After the runaway success of Sarah Krasnostein’s debut The Trauma Cleaner: One Woman’s Extraordinary Life in Death, Decay & Disaster, Sarah spent time in Australia and the US talking to six extraordinary people who held fast to a belief even though it rubbed against the grain of conventional wisdom. Her research culminated in The Believer: Encounters with Love, Death & Faith, a deeply humane and deftly drawn enquiry into the power of belief. Sarah is joined by Maria Tumarkin to explore what we believe in and why – from ghosts and UFOs to God and the devil, dying with autonomy and beyond.

Unfortunately, Helen Garner, who was originally programmed for this event, will no longer be appearing at the Festival. 

This event is Auslan interpreted and open captioned.

Thanks to Rosie Block.

Sarah Krasnostein (Australian)

Sarah Krasnostein

Sarah Krasnostein is a writer. She is admitted to legal practice in Australia and America, and holds a doctorate in criminal law. Sarah is the bestselling author of The Trauma Cleaner: One Woman’s Extraordinary Life in Death, Decay & Disaster, which won the Victorian Prize for Literature, the Victorian Premier’s Prize for Non-Fiction, the Australian Book Industry Award for General Non-Fiction and the Dobbie Literary Award. It also jointly won the Douglas Stewart Prize for Non-Fiction at the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, was nominated for the Walkley Book Award, and was shortlisted for the National Biography Award, the Melbourne Prize for Literature and the Wellcome Book Prize (UK). Sarah’s work has appeared in a variety of publications in Australia, the UK and America. She is currently working on a Quarterly Essay on mental illness in Australia.

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.