June 2017

Thursday June 1 11am Level 6 Council Chambers

Vasudha Chandra illustrated lecture : Sickness and sea-bathing in Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park, Persuasion and Sanditon.

This talk explores the subject of health in three of Austen’s novels, speculating on the illnesses of some of the characters and discussing treatments used in those times.

Thursday June 8  11am Level 6 Council Chambers

Babette Smith illustrated lecture: The Making of the Australian working class

Thanks to the History Council of NSW for this event.

Monday June 19  11am-12pm Susannah Fullerton illustrated lecture Level 6 Council Chambers 

Frances Hodgson Burnett and her children’s books, The Secret Garden; The Little Princess.

July 2017

Monday July 3 11am Level 6 Council Chambers 

Jo Henwood illustrated lecture on Epics: Gilgamesh and Mabinogion 

The greatest and earliest stories we have told ourselves are from the soil from which all culture grows. An exploration of the earliest written stories. 

Friday July 14 11am Level 6 Council Chambers 

Susannah Fullerton illustrated lecture : Jane Austen 200 years on

Wednesday July 19  2017  6pm for 6.30pm start Ashfield Civic Centre

Dr Nicola Gates A Brain for Life: How to Optimise Your Brain Health by Making Simple Lifestyle Changes Now

Bookings Essential:

Thursday July 20 11am Level 6 Council Chambers 

Jo Henwood illustrated lecture on Epics: The Iliad and the Shahnameh 

The Iliad by Homer - or was it? - is so rich with characters and dramatic events that it has inspired much art and archaeology over the centuries, but the Persian epic of the Shahnameh is much less well known. Yet within it we can also find the origins of many of our best loved stories. 

Wednesday July 26 6pm for 6.30pm Level 6 Council Chambers/Local Studies Room Level 2 (venue to be confirmed)

Craig Collie and his new book Codebreakers: Inside the shadow world of signals intelligence in Australia's two Bletchley Parks

The extraordinary untold true story of the brilliant men who cracked the Japanese codes from Australia during World War II.

Book for purchase on the night Better Read Than Dead Newtown


Bookings essential

August 2017

Wednesday August 2 11 am Level 6 Council Chambers

Ian Burnet and his book East Indies 

This book follow the trade winds, the trade routes and the port cities across the East Indies and the Orient. 

Books available for sale and signing from the author. 

Thursday August 17 11am Level 6 Council Chambers

Anne Harbers  illustrated lecture :The Golden Age of Dutch Art – a Window to the 17th Century 

Monday August 24  6pm for 6.30pm Level 6 Council Chambers/Local Studies Room Level 2 (venue to be confirmed)

Paul Irish and his new book Hidden in Plain View: the Aboriginal people of coastal Sydney

Contrary to what you may think, local Aboriginal people did not lose their culture and die out within decades of Governor Phillip’s arrival in Sydney in 1788. Aboriginal people are prominent in accounts of early colonial Sydney, yet we seem to skip a century as they disappear from the historical record, re-emerging early in the twentieth century. What happened to Sydney’s indigenous people between the devastating impact of white settlement and increased government intervention a century later?

 Book for purchase on the night from the author

 Bookings essential

September 2017

History Week 2017  :

Thursday September 7  6pm for 6.30pm  Local Studies Room Level 2

Jill Brown,  The University of Sydney : Postcards 1899-1955 and Photographs

Jill Brown has produced a beautiful and nostalgia-filled book and anyone interested in the university’s history will find this a fascinating journey through its buildings and the people responsible for them.

Book for purchase from the author on the night.

Bookings essential

Monday September 11  6pm for 6.30pm  Local Studies Room Level 2 (venue to be confirmed)

Hilda and Laurie Inglese   Wow! It’s Italian Gourmet Cook Book

Learn how to make pasta from scratch!  Demonstration on the night.

Books for purchase and signing by the authors. 

Bookings essential:

Thursday September 14  11am Level 6 Council Chambers

Michelle Cavanagh illustrated lecture on Dickens and Punch & Judy 

With Punch and Judy shows being performed in Britain from the 17th century it's no suprise to learn that Dickens was a fan of this form  of entertainment which he frequently cited in various novels. Michelle will cover this history of this form of entertainment; details from early Punch and Judy scripts; Dickens' thoughts on such shows and the various references to the art form in his novels. 

Thanks to our Authors at Ashfield Bookseller