Join Stella Prize-winning author of The Strays, Emily Bitto as she discusses her most recent novel Wild Abandon – a headlong tumble through the falling world of end-days capitalism, a haunting, hyperreal snapshot of our own strange times.
In the fall of 2011, heartbroken Will flees Australia for the USA. Landing in the excessive, uncanny-familiar glamour and plenitude of New York City, he makes a vow to say yes to everything that comes his way. By fate or random chance, Will's journey takes him deep into the American heartland where he meets Wayne Gage, a fast-living, troubled Vietnam veteran, would-be spirit guide and collector of exotic animals. These two men in crisis form an unlikely friendship, but Will has no idea just how close to the edge Wayne truly is.

Emily Bitto (Australian)

Emily Bitto

Emily Bitto is a Melbourne-based writer of fiction, poetry and non-fiction. She has a Masters in Literary Studies and a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Melbourne. Her debut novel, The Strays, won the 2015 Stella Prize. Her second novel, Wild Abandon, was published in 2021. She has been teaching creative writing for over a decade and is currently a tutor at the Faber Writing Academy. She is also the co-owner of Carlton wine bar Heartattack and Vine.