Join host Angela Ledgerwood as she discusses books, writers, life, love and all things literary with the authors she loves.
Ocean Vuong explores race, class and masculinity within his storytelling. Better known for his honest and beautiful poetry, Ocean speaks to host Angela Ledgerwood about his debut novel: On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, and the power of breaking the silence for those less fortunate.
Eat. Pray. Love’s portrayal of the inner-struggles we deal with and the raw emotions that come with these struggles is part of what made her book hugely successful. Elizabeth shares with host Angela Ledgerwood how taking a deep dive into your own emotions and your own character and its’ flaws can help you form these relatable characters in books.
Getting a publisher to agree to print a book about the world of acapella singing groups was not an easy task for Author Mickey Rapkin, but he stuck with it and this risk let to the hugely successful trilogy of Pitch Perfect films. Host Angela Ledgerwood speaks to Mickey about where he got the idea from, how slow the process is when transitioning a book to a film and why he has chosen children's' books as his latest writing challenge.
What does the relationships look like between an artist and their patron and what is expected of one from the other? Ceridwen Dovey speaks to host Angela Ledgerwood about the power, privilege and vulnerability of being a young, talented woman, how she found her voice as a writer and why she is exploring new voices.
The Letdown TV series is a comedy which follows new mum Audrey as she tries to come to terms with her new identity as a mum and contend with the oddballs in mothers' group. Writers Alison Bell and Sarah Scheller speaks to host Angela Ledgerwood about how their collaborative relationship worked when trying to write this series based on their own experiences, why they shunned the polished aesthetics of other tv shows and how Alison Bell came to act in the series as well as write it.
How does a country's history weigh on its' people? Journalist Stan Grant exiled himself from Australia in order to seek to understand Australia, what it means to be Australian and his own struggle for belonging and identity as an indigenous Australian man. Stan speaks to host Angela Ledgerwood about his book 'Australia Day,' the moment in his childhood that changed his outlook on the world, and why he believes philosophers hold the key to understanding culture.
A 30,000km trip around Australia was the journey Monica Tan took to discover who she was in relation to the country she lived in, Australia. From the role Chinese Australians played in colonisation to segregation in Australia in the 70s and how Australia history is taught now, Monica's novel Strange Country explores all facets of Monica's identity as a Australian Born Chinese person and she shares what she has learned with host Angela Ledgerwood.
Presenting an avatar of virtuousness online instead of presenting your real self is a danger to exploring the nuances of life and how people think, and that's what Bret Easton Ellis calls out in his first non-fiction book White. Bret explores the fame that he gained from American Psycho with host Angela Ledgerwood and how it informed his understanding of people as well as the narrative media build around celebrities. He also discusses why he believes that novels lead to a greater understanding of people than what you can get from their 'real life' on social media.
In the novel Daisy Jones & The Six, Taylor Jenkins Reid wanted to build a female character who was not conditioned to be pleasing and likeable and would react and say things that Taylor could never say herself. Taylor chats to host Angela Ledgerwood about how important female friendships build the frameworks for relationships and how some people enjoy the feeling of shame and self-sabotage.
In a world of click bait and jarring headlines journalist Hermione Hoby believes that the key to empathy and connection is in reading novels and getting the entire character of a person in order to understand their actions. Hermione speaks to host Angela Ledgerwood about her debut novel Neon in Daylight, the boundaries to searching for someone's humanity and the strange world of dialling up your specific fantasies through craigslist.
Finding meaning in sadness, defining the different types of love and looking at the complexities of masculinity, are the overarching themes in Trent Dalton's novel, Boy Swallows Universe. Trent shares with host Angela Ledgerwood how he used this book to put a positive spin on some of the sadness of his past and how he used his character, Eli, to explore what a do-over on his life would have looked like.
Through her book 'Welcome to the Slipstream' Natalka explores how sickness can complicate family dynamics. She discusses with host Angela Ledgerwood the freedom she found in placing her characters in the Nevada dessert, why she co-founded her feminist fundraising reading series The Freya Project and how the advice of her grandmother set her up for who she is today.
