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Festival Program

City Program

Truth, Ambition and Compromise in Putin’s Russia

Fri 9 Sep, 8pm

A contributing writer for The New Yorker, formerly based in Moscow, Joshua Yaffa illuminates the workings of modern Russia in Between Two Fires, a groundbreaking portrait of those who have built their careers in the shadow of Putin’s system, torn between their own ambitions and the demands of the state. Yaffa appears liva via video with on-stage interviewer Anthony Galloway to discuss his Orwell Prize-winning account, and how the war in Ukraine has scrambled the rules that governed compromise in the country, requiring a higher degree of obedience and loyalty than ever before.


1 hour


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Suburban Program

Trent Dalton: Love Stories

Fri 9 Sep, 6.30pm

Bestselling author Trent Dalton talks about his new book Love Stories, a collection of reflections on love from some 60 strangers, with Kate Evans.

City Program

The Ambitions of Australia

Sat 10 Sep, 12pm

Anna Clark, Osman Faruqi, Teela Reid and Julianne Schultz consider the changing and contested project of Australia's story and our ambitions for its future, with Sally Warhaft.


How is Russia's invasion of Ukraine reshaping the world? A panel of experts – Anthony Galloway, Carrie McDougall, Vasyl Myroshnychenko, Suzie Sheehy and Andrew Walter – speak to Lydia Khalil.


Stay up late with the rowdiest revellers of Melbourne Writers Festival and get the low-down on all the latest showdowns, scandals and spectacles. Hosted by Jess McGuire.