Acclaimed author Alice Pung discusses her book On John Marsden from the Writers on Writers series, in which celebrated Australian storytellers reflect on a literary figure who has inspired and fascinated them. Alice examines the bestselling YA fiction author’s philosophy about what it means to be a teenager – one that is embedded in the schools he runs and his early experiences with mental illness. Contemplating Marsden’s work, Alice asks: How much darkness is allowed in YA fiction before you are considered a ‘bad influence’?

Presented with Randwick City Library.

Alice Pung (Australian)

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Alice Pung is an award-winning Melbourne writer whose latest book, On John Marsden, is a meditation on her biggest literary influence. She is the author of Laurinda, Her Father’s Daughter, and Unpolished Gem, and the Editor of Growing Up Asian in Australia and My First Lesson. She also wrote a children’s series, Our Australian Girl.