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Take Home Reading: Laura Jean McKay

Listen to Take Home Reading: Laura Jean McKay

Photograph of Laura Jean McKay next to the cover of her book, 'The Animals in That Country', featuring a black and white image of a ram

Take Home Reading is a new short-form audio series for readers and writers – shining a spotlight on Australian writers with recently released books. In each instalment, you’ll be introduced to a writer, learn a little about what they’ve been reading lately, and hear a short reading from their latest work.

In this episode we’re talking to Laura Jean McKay about her novel The Animals in That Country, a bold, exhilarating and original novel that asks what would happen, for better or worse, if we finally understood what animals were saying.

‘And of course, the animals don't say the things that humans wish that they were saying. They're not saying "I ruff you!" or anything like that. They're quite brutal, their relationship with humans is really fraught, because that's the way that human relationships are with animals. As they get to know each other they are trying to navigate this new space together.’

The Animals in That Country is out now through Scribe Publications.


Download a PDF transcript of this episode here.


Portrait of Laura Jean McKay

Laura Jean McKay

Laura Jean McKay is the author of Holiday in Cambodia (Black Inc. 2013), shortlisted for three national book awards in Australia. Her work appears in Meanjin, Overland, Best Australian Stories, the Saturday Paper, and the North American Review. Laura is a lecturer in creative writing at Massey University, with a PhD from the University of Melbourne focusing on literary animal studies. She is the ‘animal expert’ presenter on ABC Listen’s Animal Sound Safari. The Animals in That Country (Scribe 2020) is her debut novel.

Portrait of Stella Charls

Stella Charls

Stella is the Wheeler Centre's Programming Coordinator.

An emerging arts manager and event producer, Stella was previously the Marketing and Events Coordinator for Readings, and the Festival Manager for the National Young Writers’ Festival, Australia’s largest gathering of young and innovative writers working in both new and traditional forms.

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