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The Wheeler Centre

Updated 2 months ago

Arts
Society & Culture
Philosophy
Books
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Subscribe to the Wheeler Centre's podcast to hear full recordings of our talks, featuring the best in books, writing and ideas from Melbourne, Australia.

Read more

Subscribe to the Wheeler Centre's podcast to hear full recordings of our talks, featuring the best in books, writing and ideas from Melbourne, Australia.

iTunes Ratings

5 Ratings
Average Ratings
4
0
1
0
0

iTunes Ratings

5 Ratings
Average Ratings
4
0
1
0
0
Cover image of The Wheeler Centre

The Wheeler Centre

Latest release on Aug 10, 2020

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Subscribe to the Wheeler Centre's podcast to hear full recordings of our talks, featuring the best in books, writing and ideas from Melbourne, Australia.

Take Home Reading: Georgina Young

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Take Home Reading is a new short-form audio series for readers and writers – shining a spotlight on Australian writers with recently released books. In each instalment, you’ll be introduced to a writer, learn a little about what they’ve been reading lately, and hear a short reading from their latest work. 

In this episode we’re talking to Georgina Young about her debut novel, Loner.

Loner is a fresh and honest novel from the winner of the 2019 Text Prize. Smart, funny and deeply compassionate, it is a coming-of-age tale about the paths we take to find out what we want to do with our lives.

Loner is out now through Text Publishing.

Aug 10 2020

16mins

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Shelf Life: Paul Holdengräber and Susan Orlean on Libraries

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Kate Torney, Susan Orlean and Paul Holdengräber at the Athenaeum Theatre

'The boundary between society and the library is porous,' Susan Orlean has written. 'Nothing good is kept out of the library, and nothing bad.'

What do libraries mean to us – as public places and civic institutions? Why do attacks on libraries evoke a special kind of horror? And what do libraries represent in the collective imagination and in literary history?

In partnership with State Library Victoria, we brought together two great American thinkers who have spent years of their lives immersed in the world of libraries. Paul Holdengräber was the former curator of conversations at the New York Public Library, and is the founding executive director of the Onassis Foundation LA, a centre for dialogue in Los Angeles which is an outpost of the Onassis headquarters in Athens. Susan Orlean is a bestselling author and New Yorker staff writer whose latest work, The Library Book, combines memoir with an investigation of the unsolved 1986 Los Angeles Public Library fire.

In an extravagantly nerdy conversation, they discuss the past, present and future of public libraries; why we love them, and why we can’t do without them. Hosted by Kate Torney.

Aug 03 2020

1hr 8mins

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Take Home Reading: Victoria Hannan

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Take Home Reading is a new short-form audio series for readers and writers – shining a spotlight on Australian writers with recently released books. In each instalment, you’ll be introduced to a writer, learn a little about what they’ve been reading lately, and hear a short reading from their latest work. 

In this episode we’re talking to Victoria Hannan about her novel, Kokomo.

Kokomo is a stunning debut novel from the winner of the 2019 Victorian Premier's Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript. Both tender and fierce, heartbreaking and funny, Kokomo is a story about how secrets and love have the power to bring us together and tear us apart.

‘When I was writing it I had this thought of like, is anyone going to be able to empathise with what it's like to be stuck in your house for a long time? And now, we all know what that feels like, so I feel like Elaine is sort of relatable in some ways because she's inside (that's the mother character, Elaine), but also in other ways she wants to stay inside, whereas we're all just like, "Oh my God, I need to get out of this house". So I think people will empathise with her, but also find her a bit infuriating, maybe.’

Kokomo is out now through Hachette.

Transcript

Download a PDF transcript of this episode here.

Aug 03 2020

19mins

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Briggs: Our Home, Our Heartbeat

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Marlee Silva, left, and Briggs

Adam Briggs – better known simply as Briggs – is a Yorta Yorta rapper, record label owner, comedy writer and actor. He’s part of the ARIA-winning hip hop duo A.B. Original, and outside of music, he’s appeared regularly in ABC TV shows (Black ComedyClevermanThe Weekly with Charlie Pickering). Recently, he’s been a writer for Matt Groening’s animated Netflix series, Disenchantment.

