Beloved novelists Heather Rose and Susan Johnson come together to discuss their new novels, which  explore ideas of family, love and loyalty through two very different lenses. Stella Prize–winning author Heather’s Bruny opens with a bombing in remote Tasmania and traces a family drama within a world of divisive politics, government corruption and conspiracy theories. Described as “More like a hand-grenade than a book … It’s the wake-up call we needed,” by The Australian, Bruny asks the burning question: what would you do to protect the place you love? Journalist and acclaimed author Susan’s From Where I Fell follows the friendship of two women on opposite sides of the world, who after accidentally connecting via email build a close connection and share the stories and secrets of their lives. An exploration of grief, fresh beginnings and the realities we hide from ourselves, From Where We Fell is “a strikingly original reimagining of an epistolary novel” (Geraldine Brooks). Susan and Heather appear in conversation with Caroline Baum.

Susan Johnson (Australian)

Susan Johnson

Susan Johnson is one of Australia’s most revered writers. Her breakthrough novel was The Broken Book. Johnson’s ten books, eight of which are novels, have been nominated for the Association for the Study of Australian Literature Gold Medal, the Miles Franklin Award, the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the National Biography Award, the Queensland and Victorian Premier’s Prizes, the Banjo Award and the Kibble Prize. Her latest novel is From Where I Fell.

Heather Rose (Australian)

Heather Rose

Heather Rose is the award-winning Australian author of eight novels. Her new novel is the bestselling political thriller Bruny. Heather writes for both adults and children. Her work spans literary fiction, crime, magical realism, satire, thriller and fantasy. Her seventh novel – The Museum of Modern Love – won the 2017 Stella Prize, Christina Stead Prize and the Margaret Scott Prize. It has been published internationally, translated into numerous languages, and is being adapted for both the stage and the screen. Heather is also one half of children’s author Angelica Banks with co-writer Danielle Wood. Their Tuesday McGillycuddy Adventure series for middle-grade readers is published internationally and has twice been shortlisted for the Aurealis Awards. Heather lives by the sea in Tasmania.

Caroline Baum (Australian)

Caroline Baum

Journalist Caroline Baum is the author of Only: A Singular Memoir, and in April 2021 she launches her new podcast, Life Sentences, about contemporary biography. She is the Ambassador for the Older Womens Network (NSW) and a winner of the Hazel Rowley Fellowship. She lives on the South Coast of NSW.