Books and Ideas at Montalto
View all episodes in this series
What is guilt – and how can we escape the grip of the past?
Ceridwen Dovey is the author of the award-winning 2014 short story collection Only the Animals, and the novel Blood Kin. Lately, she’s also been making her mark as a regular essayist for the New Yorker and the Monthly.
In her highly anticipated second novel, In the Garden of the Fugitives, Dovey tells a spellbinding story of obsession, loss, repression and atonement. The narrative unfolds through a series of letters between Royce and Vita – an estranged benefactor and his protégé, each now trying to wriggle free from the astonishing weight of their histories.
In conversation with Elizabeth McCarthy, Dovey talks about our human connections and failings, ideas of guilt and shame, the role of art in coming to terms with the past – and who has a right to bear witness.
Books and Ideas at Montalto series sound design and music: Jon Tjhia.
Ceridwen Dovey’s debut novel, Blood Kin, was published in 15 countries, shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Award, and selected for the US National Book Foundation’s prestigious ‘5 Under 35’ honours list. The Wall Street Journal has named her as one of their ‘artists to watch.’ Her latest book of fiction is Only the Animals, described by the Guardian as a ‘dazzling, imagined history of humans’ relationship with animals.'
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.