Now, Briggs adds children’s book author to his CV. Adapted from his song, ‘The Children Came Back’ – with illustrators Kate Moon and Rachael Sarra – Our Home, Our Heartbeat is a beautiful picture book that celebrates Indigenous resilience, honours legends past and present, and salutes emerging generations of the oldest continuous culture on earth.

'You weren’t that yesterday; you’re this today. What could you be tomorrow?'

Briggs

In conversation with writer, podcaster and Tiddas 4 Tiddas co-founder Marlee Silva, Briggs talks about the importance of children seeing themselves in picture books – and the rise of books (like Young Dark Emu and Welcome to Country) that distil complex conversations into accessible formats.

It’s an uncertain moment for the arts, for writers and for everybody. If you’re in a position to support our efforts to bring you books, writing and ideas from a safe distance, you can make a contribution here. Thank you for your generosity.

Aug 03 2020

30mins

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Take Home Reading: Erin Hortle

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Take Home Reading is a new short-form audio series for readers and writers – shining a spotlight on Australian writers with recently released books. In each instalment, you’ll be introduced to a writer, learn a little about what they’ve been reading lately, and hear a short reading from their latest work. 

In this episode we’re talking to Erin Hortle about her novel, The Octopus and I

The Octopus and I is a stunning debut novel set on the Tasmanian coast that lays bare the wild, beating heart at the intersection of human and animal, love and loss, and fear and hope.

The Octopus and I is a novel about a breast cancer survivor called Lucy, who becomes intensely fascinated with some female octopuses that live down at Eaglehawk Neck on the Tasman Peninsula. There's a particular element of them that she's fascinated by, [a] really bizarre localised phenomenon (which isn't necessarily normal octopus behaviour) where these female egg-carrying octopuses try to drag themselves across an isthmus to try to get to the open ocean. [Here] there are sea caves for them to be able to extrude their thousands of eggs, which they then fan water on for up to a couple of weeks until the eggs hatch, and then the female octopus dies.’

The Octopus and I is out now through Allen Unwin.

Transcript

Download a PDF transcript of this episode here.

Jul 27 2020

23mins

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Take Home Reading: Ronnie Scott

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Take Home Reading is a new short-form audio series for readers and writers – shining a spotlight on Australian writers with recently released books. In each instalment, you’ll be introduced to a writer, learn a little about what they’ve been reading lately, and hear a short reading from their latest work.

In this episode we’re talking to Ronnie Scott about his debut novel, The Adversary.

The Adversary follows its protagonist from a long Brunswick winter into the sticky heat of one transformative Melbourne summer.

Ronnie was programmed to appear in our Next Big Thing: Here and Gone Edition, which was unfortunately cancelled as part of our preventative measures to stem the spread of coronavirus COVID-19.

The Adversary is out now through Penguin Random House.

Jul 20 2020

20mins

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Take Home Reading: Laura McPhee-Browne

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Take Home Reading is a new short-form audio series for readers and writers – shining a spotlight on Australian writers with recently released books. In each instalment, you’ll be introduced to a writer, learn a little about what they’ve been reading lately, and hear a short reading from their latest work. 

In this episode we’re talking to Laura McPhee-Browne about her debut novel, Cherry Beach

A tender coming-of-age novel, Cherry Beach, introduces a pair of childhood best friends who depart suburban Melbourne to live in Toronto.

'Cherry Beach is a book about two young women who are best friends. They were best friends from childhood and they decide to move overseas, to Toronto in Canada for a few years together, and it's kind of about their journey over there, and a bit about their past friendship.'

Laura was programmed to appear in the Next Big Thing: Here and Gone Edition, which was unfortunately cancelled as part of our preventative measures to stem the spread of coronavirus COVID-19.

Cherry Beach is out now through Text Publishing.

Transcript

Download a PDF transcript of this episode here.

Jul 13 2020

18mins

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Take Home Reading: Ellena Savage

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Take Home Reading is a new short-form audio series for readers and writers – shining a spotlight on Australian writers with recently released books. In each instalment, you’ll be introduced to a writer, learn a little about what they’ve been reading lately, and hear a short reading from their latest work. 

In this episode we’re talking to Ellena Savage about her collection, Blueberries

In Blueberries, Savage wields a stirring blend of journalism, poetry, polemic and memoir in her pursuit of human truths: the meaning of power and desire, the decisions that make a life, and one’s place in the world.

