To celebrate the tenth anniversary of the iconic City Series and the publication of updated versions on our eight capital cities, this special double event chaired by the infinitely expert George Megalogenis examines what makes each of our cities special through the eyes of authors who love and know them. As we emerge from the Great Lockdowns of 2020, when we were forced to stay home, and individual State borders slammed shut one after the other, it seems particularly appropriate to look at the personality of each capital – their skylines, cultures, architecture, and natural surrounds – and explore how they have changed over the last decade, and how they shape, excite, attract or infuriate their residents.
First we hear from Kerryn Goldsworthy (Adelaide), Sophie Cunningham (Melbourne), David Whish-Wilson (Perth) and Peter Timms (Hobart), and then Delia Falconer (Sydney), Matthew Condon (Brisbane), Paul Daley (Canberra) and Tess Lea (Darwin), before all authors return to the stage for questions from the audience and each other. Don’t miss this literary and cultural audit of the state of our cities, and their relationship to each other and the country.
Please note that Peter Timms and Paul Daley will join us in the Garden via live streaming from their home cities of Hobart and Canberra respectively.
Event additional information
Matthew Condonwas born in Brisbane and has lived in the UK, Germany and France. He has written ten books of fiction, including The Trout Opera, and is the author of the bestselling true-crime trilogy about Queensland crime and corruption – Three Crooked Kings, Jacks and Jokers, All Fall Down, and Little Fish are Sweet. His most recent book is The Night Dragon.
Sophie Cunningham is the editor of the collection Fire, Flood,Plague: Australian writers respond to 2020. She is the author of six books including, Melbourne, City of Trees and the children’s book Tippy & Jellybean: The True Story of a Brave Koala who Saved her Baby from a Bushfire. She is a former book publisher and editor, a former chair of the Literature Board of the Australia Council, a former editor of the literary journal Meanjin, a co-founder of The Stella Prize and is now an Adjunct Professor at RMIT University’s Non/fiction Lab. In 2019 Sophie Cunningham was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for her contributions to literature.
Paul Daley is a Sydney-based author, journalist and essayist. His books have been shortlisted for major Australian literary awards and his journalism has won numerous prizes including two Walkley Awards and two Kennedy Awards.
Please note that Paul Daley will join us in the Garden via live streaming from Canberra.
Delia Falconer is the author of two novels, The Service of Clouds and The Lost Thoughts of Soldiers, and Sydney, a personal history of her hometown in NewSouth’s Cities series. Her books have been shortlisted for awards including The Miles Franklin, Commonwealth Writer’s Prize (Asia Pacific Division), and the Prime Minister’s Literary Prize. Her next book, Signs and Wonders, will be published by Simon and Schuster in late 2021.
Kerryn Goldsworthy is an Adelaide writer and critic, former lecturer in literature, and winner of the 2013 Pascall Prize and the 2017 Horne Prize. Her most recent book is Adelaide.
Tess Lea was born, raised, evacuated, schooled and otherwise taught key life lessons in Darwin. She is an anthropologist whose work both explores why Indigenous social policies so often fail and enacts practical collaborations for doing something about these failurescapes. As her book suggests, she has tough answers for why things fail – answers that suggest a military industrial extractive settler complex still needs to be reckoned with – yet she also understands why Darwin the place gets under your skin.
Peter Timms was born in Melbourne and, from 1971 until 1988, worked in public art museums in Victoria and NSW. He has been a freelance writer since 1988, including periods as Editor of Art Monthly Australia and art critic for The Age. He has published twelve books.
Please note that Peter Timms will join us in the Garden via live streaming from Hobart.
David Whish-Wilson is the author of seven novels and three non-fiction books. He writes short fiction, essays and reviews. Two of his crime novels have been shortlisted for the Ned Kelly Awards, and his Perth book in the NewSouth city series was shortlisted for the WA Premiers Book Awards. David lives in Fremantle with his wife and three kids, and coordinates the creative writing program at Curtin University.
George Megalogenis is an award-winning author and journalist with three decades' experience in the media. His most recent book is The Football Solution, a paean to his beloved Richmond Football Club.
Please note that George Megalogenis will join us in the Garden via live streaming.