Part of a podcast series

The Wheeler Centre

View all episodes in this series

Take Home Reading: Wayne Marshall

Listen to Take Home Reading: Wayne Marshall

Photograph of Wayne Marshall next to the cover of his book, 'Shirl', featuring an illustration of a man dancing with a kangaroo

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. Find it on the Wheeler Centre podcast.

In this episode we’re talking to Wayne Marshall about his debut short story collection, Shirl

A daringly experimental collection, Shirl plays with white Australian masculinity, especially in suburban and rural contexts, in ways that are fantastical, absurd and comic.

'The collection is quite nostalgic, I guess. I started writing it... from a cancer diagnosis. But also, three months before that [happened], I’d become a father for the first time, so I was really looking back at the kind of world that I grew up in. And it was that crazy, strange, over-the-top Australiana. There’s something absurd about it that has always caught my eye.'

Wayne was programmed to appear in our Next Big Thing: Australiana Edition, which was unfortunately cancelled as part of our preventative measures to stem the spread of coronavirus COVID-19.

Shirl is out now through Affirm Press.


Portrait of Wayne Marshall

Wayne Marshall

Wayne Marshall’s stories have appeared in Going Down SwingingKill Your DarlingsIslandReview of Australian Fiction, and other places. His story collection Shirl (then Frontier Sport) was shortlisted for the 2019 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript. He is the co-founder of the Peter Carey Short Story Award, and lives in regional Victoria with his partner and two daughters.

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.

The Wheeler Centre

Subscribe to the Wheeler Centre's podcast to hear full recordings of our talks – featuring the best in books, writing and ideas.