07 Aug 2019

WORD Christchurch is bringing Kiwi comedians and leading crime writers to its spring line-up of literary events.

WORD’s spring season of events, called Shifting Points of View, runs from 18 August to 14 September.

Scottish crime writer Val McDermid.

Best-selling Scottish crime novelist Val McDermid will be part of WORD Christchurch's spring season of literary events.

The headline speakers include best-selling Scottish crime writer Val McDermid and Kiwi comedian Madeleine Sami, who will discuss the history of New Zealand comedy as portrayed in the current television documentary series Funny As, and the new book of the same name.

Fifteen events will be held over four weeks covering topics as diverse as the Trojan War, racism and activism, the New Zealand Wars, politics, engineering and crime fiction.

“Shifting Points of View is about challenging audiences to look at things a little differently,” says WORD Christchurch Programme Director Rachael King.

“While there is plenty of entertainment in this season, there is also the opportunity to feed your brain, and maybe even change your mind about the world around you.”

Other writers appearing include Simon Winchester, author of Pacific, The Surgeon of Crowthorne and The Map That Changed the World, Natalie Haynes, host of the BBC radio show Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics, with a feminist retelling of the Troy story; DeRay Mckesson, American activist and a founder of the Black Lives Matter movement; New Zealand historian Vincent O’Malley and scholar Marilyn Waring.

The season closes with a special celebration of the 2019 Ngaio Marsh Awards for crime writing on 14 September. Finalists Liam McIlvanney, JP Pomare and Fiona Kidman will appear alongside fellow crime writers Val McDermid, Paul Cleave and Vanda Symon in The Great Ngaio Marsh Game Show, where two teams will compete for the title of Sharpest Knives.