Chloe Hooper: The Arsonist
Small-town secrets, police politics and catastrophic loss – all loomed large in Chloe Hooper’s groundbreaking 2008 narrative non-fiction book, The Tall Man, about tragedy on Palm Island in Queensland. Her new book treads similar thematic ground – but in the drastically different landscape of Gippsland, Victoria, at the time of the February 2009 Black Saturday fires.
With The Arsonist, Hooper takes readers inside the hunt for the man whose actions caused devastation throughout the Latrobe Valley during the deadliest bushfire disaster in Australia’s history. It’s a gripping and insightful investigation from one of Australia’s brightest talents.
What motivates a person to start a fire? How does fear of bushfire play out in our national psyche? At the Wheeler Centre, Hooper discusses disaster and deadly mischief with host Anna Krien.
Chloe Hooper’s The Tall Man: Death and Life on Palm Island (2008) won the Victorian, New South Wales, West Australian and Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards, as well as the John Button Prize for Political Writing, and a Ned Kelly Award for crime writing. Her latest book is The Arsonist: A Mind on Fire (2018). She is also the author of two novels, A Child’s Book of True Crime and The Engagement.
Anna Krien is an award-winning Melbourne-based journalist, essayist, ction writer and poet. She is a 2018 Sidney Myer Creative Fellow. Her first book, Into the Woods: The Battle for Tasmania’s Forests, won theLiterary Award for Advancing Public Debate in the 2011 QLD Premier’s Literary Awards and the People’s Choice Award in the 2011 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards. Her second book, Night Games: Sex, Power and Sport, won the 2014 Davitt Award for Best True Crime Book, the 2014 Cross British Sports Book Awards’ New Writer of the Year Award, the 2014 William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award and was shortlisted for the Walkley Non-fiction Book Award and the Stella Prize.