Literary Dinner - William Yang in conversation with Benjamin Law and MCed by Annette Shun Wah - Wed 28 April, 7pm - sold out!

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Literary Dinner -  William Yang  in conversation with Benjamin Law and MCed by Annette Shun Wah - Wednesday 28 April 2021, from 7pm

Soi 25 Restaurant, 296-300 Victoria St, Darlinghurst


- 1 April - sold out! We are maintaining a waiting list in case we have any cancellations. Contact us to be added - or 02 9331 1103.

- as of 10pm 17 March, the remaining seats will have a limited view of the speakers. Due to high demand, we have added an additional private dining area in the restaurant to our capacity. From this area, you would not have a direct view of the speakers, though you could certainly hear their conversation. If you have friends attending, it's unfortunately very unlikely that we will be able to seat you together, unless they opt to join you in the limited view seats.

- if there is a change to the capacity that the restaurant can host in their space due to Covid, and numbers need to be reduced, the people who bought their tickets last may have their booking voided and their money refunded. This would be a last resort measure and though it is unlikely to occur, it is not impossible. 

We are pleased to return to the chic and spacious restaurant - Soi 25 - for this new literary dinner. This event has been made possible due to the support of the City of Sydney Night Time Diversification Program and ACON.

In-between enjoying a delicious Thai feast, William Yang, acclaimed photographer, writer and performer, will be in conversation with writer and broadcaster Benjamin Law. 

Important Note: there is no physical ticket. Both the purchaser and The Bookshop retain a record of the ticket purchase. We need all names of those attending and relevant details (dietary requirements, seating preferences) for our door list. You will be ticked off the door list on the night when you arrive.

About the speakers:

William Yang

Acclaimed photographer William Yang has captured the zeitgeist like no-one else, providing a very personal insight into the evolution of Mardi Gras, the spectre of AIDS, Sydney's theatrical and social scenes, and changing notions of 'belonging' in multicultural Australia.

At the end of March 2021, the exhibition William Yang: Seeing and Being Seen opened at Queensland Art Gallery: Gallery of Modern Art. It is a major survey of Yang’s work, which will trace his career from documentary photography through to explorations of cultural and sexual identities and his depictions of landscape.

Queensland-born, Sydney-based photographer William Yang’s significant contribution to Australian photography spans five decades. Known for his reflective and joyous depictions of Australia’s LGBTQIA+ scene in the late 70s and 80s through to the present. Yang’s photography is informed by the cultural and political pressures of growing up as a gay man from a Chinese immigrant family in north Queensland.  He also integrates a photographic practice with writing, video and performance.

Benjamin Law is an Australian writer and broadcaster. He’s the author of The Family Law (2010), Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer East (2012), the Quarterly Essay Moral Panic 101 (2017), and editor of Growing Up Queer in Australia (2019). Benjamin created and co-wrote three seasons of the award-winning SBS TV series The Family Law, based on his memoir, and his sold-out debut play Torch the Place (Melbourne Theatre Company) ran February–March 2020. In 2019, he was named one of the Asian-Australian Leadership Summit’s (AALS)40 Under 40 Most Influential Asian-Australians (winning the Arts, Culture & Sport category) and one of Harper Bazaar‘s Visionary Men. He has a PhD in creative writing and cultural studies from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT).

Every week, Benjamin co-hosts ABC Radio National’s weekly national pop culture show Stop Everything and interviews public figures for Good Weekend. You can also catch him on TV shows like Q&A (ABC), The Drum (ABC), The Project (Ten), Filthy, Rich and Homeless (SBS) and the ABC’s two-part feature documentary on Chinese-Australian history, Waltzing the Dragon. He has also written for over 50 publications in Australia and beyond—including the MonthlyfrankieGuardianMonocle and Australian Financial Review.

