In a selfie culture of ‘me me me’, writers drawing on their own biographies are compelled to defend the value of the personal. How can we transform private life into something bigger? And how can we use research, critical ideas and theory to bring the personal into broad, widely meaningful pursuits? Award-winning author Ceridwen Dovey (Inner Worlds Outer Spaces: The working lives of others) and debut memoirist Nicola Redhouse (Unlike the Heart: A Memoir of Brain and Mind) consider the personal essay in conversation with ABC Radio’s Sarah Macdonald.

Nicola Redhouse (Australian)

Nicola Redhouse

Nicola Redhouse is the Melbourne-based author of Unlike the Heart: a memoir of brain and mind. Her essays and journalism appear in The Monthly, The Australian, Island, Women’s Agenda and the anthology Rebellious Daughters; and her fiction has appeared in Best Australian Stories, The Big Issue Fiction Edition, Meanjin and Kill Your Darlings. She teaches creative writing sessionally at RMIT and has worked as a book editor since 2005.

Ceridwen Dovey (Australian)

Ceridwen Dovey

Ceridwen Dovey’s recent books include Only the Animals (“dazzling” – The Guardian), In the Garden of the Fugitives (“an elegant…impressive, thought-provoking novel” – The New York Times), and On J.M. Coetzee: Writers on Writers. She released an Audible Originals novel, Life After Truth, last year. She writes for newyorker.com and The Monthly, and her essays have been selected for The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2018 and The Best Australian Science Writing 2019. Her most recent book, Inner Worlds Outer Spaces: The Working Lives of Others is a collection of profiles of people in unusual careers.

Sarah Macdonald (Australian)

Sarah Macdonald

Sarah Macdonald is a broadcaster and writer. She currently presents The Evening Show on ABC Radio Sydney, NSW and Canberra. Her best selling travel memoir Holy Cow has been translated into several languages and is still one of the travel bibles of India. Her latest book is So...You’re Having a Teenager: An A-Z of adolescence. Sarah also co-presents the Full Catastrophe a storytelling event and podcast.