Sisonke's Hidden Gems
Want to know the unmissable moments from our Literature & Ideas Weekend that our curator herself has given the seal of approval?
We recommend you plan your day around these best kept secrets – we promise you won’t regret it!
UNMODERATED: MARIA TUMARKIN ON POWER
Join us in an unmissable session with one of Australia's most remarkable and surprising minds, as Maria Tumarkin explores Power in the everyday on Sat 22 Feb at 12.30pm at Octagon Theatre.
Maria Tumarkin is an Australian historian, essayist and novelist whose latest offering Axiomatic was listed in The New Yorker as one of the best books of 2019 and was short-listed for the Stella Prize.
In Axiomatic Maria's writing is both beautiful and direct in a collection of essays that explores five axioms - cliches we hear everyday. Phrases like "time heals all wounds", "history repeats itself" and "you can't enter the same river twice" serve as prompts for Maria's explorations of the forces that shape our culture and the way we live.
Helen Garner says 'Nobody can write like Maria Tumarkin. She charges headlong into the worst and best of us with an iron refusal to soften or decorate; sentences bare of artifice, stripped back to the bone, to the nerve; fired by raging grief and love.'
DISAPPEARING EARTH: JULIA PHILLIPS
Julia Phillips in a Brooklyn-based writer who will join ABC producer Jo Trilling to discuss her critically acclaimed debut novel Disappearing Earth in a conversation about Russia, girls who disappear and Phillips’ fresh literary take on crime fiction.
'But there’s no essential contradiction between exoticism and good writing, and in my view this novel is both: there’s no space for cultural difference here, no intuition that the lived experiences of women in Kamchatka might require a different vocabulary from those of North America, that readers of a novel set there might reasonably hope to glimpse a different reality.' Sarah Moss, The Guardian.
A stunning, problematic debut of a novel exploring American core concerns, join Julia as she unpacks why this is so vital to air on Sat 22 Feb 11am at Banquet Hall.
ARIF ANWAR: THE STORM
Arif Anwar talks with author Renee Pettitt-Schipp about his debut novel The Storm, which was described by The New York Times as ‘a fascinating, ambitious work [of] charm and power’.
The novel’s narrative stretches from the 1940s to the 2000s and from the South Asian subcontinent to the US. The characters are of British, Japanese, Burmese, Indian, Bangladeshi, and American descent, covering a vast landscape of time and place.
'Much of the charm and power of “The Storm” lies in negotiating this push and pull between the hero and the trickster, the magical and the mundane — and Anwar has handled it beautifully.’ Chitra Divakaruni, The New York Times.
Anwar was born in Chittagong, Bangladesh, just miles from the Bay of Bengal. He has previously worked for BRAC, one of the world’s largest non-government organisations, on issues of poverty alleviation, and for UNICEF Myanmar on public health issues. He has a PhD in Education from the University of Toronto and he lives in Toronto, Canada, with his wife Si (Sandra) Lian.
Explore a sense of history and unearth a new perspective about the butterfly effect of time with Anwar on Sat 22 Feb 10am at Theatre Auditorium.