Broadside 2019 – Helen Garner

What a day! The inaugural Broadside Festival opened with Helen Garner in conversation with Sarah Krasnostein.

It was the first time I’d heard Helen speak (despite trying to get to her rare speaking engagements in the past). My immediate impression was that she was much warmer and funnier than I had expected (I guess my expectations were unthinkingly based on her subject matter and her spare, pared-back prose).

The conversation began with talking about publishing a diary, something that by nature is intended to be private. On rereading her diaries, Helen said, “There was a lot of boring stuff in there, which naturally I found fascinating. To sort out what others would find interesting about you is actually quite a challenging process.” Continue reading

Two author talks (with three authors)

I went to two author talks last week (both were free events) and I was reminded why it’s ace living in a UNESCO City of Literature.

The first event was part of the Wheeler Centre’s Double Booked series. Favel Parrett and Anna Krien talked about their new books, There Was Still Love and Act of Grace respectively). At the second event, hosted by Readings, Charlotte Wood talked about her latest book, The Weekend (review to come but spoiler alert: I LOVED it). Continue reading

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts

01. It’s school holidays in Australia. We spent a few days with family in Kyneton (with some mountain-biking in Harcourt and a hike to the summit of Hanging Rock). Continue reading

Melbourne Writers Festival 2019 – the last bit

I’m hopelessly late reporting on my last two 2019 Melbourne Writers Festival events, but both were fantastic and worth a mention.

Corey White – The Prettiest Horse in the Glue Factory

I think my favourite session this Festival was comedian Corey White talking with Sarah Krasnostein about his memoir, The Prettiest Horse in the Glue Factory. Continue reading

Melbourne Writers Festival 2019 – the middle bit

Two more events!

Powerful Landmarks

In a stroke of scheduling genius, MWF organisers put Enza Gandolfo (author of The Bridge) and Kristina Olsson (author of Shell) together to discuss how built structures can be representative of difficult pasts and uncertain futures. Continue reading

Melbourne Writers Festival 2019 – the first bit

Can you see Tayari Jones in the pic above? She looks tiny but I had to show off the magnificent Capitol Theatre, one of the venues for this year’s Melbourne Writers Festival.

I managed four sessions on my first Festival day. The highlights: Continue reading

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts

01. Saw Michael Pollan talk about his latest book, How to Change Your Mind, at Melbourne Town Hall last week (we’re so lucky to have the Wheeler Centre organising these events for Melburnians). His stories about his research were very entertaining. (pic via MMA) Continue reading

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts

01. I did get to the German Film FestivalBalloon was brilliant. Tense, but brilliant (and I drove home feeling like the Stasi were following me). Hoping to get to at least one more Festival film. Continue reading

Andrew Sean Greer at the Wheeler Centre

We got off to a fabulous start when host Benjamin Law noted Andrew Sean Greer’s striking leather pants and asked, “Who are you wearing tonight?” Andrew obliged – the pants were bespoke, made for him in Paris, and his striped blazer was purchased in Milan on a post-Pulitzer spending spree. For those who had not read Andrew’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel, Less, this exchange may have seemed farcical, however, those familiar with the character of Arthur Less immediately knew they were in for an entertaining evening (bespoke clothing occupies Arthur’s time in Paris). Continue reading

Ein wunderschöner Abend mit Jenny Erpenbeck and laughs with Meg Wolitzer

The best thing about the Sydney Writers Festival? That terrific international authors pop down to Melbourne, and are hosted by the Wheeler Centre, who put on an amazing program in May.

Last night I saw German author Jenny Erpenbeck and American author, Meg Wolitzer, talking about their latest books. Continue reading