In an age of celebrity endorsements, book-club picks and Amazon reviews, what is the state of once-vital literary criticism? How has the importance of robust and informed evaluation changed in an ever-crowded publishing market and an online sphere where everyone is potentially a critic? Sydney Review of Books editor Catriona Menzies-Pike sits down with bestselling author, critic and New York Review of Books Editor-at-Large Daniel Mendelsohn, literary critic and A Writing Life: Helen Garner and Her Work author Bernadette Brennan, and Kill Your Darlings New Critic Award–winner Michael Sun to review the future of the field.

Supported by the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund. Daniel Mendelsohn is supported by Rowena Danziger AM and Ken Coles AM.

Daniel Mendelsohn (International)

Daniel Mendelsohn

Daniel Mendelsohn is the Editor-at-Large of The New York Review of Books and an award-winning memoirist, critic, essayist and translator. A longtime contributor to The New Yorker and The New York Review, he has also been a columnist on books, film, TV and culture for BBC Culture, New York Magazine, Harper's and The New York Times Book Review. His books include the memoirs An Odyssey: A Father, a Son, and an Epic, the internationally bestselling Holocaust family saga The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million, and three collections of essays, most recently The Bad Boy of Athens: Classics from the Greeks to Game of Thrones.

Bernadette Brennan (Australian)

Bernadette Brennan

Bernadette Brennan is a critic and researcher of contemporary Australian writing. Her most recent work, A Writing Life: Helen Garner and Her Work, offers a fascinating literary portrait of one of Australia’s best-loved authors. Bernadette's literary criticism has been published widely in Australia and abroad. She is the recipient of the Copyright Agency's inaugural Fellowship for Non-Fiction and is currently writing a biography of Gillian Mears. Bernadette is also one of five judges for the Miles Franklin Award.

Michael Sun (Australian)

Michael Sun

Michael Sun is a writer and critic from Sydney whose work focusses on the intersections between queerness, memory, and technology. He is the 2020 Kill Your Darlings New Critic, and has been published in Guardian Australia, The Monthly, Overland, VICE, and more. He also gasbags on FBi Radio, and is a Board Member of Firstdraft Gallery.

Catriona Menzies-Pike (Australian)

Catriona Menzies-Pike

Catriona Menzies-Pike is the editor of The Sydney Review of Books.