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Auckland festival set for record numbers

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 15/05/2017

The Auckland Writers Festival, New Zealand's largest literary event, is about to open with organisers believing it could break the attendance record.

Last year, the festival attracted the biggest numbers in its history with 65,000 people turning up.

Director Anne O'Brien says the 17th edition will be the festival's most ambitious and varied yet, featuring more than 40 international writers, historians, scientists, radicals and thinkers.

The six-day festival begins on Tuesday and more than 200 writers in total will be taking part in a programme that includes conversations, readings, debates, stand-up poetry and literary theatre.

Among those in a line-up headed by Scottish detective novelist Ian Rankin are Man Booker Prize winners Paul Beatty and Anne Enright, and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Thomas Friedman.

The day-one programme includes the announcement of the country's premiere book honours, the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards .

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