Festival Program

City Program

The Mourning After

Sat 11 Sep, 4pm
State Library Victoria, Create Quarter

Hear from acclaimed new talents Ella Baxter and Allee Richards as they speak to Elizabeth McCarthy about their debut novels, which each brings unique perspective to the story of a young woman navigating sudden loss and grief. Baxter’s New Animal is the ‘profound, profane and darkly hilarious’ (Bri Lee) story of a young cosmetician in a family mortuary who falls in with a Tasmanian BDSM community after experiencing tragedy. Exploring friendship, desire and grief, Richards’ Small Joys of Real Life follows a woman reeling from the death of a fleeting romantic encounter and has been described as Sally Rooney meets Helen Garner.


1 hour

Event artists

Ella Baxter is a writer and artist living on unceded land of the Wurundjeri people. In her spare time, she runs a small business making bespoke death shrouds. Her debut novel, New Animal, was released through Allen and Unwin in 2021. She is currently writing her second novel, Woo Woo.

Elizabeth McCarthy has worked as a producer and presenter in radio for over 20 years. She produces 3RRR's Breakfast show and reviews books on 3RRR and ABC Radio Melbourne. She is a 2021 Stella Prize judge, and in 2019 she was the convenor of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Fiction.

Allee Richards is a theatremaker and fiction writer from Melbourne. Her short stories have been published by Kill Your Darlings, Overland and Black Inc. Her debut novel, Small Joys of Real Life, was shortlisted for the 2020 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript, and is now out with Hachette.

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