The Wheeler Centre presents thoughtful conversations about Australian literature – away from the lights of Melbourne, at Montalto Vineyard & Olive Grove on the Mornington Peninsula.
Charlotte Wood's highly-anticipated new novel, The Weekend, follows three women in their 70s who gather to clean out the house of their friend Sylvie after her death. The author of six novels and one book of non-fiction, Wood won the 2016 Stella Prize for her extraordinary novel The Natural Way of Things. She has been longlisted and shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award, and was recently awarded a Member of the Order of Australia for her services to literature. At Montalto with host Elizabeth McCarthy, Wood discusses mortality, female friendship and the dilemmas that face women as they age.
Invented Lives, Andrea Goldsmith's eighth novel, is about a young Russian-Jewish woman who arrives in Australia in the mid-1980s as a refugee. Best known for her 2015 Melbourne Prize-winning novel, The Memory Trap, and for the Miles Franklin-shortlisted 2003 novel, The Prosperous Thief, Goldsmith is also an accomplished essayist and superb short-story writer. At Montalto with Michael Williams, Goldsmith discusses her latest novel and her body of work.
Tony Birch's new book, The White Girl, is about the Stolen Generations, set in 1960s rural Australia. It’s the story of Odette, and her fair-skinned granddaughter, who she must protect from authorities at all costs. At Montalto, he joins Michael Williams for a conversation about writing, research and the politics of prejudice – then and now.
At Montalto, in conversation with David Hansen, historian Simon Schama draws from his BBC series, Civilisations – which explores the origins of human creativity, and its universal importance – and from … well, millenia of artworks and ideas.
One Hundred Years of Dirt – Rick Morton’s unflinching memoir – tells of growing up on a cattle station in Queensland: of witnessing a horrific accident befall his brother; his father’s alcoholism; his mother’s strength. It’s a story of poverty, drug addiction, cruelty, anger and tragedy; of love and endurance. The Age praised its ‘exquisite detail’; Christos Tsiolkas has described it as ‘honest and harsh and beautiful and loving’. In this discussion with Elizabeth McCarthy at Montalto, Morton shares the process of living and writing his story. Tune in for a discussion about hope and celebrating survival; the lessons we can learn about Australia, and the work we could do to challenge and change inequality.
Meg and Tom Keneally
The father-daughter pair of Meg and Tom Keneally have now co-written four books in the Monsarrat historical crime-novel series, about a convict and his trusted housekeeper who travel between Australian penal colonies cracking murder cases. At Montalto, they join host Elizabeth McCarthy to discuss how this collaboration came about, their creative similarities and differences, and more.