The Wheeler Centre
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Queer Literature: Then and Now
They grow up so fast! This year marks significant birthdays for three celebrated works of Australian queer literature. Holding the Man, the memoir by Timothy Conigrave turns 20. Loaded, the first novel by Christos Tsiolkas turns 20, too. The Monkey’s Mask, the verse novel by Dorothy Porter, turns 21.
To mark these milestones, we’ll explore the cultural impact of these three works and discuss the evolution of queer literature in Australia in the years since. What’s changed? What hasn’t changed? And what’s coming next?
Find out with this conversation between Tommy Murphy, Christos Tsiolkas and Andrea Goldsmith. Hosted by Dr Quinn Eades.
Quinn Eades is a researcher, writer, and poet whose work lies at the nexus of feminist and queer theories of the body, autobiography, and philosophy. Eades is published nationally and internationally, and is the author of all the beginnings: a queer autobiography of the body, and Rallying.
Eades is a Lecturer in Interdisciplinary Studies at La Trobe University, as well as the founding editor of Australia's only interdisciplinary, peer reviewed, gender, sexuality and diversity studies journal, Writing from Below. He is currently working on a collection of fragments written from the transitioning body, titled Transpositions.
In 2015 Quinn Eades changed his name and gender. Prior to 2015, he was writing and speaking as Karina Quinn.
Christos Tsiolkas is the author of six novels, including Loaded, which was made into the feature film Head-On, The Jesus Man and Dead Europe, which won the 2006 Age Fiction Prize and the 2006 Melbourne Best Writing Award, as well as being made into a feature film. His fourth novel, the international bestseller The Slap, won Overall Best Book in the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize 2009, was shortlisted for the 2009 Miles Franklin Literary Award, longlisted for the 2010 Man Booker Prize and won the Australian Literary Society Gold, as well as the 2009 Australian Booksellers Association and Australian Book Industry Awards Books of the Year. Christos's fifth novel Barracuda was shortlisted for the ALS Gold Medal and the inaugural Voss Literary Prize. The Slap and Barracuda were both adapted into celebrated television series. His latest novel, Damascus, won the 2020 Prize for Fiction at the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards.
Christos's acclaimed collection of short stories, Merciless Gods, was published in 2014 and his critical literary study On Patrick White came out in 2018. He is also a playwright, essayist and screen writer. He lives in Melbourne.
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 Interiors, Facing the Music, Under 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.
Tommy Murphy is the screenwriter and associate producer for the feature film of Holding the Man. His stage adaptation of Timothy Conigrave’s much-loved tragic romance memoir, has had productions every year since its premiere, including Melbourne (MTC), Sydney (Griffin, Belvoir, Sydney Opera House), Brisbane (Brisbane Powerhouse, La Boite), Adelaide (STCSA), Auckland, Los Angeles, San Francisco and London’s West End.