Blueberries, the book, charts some of my travels and my attempts to make a life for myself that supports writing. And that's often meant me living outside of Melbourne, which is obviously a very expensive place to live if you're not a professional. So the book itself is about mobility in all its connotations, so kind of global mobility, through travel, migration, colonisation. It's about class mobility, social mobility, and also [the] physical mobility of women.’

Ellena was programmed to appear in our Next Big Thing: Here and Gone Edition event, which was unfortunately cancelled as part of our preventative measures to stem the spread of coronavirus COVID-19.

Blueberries is out now through Text Publishing.

Jul 06 2020

18mins

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Kate Grenville: A Room Made of Leaves

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Melbourne-based writer Kate Grenville is a long-time favourite among readers. She’s the author of the international bestseller The Secret River, and other novels including Sarah ThornhillLilian’s StoryDark Places and The Idea of Perfection.

Grenville has spent almost a decade focussed on non-fiction. One Life offered an intimate account of her mother’s life; The Case Against Fragrance investigated the allure, affect and health risks of synthetic scents.

A Room Made of Leaves marks the author’s return to the novel form. It’s a work of historical fiction posing as a memoir written by Elizabeth Macarthur – wife of John Macarthur, the notorious Second Fleet settler and wool baron of early Sydney. Moving between fact and fiction, Grenville uses Macarthur’s story to unravel common notions of women of the past – and to delve into the attraction of false stories.

In conversation with Larissa Behrendt, Grenville talks about the book, her writing and her career.

Presented in partnership with Macedon Ranges Shire Council.

Jul 03 2020

46mins

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Lisa Taddeo: Three Women

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'We always talk about daddy issues for women … I think that mommy issues for women is so much bigger, specifically when it comes to desire.'

Lisa Taddeo

'With the #MeToo movement right now, we are finally saying what we don't want as a gender,' Lisa Taddeo has said. 'But we are still not talking about what we do want.' 

Taddeo's bestselling book, Three Women, is all about what women want. It's a work of immersive non-fiction, telling the intimate true stories of three American women, and of how their sexual desires have been shaped, distorted, fulfilled and exploited. 

Described on NPR as 'a work of deep observation, long conversations, and a kind of journalistic alchemy', Three Women took Taddeo eight years to write. She travelled across the country to be near her subjects for months at a time, to learn about their lives and their personal histories. 

With its focus on power, judgement, shame and infatuation, the book has become an international bestseller, sparking impassioned discussion and debate. How do we surprise and disturb others – and ourselves – with what we want? How are our desires deeply idiosyncratic and how are they universal?

In this podcast-only conversation – originally slated to be held in May, in partnership with Sydney Writers' Festival – Taddeo discusses these ideas and more with Sophie Black.

Jul 01 2020

50mins

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Writing Blak

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Host Evelyn Araluen at the Wheeler Centre

First Nations writers are at the forefront of the most exciting writing being produced on this continent today, subverting creative forms and decolonising Australian literature.

In this event, four emerging First Nations writers from The Next Chapter writers’ scheme – Jasmin McGaughey, Racheal Oak Butler, Lorna Munro and Meleika Gesa-Fatafehi – discuss the creative process, writing for Blak and settler readerships, and how they respond to expectations of genre, character and identity, with host Evelyn Araluen.

Presented in partnership with the Emerging Writers’ Festival.

This event was originally scheduled to take place at the 2020 Sydney Writers' Festival.

Jun 29 2020

1hr 18mins

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Take Home Reading: Sean O'Beirne

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Take Home Reading is a new short-form audio series for readers and writers – shining a spotlight on Australian writers with recently released books. In each instalment, you’ll be introduced to a writer, learn a little about what they’ve been reading lately, and hear a short reading from their latest work. Find it on the Wheeler Centre podcast.

In this episode we’re talking to Sean O’Beirne about his debut short story collection, A Couple of Things Before the End

A bitingly satirical collection, A Couple of Things Before the End employs a remarkable range of voices to explore suburban end times.  

'What happens if you give a very white, very male, very working class people sort of a whole country… you know, the idea of Australia as the working man’s paradise, or the lucky country, … [what are] the strangenesses and the distortions that can go along with that? … And if you can’t participate... you’ve gotta have a kind of argument to have with the country and what the hell you’re going to be able to do here.'

