On Events, with Chris Gordon
One of my favourite words in the entire English language is flurry. I enjoy saying there was a flurry of activity, of excitement, or indeed of change. During the month of June, one could say, I was in a flurry. The dreaded virus meant that our planned events were disrupted, postponed and reconsidered. I know everyone in Melbourne also felt flurries of activity following each daily announcement; I hope you all survived it well.
All this flurry has resulted in a wonderful program for July, and we have events happening in our shops, online and at The Collective in Carlton. I believe nearly every genre of writing is covered: we have authors talking about their fiction, their poetry, their thrilling crime novels, and their experiences in our political landscape. Quite simply, we have commentators talking about what it is like to be alive right now.
I cannot wait to hear the conversation between Emily Sun and author Alice Pung (Tuesday 6 July). Inspired by diasporic Asian feminist writers, Emily Sun’s debut poetry collection, Vociferate 詠, explores the complexity of identities and the concept of belonging. Journalist Bridie Jabour’s Trivial Grievances examines what it is like to be a millennial anxious about their place in the world (Wed 14 July). Julia Banks’s Power Play examines workplace inequality, gender bias and intimidation (Wednesday 7 July). There may be some miserable crossover between the questions raised by these women’s experiences: Am I enough? Did I say enough? Have I made the right decision?
I am looking forward to reading Mark Brandi’s new novel, The Others, and hearing him talk about its origins (Tuesday 6 July). I am also thrilled to have Michael Robotham with us, for one night only, talking about his latest novel, When You Are Mine (Friday 16 July). Regular readers of this column will know that Readings is proud to partner with the Victorian International Humanitarian Law Advisory Committee of the Australian Red Cross to examine the impact of war through literature. Award-winning British author Christy Lefteri is joining us this month to discuss her international bestseller, The Beekeeper of Aleppo, and her new book, Songbirds. The Beekeeper of Aleppo tells the story of Nuri, a beekeeper, and his wife, Afra, an artist. They live in Aleppo until their lives are uprooted and they are forced to flee. They embark on a perilous journey towards an uncertain future in Britain. The novel is a testament to the triumph of the human spirit. Join us online on Wednesday 28 July to hear Lefteri discuss her powerful work.
Our events program aims to remind us all of the power of storytelling, and the importance of asking questions. I hope this month’s events will invigorate your imagination and connect you with others. Let us make July a month of reckoning. And please can we also make it a flurry of excitement?
View the full Readings events program here.