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A once-in-a-lifetime event with the Grande Dames of Letters – Dame Mary Beard, Anne Enright, Jane Smiley and Elizabeth Strout – hosted by The Drum’s Julia Baird at Adelaide Town Hall. 

Dame Mary Beard is one of the world’s most famous classicists, a renowned scholar and author of over 20 books, including the international best-selling SPQR and Women & Power. She is a prodigiously energetic and engaged intellectual, classics editor for The Times Literary Supplement, a committed and fearless feminist, a blogger, tweeter and reviewer. Dame Mary Beard’s latest book, Emperor of Rome, explores the fact and fiction of one of the most powerful roles in history.  

Anne Enright is the author of eight novels exploring family life and won the 2007 Booker Prize and the 2008 Irish Novel of the Year for The Gathering. Anne Enright was appointed the  Inaugural Laureate of Irish Fiction in 2015. Her most recent novel, The Wren, The Wren, was published in 2023. 

Jane Smiley has published 18 works of fiction, six non-fiction books and eight novels for young adults. Her best-selling novel A Thousand Acres was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Critics’ Circle Award for Fiction in 1992. PEN Centre USA recognised her remarkable contribution to American literary culture with the Lifetime Achievement Award for Literature. Her next novel, Lucky, will be published in April 2024. 

Elizabeth Strout has written nine award-winning, critically acclaimed and internationally best-selling novels, including the brilliant Pulitzer Prize-winner Olive Kitteridge, The Burgess Boys, My Name is Lucy Barton, Oh William and most recently Lucy by the Sea. Her characters are complex, wrestling with husbands, children and the frustrations other people bring to everyday life. Elizabeth Strout will participate in this event via live stream. 

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