Sean was programmed to appear in our Next Big Thing: Australiana Edition, which was unfortunately cancelled as part of our preventative measures to stem the spread of coronavirus COVID-19.

A Couple of Things Before the End is out now through Back Inc.

Jun 29 2020

17mins

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Take Home Reading: Kirsten Alexander

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Take Home Reading is a new short-form audio series for readers and writers – shining a spotlight on Australian writers with recently released books. In each instalment, you’ll be introduced to a writer, learn a little about what they’ve been reading lately, and hear a short reading from their latest work. Find it on the Wheeler Centre podcast.

In this episode we’re talking to Kirsten Alexander about her debut novel, Riptides

Set in Joh Bjelke-Petersen’s Queensland during a time of tremendous social upheaval, Riptides is a gripping family drama about dreams, choices and consequences.

'In some ways I thought it's not a straight line ever from the past to the present… I think our country is still evolving, we're still coming into our own being, and I think we still have a lot to learn about how to treat one another and the space we’re in. But some of the lessons we learnt in the past we just throw away very easily. I'm not sure if other countries do that, but Australia certainly seems to struggle to learn from our past.'

Kirsten was programmed to appear in our Next Big Thing: Australiana Edition, which was unfortunately cancelled as part of our preventative measures to stem the spread of coronavirus COVID-19.

Riptides is out now through Penguin Random House.

Jun 29 2020

15mins

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Take Home Reading: Wayne Marshall

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Take Home Reading is a new short-form audio series for readers and writers – shining a spotlight on Australian writers with recently released books. In each instalment, you’ll be introduced to a writer, learn a little about what they’ve been reading lately, and hear a short reading from their latest work. Find it on the Wheeler Centre podcast.

In this episode we’re talking to Wayne Marshall about his debut short story collection, Shirl

A daringly experimental collection, Shirl plays with white Australian masculinity, especially in suburban and rural contexts, in ways that are fantastical, absurd and comic.

'The collection is quite nostalgic, I guess. I started writing it... from a cancer diagnosis. But also, three months before that [happened], I’d become a father for the first time, so I was really looking back at the kind of world that I grew up in. And it was that crazy, strange, over-the-top Australiana. There’s something absurd about it that has always caught my eye.'

Wayne was programmed to appear in our Next Big Thing: Australiana Edition, which was unfortunately cancelled as part of our preventative measures to stem the spread of coronavirus COVID-19.

Shirl is out now through Affirm Press.

Jun 29 2020

20mins

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Iconic Duos: The Next Chapter Writers and Mentors

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With entries now open for the third year of The Next Chapter, the Wheeler Centre’s writers’ scheme, join three recipients and their mentors – Arthur Bolkas and Arnold Zable, Meleika Gesa-Fatafehi and Ellen van Neerven, and Jean Bachoura and Maria Tumarkin – to discuss the varied forms support for emerging writers can take, and the unique qualities of writing mentorships. Hosted by Veronica Sullivan.

Veronica Sullivan, Maria Tumarkin and Jean Bachoura

Presented annually, The Next Chapter gives ten outstanding emerging writers the time and space to write, and a 12-month mentorship with an experienced writer. Through these mentorships, tomorrow’s great voices are steered and supported by today’s literary icons.

Presented in partnership with the Emerging Writers’ Festival.

Jun 22 2020

1hr 24mins

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Take Home Reading: Prithvi Varatharajan

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Take Home Reading is a new short-form audio series for readers and writers – shining a spotlight on Australian writers with recently released books. In each instalment, you’ll be introduced to a writer, learn a little about what they’ve been reading lately, and hear a short reading from their latest work. Find it on the Wheeler Centre podcast.

For the first batch of episodes, we’ve partnered with our friends at the Emerging Writers’ Festival to spotlight four brilliant new voices from around Australia writing across fiction, memoir and poetry. 

In this episode we’re talking to Prithvi Varatharajan about his debut collection, Entries. Entries playfully explores form, using a combination of poetry and prose to consider memory and experience. 

'The writing … arose from states of joy, anguish, ambivalence and contemplation. The poems come from a period of ten years, while other poetic, essayistic and diaristic pieces were produced with intensity over a shorter duration.'

Entries is out now through Cordite Books.

