The Wheeler Centre
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Kate Grenville: A Room Made of Leaves
Melbourne-based writer Kate Grenville is a long-time favourite among readers. She’s the author of the international bestseller The Secret River, and other novels including Sarah Thornhill, Lilian’s Story, Dark Places and The Idea of Perfection.
Grenville has spent almost a decade focussed on non-fiction. One Life offered an intimate account of her mother’s life; The Case Against Fragrance investigated the allure, affect and health risks of synthetic scents.
A Room Made of Leaves marks the author’s return to the novel form. It’s a work of historical fiction posing as a memoir written by Elizabeth Macarthur – wife of John Macarthur, the notorious Second Fleet settler and wool baron of early Sydney. Moving between fact and fiction, Grenville uses Macarthur’s story to unravel common notions of women of the past – and to delve into the attraction of false stories.
In conversation with Larissa Behrendt, Grenville talks about the book, her writing and her career.
Presented in partnership with Macedon Ranges Shire Council.
Kate Grenville is one of Australia’s most celebrated writers. Her bestselling novel The Secret River received the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Miles Franklin Literary Award. The Idea of Perfection won the Orange Prize. Grenville’s other novels include Sarah Thornhill, The Lieutenant, Lilian’s Story, Dark Places and Joan Makes History. Kate lives in Sydney, and her most recent works are the non-fiction books One Life: My Mother’s Story and The Case Against Fragrance.
Distinguished Professor Larissa Behrendt AO is a Eualayai/Gamillaroi woman the Director of Research and Academic Programs at the Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning at the University of Technology, Sydney. She is a graduate of the UNSW Law School and has a Masters and SJD from Harvard Law School. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia and a founding member of the Australian Academy of Law.