Acclaimed Australian writers conduct an in-depth examination of the contemporary essay. Rebecca Giggs talks to Jessica Friedmann, author of Things That Helped, a collection of essays tapping critical theory, popular culture and personal experience; award-winning writer and cultural historian Maria Tumarkin; and Fiona Wright, author of the book of essays, Small Acts of Disappearance, which examines her own anorexia and the significance of hunger. Guests traverse the borders of the personal and political, and consider the intersection of literary and journalistic modes.

Maria Tumarkin (Australian)

Maria Tumarkin

Maria Tumarkin writes books, essays, reviews, and pieces for performance and radio. She also collaborates with sound and visual artists, and has had her work engraved into the paving at Victoria Harbour as part of the Melbourne Docklands Urban Art Program. Maria is the author of four books of ideas. Her fourth (and latest) book Axiomatic was named by The New Yorker as one of the best books of 2019. Maria is a recipient of the 2020 Windham Campbell Prize in the category of non-fiction. She holds a PhD in cultural history and teaches in the creative writing program at the University of Melbourne.

Rebecca Giggs (Australian)

Rebecca Giggs

Rebecca Giggs is an award-winning author from Perth, Australia. Her work has appeared in The AtlanticThe New York Times Magazine, Granta, and in anthologies including Best Australian Essays and Best Australian Science Writing. Rebecca’s non-fiction focuses on how people feel towards animals in a time of technological and ecological change. Her first book, Fathoms: the world in the whale, won the 2021 ALA Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction and the 2020 Mark and Evette Moran Nib Literary Prize.