Jun 22 2020

17mins

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Take Home Reading: Monica Tan

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Take Home Reading is a new short-form audio series for readers and writers – shining a spotlight on Australian writers with recently released books. In each instalment, you’ll be introduced to a writer, learn a little about what they’ve been reading lately, and hear a short reading from their latest work. 

For the first batch of episodes, we’ve partnered with our friends at the Emerging Writers’ Festival to spotlight four brilliant new voices from around Australia writing across fiction, memoir and poetry. 

In this episode we’re talking to Monica Tan about her memoir, Stranger Country.

'Will I ever really belong to this country? As a Chinese Australian? As a non-Indigenous Australian...? I was 32 years old and barely knew the country of my birth. It was time to change that.'

Stranger Country is a compelling account of Monica's six-month solo trip to some of Australia's most beautiful and remote landscapes. A thoughtful and provocative reflection on cultural and national identity, Stranger Country grapples with what it means to call Australia home as a non-Indigenous person.

Stranger Country is out now through Allen & Unwin.

Jun 22 2020

26mins

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Take Home Reading: Holden Sheppard

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Take Home Reading is a new short-form audio series for readers and writers – shining a spotlight on Australian writers with recently released books. In each instalment, you’ll be introduced to a writer, learn a little about what they’ve been reading lately, and hear a short reading from their latest work. 

For the first batch of episodes, we’ve partnered with our friends at the Emerging Writers’ Festival to spotlight four brilliant new voices from around Australia writing across fiction, memoir and poetry. 

In this episode we’re talking to Holden Sheppard about his debut novel, Invisible Boys

Invisible Boys is an authentic and energetic young adult novel about three teenage boys coming to terms with their homosexuality in a small Western Australian town. 

'In this town we have three teenageboys: Zeke, Charlie and Hammer. They’re very different 16-year-old boys: Zeke is a nerd, Charlie’s a punk, Hammer is your classic footy jock and they all seem very different but we discover that all three boys are in the throes of grappling with their sexuality. They’re all gay, and they’re all coming to terms with it in different ways.'

With characters that leap off the page, Invisible Boys offers an unflinching and challenging perspective on Australian teen life that has resonated strongly with teenage and adult readers alike.  

Invisible Boys is out now through Fremantle Press.

Jun 22 2020

22mins

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Take Home Reading: Vivian Pham

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Take Home Reading is a new short-form audio series for readers and writers – shining a spotlight on Australian writers with recently released books. In each instalment, you’ll be introduced to a writer, learn a little about what they’ve been reading lately, and hear a short reading from their latest work. 

For the first batch of episodes, we’ve partnered with our friends at the Emerging Writers’ Festival to spotlight four brilliant new voices from around Australia writing across fiction, memoir and poetry. 

In this episode we’re talking to Vivian Pham about her debut novel, The Coconut Children

The Coconut Children tells the fierce and moving story of Sonny and Vince, both children of refugees living in Cabramatta in 1998. 

'They’re both growing up and trying to figure out who they are, but they’re also trying to understand their parents. It's through the stories that their parents tell them that they feel a connection towards their culture and their ancestors... It’s equally about how the stories that are withheld from them shape who they are, and the way they see themselves.'

The Coconut Children is out now through Penguin Random House.

Jun 22 2020

19mins

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Not Racist, But … Racism in the Workplace

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From left to right: Santilla Chingaipe, Jackie Huggins, Yin Paradies and Lee Carnie — Photo: Jon Tjhia

While overt forms of racism in Australian workplaces are outlawed, many people from Indigenous and migrant backgrounds argue that racism is still pervasive – before and after joining a workplace. Last year, a major company’s employment listing overtly preferenced ‘candidates who are Anglo Saxon’. Multiple studies have shown that anglicising names on job applications improves a jobseeker’s prospects, prompting recent government trials of anonymous job applications.

So, how does racism manifest itself in the workplace – overtly, and covertly – and what impact does this have on both employee and employer? What can employers and governments do to address racial and religious discrimination at work? Santilla Chingaipe hosts a discussion of these issues and more, with Yin Paradies, Jackie Huggins and Lee Carnie.

Jun 09 2020

1hr 1min

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iTunes Ratings

5 Ratings
Average Ratings
4
0
1
0
0