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


Monday February 6  6pm for 6.30pm start Local Studies Room Level 2 Civic Centre.

 Neil McDonald  with his new book Valiant for truth : the life of Chester Wilmot, war correspondent (written with Peter Brune)

Valiant for Truth charts Wilmot’s exceptional life as he reported key events of the 20th century. It contains the most complete account to date of the command crisis in New Guinea in 1942 and his extraordinary feud with Australian Commander-in-Chief General Sir Thomas Blamey. Bestselling authors Neil McDonald and Peter Brune unite to tell the story in this, the first full biography of one of the most important correspondents of WWII.

Bookings essential

Book for sale and signing Better Read Than Dead Newtown.           

 Monday February 20   11am Level 6 Council Chambers

Collins Hemingway illustrated lecture :Beyond the Miniatures: the real world of Jane Austen

Overview of the major issues of the day, which are either missing or carefully embedded/hidden in her novels. Political and labor history, war, science and technology—the developments that led to the Industrial Revolution—and the new entrepreneurs. The Long War with France helped drive labor and political unrest, with the war bringing hardship, automation creating labor unrest, and France doing all it could to assist disaffected citizens in rebelling against the English government.

Collins Hemingway is a well regarded lecturer visiting Australia from Oregon, United States of America, and is speaking at the Jane Austen Society of Australia on another topic related to Jane Austen.

Thursday February 16   11am Level 6 Council Chambers

Jo Henwood Illustrated lecture: Icelandic sagas

Arguably the first European novels, the Icelandic Sagas are a collection of purportedly-historical accounts of medieval Viking families, interweaving magic and murder, adventure and poetry throughout.  They are a foundation of Icelandic culture amongst one of the most literature-loving countries in the world, and to this day you can start a good conversation there with questions like “What is your favourite Saga?” 


MARCH 2017


Thursday March 9 11am Level 6 Council Chambers

Joanna Penglase illustrated lecture on Georgette Heyer (title to be confirmed)

Thursday March 23 6pm for 6.30pm Level 6 Council Chambers/Local Studies Room Level 2 (venue to be confirmed)

Dr Lisa Murray with her new book Sydney Cemeteries: a field guide

This book encapsulates the history and heritage of Sydney’s public cemeteries, pointing out what’s unique or different about each one and listing notable and notorious burials. Cemeteries are not simply places for the dead - they are designed for the living.

Bookings essential

Book for sale and signing Better Read Than Dead Newtown.           

Thursday March 16 11am Level 6 Council Chambers

Vasudha Chandra illustrated lecture : Prescription for Mr Dickens : 1 holiday stat.

What ailed Charles Dickens? What about some of his sickly and invalid characters? This talk delves into such diagnostic dilemmas and explores some of the treatments used in Dicken’s time.

 April 2017

Wednesday April 5  11am Level 6 Council Chambers

Susannah Fullerton illustrated lecture on J.M. Barrie and Peter Pan

Friday April 21 11am Level 6 Council Chambers

Jo Henwood illustrated lecture : Places of Incarceration

The Australian colonies were largely established to deal with the social problems of over population, under employment and resultant crime in the way the British ruling classes found most efficient: institutionalisation.   We can see the results to this day in the (mostly sandstone) edifices of prison, barracks, hospitals, orphanages, quarantine stations and asylums, all designed to deal with individuals en masse, to transform them from inconveniences to economic benefits, but their success is open to debate.  

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.

Thanks to our Authors at Ashfield Bookseller