‘A writer, I think, is someone who pays attention to the world,’ wrote Susan Sontag. In this specially commissioned series, acclaimed writers Helen Garner, Sisonke Msimang, Christos Tsiolkas and Ali Cobby Eckermann reflect on what has held their attention in their lives, their careers, and their writing.
Approached with nuance and clear-eyed critique, this series considers how the events of the last few months have shaped, altered, or shaken up the locus of our individual and collective attentions.
Supported by Guardian Australia
Sat 8 Aug | Commission
Sisonke Msimang is the author of Always Another Country: A Memoir of Exile and Home (2018) and The Resurrection of Winnie Mandela (2019). Her work is focused on race, gender and democracy and she has written for a range of publications including the New York Times, the Washington Post, The Guardian, Newsweek and Al Jazeera.
Sun 9 Aug | Commission
Christos Tsiolkas is the author of six novels including the international bestseller The Slap and Barracuda, shortlisted for the ALS Gold Medal and the inaugural Voss Literary Prize. The Slap and Barracuda were both adapted into celebrated television series. He is also a playwright, essayist and screenwriter, based in Melbourne. His latest novel, Damascus, was published in 2019 to widespread acclaim, winning Best Fiction at the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards.
Sat 15 Aug | Commission
Helen Garner writes novels, stories, screenplays and works of non-fiction. In 2006 she received the inaugural Melbourne Prize for Literature, and in 2016 she won the prestigious Windham–Campbell Prize for non-fiction and the Western Australian Premier’s Book Award. In 2019 she was honoured with the Australia Council Award for Lifetime Achievement in Literature. Her novels include The Children's Bach, Cosmo Cosmolino, and The Spare Room.
Ali Cobby Eckermann
Sat 16 Aug | Commission
Yankunytjatjara Aboriginal poet Ali Cobby Eckermann is the author of seven books, including the verse novel Ruby Moonlight, and the poetry collections Inside My Mother and the memoir Too Afraid to Cry. In 2017 she was awarded Yale University's Windham Campbell Prize in Poetry. In 2018 she was awarded a Literature Fellowship by the Australian Council for the Arts.