Books and Ideas at Montalto
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A writer of novels, short fiction and essays, Mireille Juchau has quietly emerged as one of Australia’s most accomplished literary voices. Her first two novels, Machines for Feeling and Burning In, won critical acclaim and appearances on the Vogel’s and Prime Minister’s Literary Awards shortlists. Her third novel, The World Without Us, is very much the book of the moment – winning this year’s prestigious Victorian Premier’s Literary Award and shortlisted for the Stella Prize.
Juchau’s work deals with big personal and political subjects – from grief and abandonment to climate change. The World Without Us centres on a family who has lost a child, and a community adrift after a calamitous fire; it’s the kind of territory that can veer lesser writers into melodrama. But reviews of Juchau’s work, both in Australia and internationally, have stressed the subtlety and restraint of her prose as well as its vivid imagery. The Times Literary Supplement called The World Without Us ‘elegantly poised and controlled’. Independent on Sunday called it ‘understated and calm, and yet thoroughly captivating’.
In conversation with Michael Williams, Juchau discusses writing the intimate, the political and The World Without Us.
Books and Ideas at Montalto series sound design and music: Jon Tjhia.