Books and Ideas at Montalto
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Alexis Wright is an author of dazzling energy, ambition and imagination.
The publication of her exhilarating 2006 novel, Carpentaria, was a major event in Australian literary history. It won the Miles Franklin Award and became a huge critical and commercial sensation.
That epic novel, and Wright’s two other novels – Plains of Promise (1997) and The Swan Book (2013) – begin in the author’s ancestral country, the southern highlands of the Gulf of Carpentaria. A Waanyi woman, Wright elevates Indigenous experience, knowledge and forms of storytelling in all her work.
A long-time activist as well as a storyteller, Wright is concerned with Aboriginal resistance and achievement in her non-fiction writing. Her latest book, the critically acclaimed Tracker, is a ‘collective memoir’ about the late charismatic Arrernte elder, Leigh Bruce ‘Tracker’ Tilmouth.
In conversation with Elizabeth McCarthy, Wright talks story, legacy, legend and the life of Tracker.
Books and Ideas at Montalto series sound design and music: Jon Tjhia.
Alexis Wright is a member of the Waanyi nation of the Gulf of Carpentaria and the renowned author of the prize-winning novels Carpentaria and The Swan Book. Her most recent book, Tracker, was awarded the 2018 Stella Prize. She holds the Boisbouvier Chair in Australian Literature at the University of Melbourne.
Elizabeth McCarthy has worked as a producer and presenter in radio for 20 years. She produces the breakfast show at Australia’s biggest independent broadcaster, 3RRR, and reviews books on 3RRR and ABC Radio Melbourne. In 2019 she was the convenor of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Fiction, and from 2013–2017 she anchored Triple R’s flagship books and writing show, Multi-Storied.
She regularly interviews writers at live events and public conversations for the Wheeler Centre, Sydney Writers’ Festival, Melbourne Writers Festival, and more. She has previously worked as a music reviewer, and from 2002 – 2006 she was the drummer and co-lyricist for Melbourne swamp-rock grrrl band, The Muddy Spurs.