Lionel Shriver’s Address on Cultural Appropriation Roils a Writers Festival
BRISBANE, Australia — Officials in charge of an Australian writers festival were so upset with the address by their keynote speaker, the American novelist Lionel Shriver, that they censored her on the festival website and publicly disavowed her remarks.
The event, the Brisbane Writers Festival, which ended Sunday, also hurriedly organized counterprogramming, billed as a “right of reply” for critics of Ms. Shriver, whose speech had belittled the movement against cultural appropriation. They scheduled the rebuttal opposite a session Saturday afternoon in which Ms. Shriver was promoting her new novel, “The Mandibles.”
Ms. Shriver had been billed as speaking on “community and belonging” but focused on her views about cultural appropriation, a term that refers to the objections by members of minority groups to the use of their customs or culture (or even characters of their ethnicity) by artists or others who do not belong to those groups.