Part of a podcast series

Books and Ideas at Montalto

View all episodes in this series

Drusilla Modjeska

Listen to Drusilla Modjeska

Family, literature, Papua New Guinea and the complicated lives of creative women –  these are the themes to which Drusilla Modjeska has repeatedly returned in her impressive body of work. As a memoirist, essayist, novelist (and master of combining and confounding literary forms), Modjeska is among Australia’s most celebrated writers.

Most recently, she has added a memoir, Second Half First, to an already substantial list of literary accomplishments, including Exiles at HomePoppyStravinsky’s Lunch and The Mountain. That book reflects on the books, people and journeys that have most profoundly affected her in the second part of her life.

At Montalto, Modjeska discusses travel, reading and the intersection of life and work with Andrea Goldsmith.

Books and Ideas at Montalto series sound design and music: Jon Tjhia.


Portrait of Drusilla Modjeska

Drusilla Modjeska

Drusilla Modjeska is one of Australia's most acclaimed writers. She was born in England but lived in Papua before arriving in Australia in 1971. Her books include Exiles at Home; the NSW Premier's Award-winning Poppy; Sisters, which she co-edited; the Nita B. Kibble, NSW Premier's Award and Australian Bookseller's Book of the Year Award-winner The Orchard; Timepieces; and Secrets with Robert Dessaix and Amanda Lohrey. She is also the author of the bestselling Stravinsky's Lunch and her first novel, The Mountain, which was shortlisted for the 2013 Miles Franklin Award, the Western Australia Premier's Award and the Barbara Jefferis Award.

Portrait of Andrea Goldsmith

Andrea Goldsmith

Andrea Goldsmith originally trained as a speech pathologist and was a pioneer in the development of communication aids for people unable to speak. Her first novel, Gracious Living, was published in 1989. This was followed by Modern InteriorsFacing the MusicUnder the Knife, and The Prosperous Thief, which was short-listed for the 2003 Miles Franklin Literary Award. Reunion was published in 2009, and The Memory Trap was awarded the 2015 Melbourne Prize. 

Books and Ideas at Montalto

A series of thoughtful conversations about Australian literature – away from the city, at Montalto on the Mornington Peninsula.