244 episodes

Your favourite fiction authors share the story behind their latest books.

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    • Arts
    • 4.9 • 10 Ratings

Your favourite fiction authors share the story behind their latest books.

    R.O. Kwon's ambitions and desires

    R.O. Kwon's ambitions and desires

    American author R.O. Kwon's novel, Exhibit, explores the taboo topic of female desire; Jenny Ackland exacts feminist revenge in Hurdy Gurdy and Jessie Tu's Honeyeater is a story of translation and miscommunication.

    Korean-born, American author R.O. Kwon is not afraid of topic topics. She's behind the bestselling 2018 novel The Incendiaries and is co-editor of a story collection called Kink. Her new novel Exhibit is about two women who run deep with desire and find in each other a way to get what they want. Reese explains why this novel was such a challenge to write.

    Hurdy Gurdy is the third novel by Melbourne writer Jenny Ackland whose previous novel Little Gods was shortlisted for the Stella Prize. Hurdy Gurdy imagines a future Australia ravaged by climate change and poverty and follows an all-female travelling circus while a conservative preacher trails them with his warmings of fire and brimstone. Jenny shows off her writing space to The Book Show where she also records her podcast My Mum's Bad Diaries.

    Continuing the theme of female desire, Jessie Tu made a splash with her debut novel A Lonely Girl is a Dangerous Thing which centred a young woman and her various desires. Jessie's new novel The Honeyeater is about a young translator, her complicated relationship with her mum and an even more complicated relationship with a married man. Jessie shares why she was thinking about her mother while writing this book. 

    • 54 min
    Writer to writer with Claire G Coleman and Dylan Coleman

    Writer to writer with Claire G Coleman and Dylan Coleman

    For NAIDOC week, Indigenous speculative fiction author Claire G Coleman chats to Dylan Coleman about her novel Mazin Grace republished as a UQP First Nations Classic. Also, Ali Cobby Eckermann and Graham Akhurst speak about their latest books.

    Ali Cobby Eckermann is a Yankunytjatjara woman, a member of the stolen generations, and one of Australia's major living poets. In 2017 she was awarded the Windham Campbell prize which is the richest writing prize in the world. She discusses her latest verse novel, She is The Earth which is a story of recovery amongst nature. It's also an award winner and at the 2024 New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards it won the Indigenous Writers Prize and the overall Book of the Year. This interview was first published in 2023.

    Claire G Coleman is a writer of essays and non-fiction and is the author of three genre bending novels — Terra Nullius, The Old Lie and Enclave. Most recently, Claire has written the introduction to the novel Mazin Grace by Dylan Coleman which was first published in 2011 and has just been republished as part of the UQP First Nations Classics series. Claire G Coleman finds out more about the background to Dylan Coleman's novel.

    Graham Akhurst is an academic, Fulbright scholar and Kokomini writer and his debut YA novel Borderland (UWAP) is a thriller about an Indigenous teen who has visions of a terrifying dog man. He tells Sarah L'Estrange about the extensive sensitivity reading he commissioned for his novel. This interview was first published in 2023.

    • 54 min
    Bri Lee and Liam Pieper take down celebrity art

    Bri Lee and Liam Pieper take down celebrity art

    Australian writers Bri Lee and Liam Pieper's latest novels expose the unholy connection between money, art and power.

    Bri Lee is the author of the bestselling 2018 memoir Eggshell Skull and she's the author of two other works of non-fiction, Who Gets to Be Smart and Beauty. Her debut novel The Work is about two characters who represent old and new art but who become embroiled in scandal and controversy.

    Liam Pieper is the author of five books including his memoir The Feel Good Hit of the Year and his novels The Toymaker and Sweetness and Light. He's also a ghostwriter. His latest novel is Appreciation and it's a satire about a darling of the art scene who is cancelled and is encouraged to resurrect his career by writing a memoir.

    They spoke to Sarah L'Estrange at Melbourne Writers' Festival 2024.

    Journalist Molly Schmidt shares her coming-of-age debut novel Salt River Road (Fremantle Press) which is about two siblings dealing with grief and loss. Molly Schmidt won the 2022 City of Fremantle Hungerford Award for an unpublished manuscript. This interview was first published in 2023.

    • 54 min
    Kevin Kwan wrote a book about weddings, just don't invite him to one

    Kevin Kwan wrote a book about weddings, just don't invite him to one

    Weddings of the ultra-rich get the Kevin Kwan treatment in his novel Lies and Weddings, Siang Lu's ambitious and complicated novel Ghost Cities and West Australian author Annie de Monchaux's surprising link to Hollywood.

    Kevin Kwan is the author behind the juggernaut trilogy that began with Crazy Rich Asians which explored the lives of the ultra-ultra rich. His new book is called Lies and Weddings and it's travel-in-a-book as you follow the ultra rich to weddings around the world. 

    Siang Lu is the author of the silly but serious novel The Whitewash which was a satire, presented as an oral history, about the making of a disastrous movie. Siang's second novel is Ghost Cities and it's equally ambitious, complicated and fun as it weaves between a storyline set in the modern day and another set in ancient China.

    And meet West Australian author Annie de Monchaux. Her first novel Audrey's Gone AWOL takes inspiration from the older women in Annie's own life and the years she has spent living in France.

    • 54 min
    Booker Prize winner Paul Lynch and his fear of mediocrity

    Booker Prize winner Paul Lynch and his fear of mediocrity

    Two authors at the top of their game: Booker Prize winner Paul Lynch reveals how his award winning novel Prophet Song came into being and Booker longlisted author Karen Jennings' complicated love letter to South Africa.

    The Irish writer Paul Lynch is the reigning Booker winner and won the prize for his beautiful, brutal fifth novel Prophet Song. It's about a civil war in modern-day Ireland that has echoes with other conflicts around the world. Paul Lynch tells Claire Nichols that he wants readers to be transported by his fiction and why his biggest fear as a writer is mediocrity.

    South African author Karen Jennings shares her hopes for the future of the rainbow nation. Crooked Seeds is Karen's seventh book and follows her 2021 Booker Prize longlisted novel An Island. In Crooked Seeds, she paints a portrait of a crumbling country. The main character - a middle aged white woman - feels like she's been left behind since the historic 1994 elections that brought an end to Apartheid. She's bitter and resentful and can only move forward by confronting the past.

    • 54 min
    Jeanette Winterson and Kate Grenville on the gift of writing

    Jeanette Winterson and Kate Grenville on the gift of writing

    Jeanette Winterson asks how AI will give new meaning to ghost stories and Kate Grenville reflects on a lifetime of writing and how accepting failure has been key to her success.

    Jeanette Winterson is best known for her novels Oranges are Not the Only Fruit, The Stone Gods and Frankissstein. Her long fascination with mortality, religion and technology have come together in a new book of short stories, Night Side of the River (Jonathan Cape), which considers what technology might mean for the future of ghost stories. First broadcast 2 October 2023

    Celebrated Australian author Kate Grenville (Secret River, A Room Made of Leaves) won the prestigious Orange Prize for her novel The Idea of Perfection in 2001, that prize is now called the Women's Prize for Fiction and Kate is again shortlisted for the award with her latest novel, Restless Dolly Maunder (Text), her fictional biography of her grandmother. Producer, Sarah L'Estrange visited Kate in her Melbourne worker's cottage to discuss her writing career. First broadcast 21 August 2023

    • 54 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
10 Ratings

10 Ratings

incognito82 ,

Interesting discussion format, comforting voice

I am listening to the episode about dream. I like the discussion format. Very interesting.

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