Oscar Wilde wrote, ‘All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does, and that is his.’ In this intimate discussion led by Louise Adler, three writers explore the relationships between mothers and children. Caroline Baum’s memoir Only recounts being caught between two damaged people. Nadja Spiegelman describes unravelling a web of family relationships in I’m Supposed to Protect You from All This. In Things That Helped, Jessica Friedmann lays bare her experience of post-partum depression.

Caroline Baum (Australian)

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Caroline Baum is a writer, journalist and broadcaster. The founding editor of Good Reading magazine and former features editor of Vogue Australia, Caroline was the editorial director of Booktopia and has also been a presenter for the ABC TV and a producer (RN). In 2015 Caroline was awarded the Hazel Rowley Fellowship. Her first book, Only: A singular memoir, is an exploration of the often fraught terrain of being the only child of parents with a troubled European past.

Jessica Friedmann (Australian)

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Jessica Friedmann has worked as an editor at independent Australian journals Going Down Swinging and Dumbo Feather, and her essays, criticism, and feature writing have appeared in Australian and international magazines and journals. Things That Helped is her first published collection.

Nadja Spiegelman (International)

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Nadja Spiegelman is the author of I'm Supposed to Protect You from All This, a memoir about the nuances of love and family, exploring the lives her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother and the fallibility of memory. She is also the Eisner Award-nominated author of the Zig and Wikki graphic novel series for young children and Lost in NYC: A Subway Adventure. She has received fellowships from Lemon Tree House and The MacDowell Colony.

Louise Adler (Australian)

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Louise Adler is the chief executive of Melbourne University Publishing, president of the Australian Publishers Association and chair of the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards (fiction and poetry).