The myth of a classless society continues to be eulogised in Australia, despite obvious inequalities underpinning wealth and privilege. In an age of identity formation based on sexuality, gender, race and ethnicity, have we neglected issues of poverty and class alliance? And how do writers negotiate and represent their ‘cross-cultural’ selves? Sydney Writers’ Festival Guest Curator Tony Birch (Dark as Last Night) speaks with Christos Tsiolkas (7 1/2), Amy Thunig, and George Haddad (Losing Face) about how class informs their work.
This is a free event. Bookings are not required, however we recommend that you arrive early to avoid disappointment.
Christos Tsiolkas (Australian)
Christos Tsiolkas is the author of seven novels, including Loaded, The Jesus Man and Dead Europe. His novel, The Slap, won Overall Best Book in the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize 2009, was shortlisted for the 2009 Miles Franklin Literary Award, longlisted for the 2010 Man Booker Prize, won the Australian Literary Society Gold Medal, and was announced as the 2009 Australian Booksellers Association and Australian Book Industry Awards Books of the Year. His sixth novel, Damascus, won the 2019 Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Fiction. Christos is also a playwright, essayist and screen writer. His latest novel is 7 1/2.
George Haddad (Australian)
George Haddad is a writer and artist practicing on Gadigal land. His work explores identity and the limitations of language. In 2016 he won the Viva la Novella prize for Populate and Perish and in 2018 he won the Neilma Sidney prize for his short story Kátharsis. George is a doctoral candidate and sessional tutor at the Writing and Society Research Centre, Western Sydney University. His new novel Losing Face is published in May.
Amy Thunig (Australian)
Amy Thunig is a Gomeroi yinarr (woman), education academic at Macquarie University, Director at Story Factory in Redfern, and has recently submitted her doctoral thesis (PhD). In 2019 Amy gave her TEDx talk Disruption is not a dirty word, and in 2022 her first book Tell Me Again will be published with UQP. As an academic, author, media commentator and panellist, Amy regularly appears on television programs such as ABC's The Drum, and writes for various publications such as IndigenousX.
Tony Birch (Australian)
Tony Birch is the author of the bestselling The White Girl, winner of 2020 NSW Premier’s Award for Indigenous Writing and shortlisted for the 2020 Miles Franklin Award; Ghost River, winner of the 2016 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Indigenous Writing; and Blood, shortlisted for the 2012 Miles Franklin Award. He is also the author of four short-story collections Shadowboxing, Father’s Day, The Promise and Common People. His latest works include the poetry collection Whisper Songs and the short story collection Dark As Last Night.