Annette Shun Wah is a writer, broadcaster, actor, producer and theatre-maker. Since 2013 she has been the Executive Producer of Contemporary Asian Australian Performance (CAAP) where she has been highly influential in forging professional pathways for Asian Australian artists, and developing compelling new works that bring contemporary Asian Australian stories to festival stages. In 2021, her role transitions to Artistic Director. In an extensive career that has ranged across radio, television, publishing and theatre, her work has always been about the exploration of ideas through the arts – such as music through The Noise and Studio 22, experimental arts and film on Eat Carpet and Imagine. As an actor she was nominated for an AFI award for her supporting role in Clara Law’s feature film Floating Life.  As a writer she contributed to anthologies such as Growing up Asian in Australia edited by Alice Pung, Grandma Magic edited by Janet Hutchinson, and co-authored the award-winning Banquet – Ten Courses to Harmony, exploring the ways in which the Chinese integrated into Australian society through food. In 2011 she wrote and directed the locative game China Hearts for dLux Media and Powerhouse Museum, exploring love and family in Sydney’s Chinatown. In 2020 Annette was appointed Artistic Director of OzAsia Festival 2021-2023, Australia’s leading contemporary arts festival engaging with Asia, produced by the Adelaide Festival Centre.

The menu for the banquet style dinner will be similar to this example below. It will be finalised closer to Wednesday 28 April:


- Betel Leaf with Prawn and Scallop (can swap with crispy chicken toppings if a guest can’t have seafood) 

-  Vegetarian spring roll


- Green papaya salad with prawn

- Crab Meat curry stir fry

- Yellow curry with chicken

- Rice

All the above can be done Gluten Free

If anyone is unable to eat one of these 3 meat or seafood options, an alternate dish is available - Crispy Chicken Cashew Nut.

 Vegetarian Option


- Betel Leaf with Tofu

- Vegetable Spring Roll

- Steamed Tofu mushroom

 Main Course

- Veg Green papaya Salad

- Stir fired Chilli jam with veg and tofu

- Yellow Curry Vegetable & Tofu

- Rice

Special dietary requirements can be catered for but we need to be informed well in advance - at the time of booking preferably. We recommend you contact The Bookshop Darlinghurst on 02 9331 1103 or by email 

The restaurant is BYO and so you may bring your own wine along. However, the restaurant is fully licensed and has an extensive wine and cocktail list, so if you prefer you can buy wine and drinks from the restaurant. This is certainly encouraged and would be a great support to the restaurant. However, please note all drinks must be paid for as they are ordered.

If you want to check the restaurant's Drinks Menu or other details about the restaurant in advance, you can find it at this link -

The seating for the event can be flexible so that everyone is seated in a safe and comfortable way. Tables can be for two or up to twelve people. In terms of sharing the food, four or multiples of four (eight, twelve) is the optimum number - though dietary requirements may cause some issues there. If you are booking for two, you can be seated at a table for two if you prefer. Or if you wish to sit with others and meet new people that can also be arranged. If you are booking as a single, you will end up sitting with others - possibly some Bookshop staff members or other single diners.

If you have a group of friends who all wish to be seated together, it will be simpler if one person buys the tickets for the entire group. If tickets are purchased individually or in smaller groups, please ensure clear directions are provided re the seating preferences. 

If you are booking for several people, we need the names of all the people in your party. We will have a door list at the restaurant and will be ticking people off there. We will also need the names in case there is a special dietary requirement to be attached to anyone. It will not be necessary to bring your proof of purchase (whether online or in-store) on the night. We will have confirmed everything prior and if we have everyone's details that will be adequate

Any enquiries about the event should be directed to The Bookshop Darlinghurst (02 9331 1103) and not to the restaurant. We recommend you telephone us then everything can be discussed and arranged more simply.

Note: during Covid-19, planning anything in advance can be extremely challenging. Therefore if anyone is unable to attend on the day, we are happy to provide a full refund of the ticket cost. Or if you wish to support The Bookshop, we can provide you with a Gift Voucher instead that you can spend on books, DVDs or other items.

If you should feel at all unwell on the day with cold/flu symptoms or believe you may have come into contact with someone exposed to Covid-19, we would ask that you not attend the event. We will issue a refund and hope to see you at our next literary dinner in 2021.

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