Burdened Beasts: Stories about Humans

Burdened Beasts: Stories about Humans Sun 21 Feb Downstairs at The Maj | His Majesty's Theatre Sun 21 Feb Downstairs at The Maj | His Majesty's Theatre $19 Event Info Buy Tickets
Sun 21 Feb at Downstairs at The Maj | His Majesty's Theatre, from $19

Join Laura Jean McKay and Donna Mazza as they talk about their successful novels in conversation with Michelle Johnston. Laura Jean McKay’s The Animals in that Country is a prescient pandemic novel published before COVID that is also concerned with the treatment of animals. Donna Mazza’s Fauna confronts what happens when a woman carries a child with a percentage of Neanderthal genes, a child who will never be able to adapt to human society. Both books ask crucial ethical questions about what makes us human.

Donna Mazza

Donna Mazza is a West Australian author and academic at Edith Cowan University South West. She is author of Fauna (Allen & Unwin, 2020) and The Albanian (Fremantle Press, 2007), which received the TAG Hungerford Award. Her stories have recently been published in KYD New Australian Fiction 2020 and Westerly. She has written for The Conversation, Science-Write-Now and Antipodes on kangaroos, swearing and science in Australian literature. She was recipient of the Patricia Hackett Prize, Mick Dark Flagship Fellowship for Environmental Writing at Varuna Writers Centre and Tyrone Guthrie International Exchange to Ireland 2021 (pending COVID).

Laura Jean McKay 

Laura Jean McKay is the author of The Animals in That Country (Scribe, 2020) and Holiday in Cambodia (Black Inc. 2013), shortlisted for three national book awards in Australia. Her work appears in MeanjinOverlandBest Australian StoriesThe Saturday Paper and The North American Review. Laura is a lecturer in creative writing at Massey University, with a PhD from the University of Melbourne focusing on literary animal studies. She is the ‘animal expert’ presenter on ABC Listen’s Animal Sound Safari.

Time & Location

Sun 21 Feb


Downstairs at The Maj | His Majesty's Theatre, 825 Hay Street, Perth / Karboordup



  • Pay What You Can

    • Adult: $19

Pay What You Can | Our suggested price is $19 but you can choose to pay any amount you’d like – from $0. Any amount you pay above $19 will be used to ensure that other people are able to attend Festival events where cost is normally a barrier

Laura Jean McKay appearing via live stream.

His Majesty’s Theatre will be offering a menu of delicious treats at Crew and King (Menu here) and Dress Circle Bar (Menu here) for you to enjoy during Literature Weekend in the City. Grab a quick bite between sessions or sit down and enjoy a coffee and cake with your favourite book.


We are implementing WA Government's SafeWA contact tracing system. From December 5, it's a condition of entry to register your attendance at our venues. To make it easier, download the SafeWA app now via the WA Government website.

Click here to download the app.

Thank you


  • Supported by Boffins Books

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