Is it desire, duty or expectation that leads someone to become a mother? This is the question Sheila Heti explores in her book Motherhood. Sheila discusses the ties between the female identity and motherhood with host Angela Ledgerwood, as well as her theory as to why female artists seem to get a pass for being child-less when women in other professions don’t.
Art historian Mary Gabriel has re-written history to include the incredible women who changed modern art in her book ‘9th street women.’ Mary tells host Angela Ledgerwood how the idea for the book arose out of a conversation she had with painter Grace Hartigan 30 years ago. Mary dispels a lot of the misconceptions around the rivalry of female artists during the male-dominated world of twentieth-century abstract painting.
Rachel Kushner's existing relationships with people in the American penal system led to an understanding of, and sympathy for, the people involved in prison life, from workers to inmates. Rachel chats to Angela Ledgerwood about how she came to understand people's 'logic' surrounding murders they'd committed and how stalkers perceive their stalking actions and how this informed the writing of her book 'The Mars Room.'
Six-time Walkley Award winner Kerry O'Brien has worked in newspapers, television and the wire service as a journalist. Having been at the helm of Australian news programs This Day Tonight, Four Corners, Lateline and the 7.30 Report for 15 years, Kerry shares with host Angela Ledgerwood who his favourite interviewees were and how to spot a good story.
Having turned his journalistic eye on his own life, Kerry discusses his memoir 'Kerry O'Brien, A Memoir' and why he fears for the future of investigative journalism.
What does touching look like in the future or do people even touch? In her book 'Touch', Courtney Maum looks to a world where romantic touching and spontaneous touch don't happen anymore and discusses, with host Angela Ledgerwood, the issues that touch deprivation can cause amongst people and how our body language skills are getting rusty because of social media.
Are 'Big Tech' companies taking over governmental roles? The birth of technology as a consumer project and the value of the data we freely give away is at the heart of what Lucie Greene's ‘Silicone States’ is about. Lucie speaks to host Angela Ledgerwood about the conscious expectations we have of tech companies and how our reliance on these companies is effecting government services.
Research is key for author, performer and screenwriter Georgia Clark when writing characters that represent an experience that she has not had herself. Georgia speaks to host Angela Ledgerwood about her book 'The Bucket List' and the importance of respecting your friends and of having a strong support system around you.
Olivia Laing's agitation about the political events of 2017 led her to keep a diary that became the basis for her novel Crudo. In it she becomes a hybrid of h2erself and late author Kathy Acker as topics that were relevant in the 80s crop up again in the modern day like Nazism, body-autonomy and hyper-violence. Olivia discusses with host Angela Ledgerwood her difficulty in reconciling the fact that the pain of others can co-exist alongside the minor pleasures you take from life.
Getting rid of distractions and daily choices like what to eat and what to wear helped R.O. Kwon focus on her debut novel, The Incendiaries. This novel took her 10 years to write and she shares with Angela Ledgerwood how changes in her personal life, her stance on religion and her obsession with cults all found it's way into the final evolution of the novel.
Journalist Rebecca Traister writes about women in politics, media, and entertainment from a feminist perspective. Rebecca catches up with host Angela Ledgerwood to speak about her book 'Good and Mad' and how women's rage is portrayed negatively even though it is often the catalyst for big social change and movements.
When did you first see yourself in the character of a book? Glory Edim speaks to host Angela Ledgerwood about her book Well-Read Black Girl and the importance of being represented in literature. Glory started her Instagram and Brooklyn-based book club, Well-Read Black Girl, to celebrate the uniqueness of Black literature and sisterhood. Now, having established a literature festival of the same name, her goal is to the expand the definition of what it means to be 'well-read' and to showcase the universality of Black women through literature.
Tom Perrotta, the author of Election, Little Children and The Leftovers talks to Angie about his latest novel Mrs. Fletcher, which explores sexuality in America, empty nest syndrome and the universal longing for human connection.