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Helen Garner: Monkey Grip

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Who tells the story of a country? What story does a country’s national literature tell about its people and its identity? Is there such a thing as Australian literature at all?

Australians are striding the global stage with unprecedented confidence in all manner of fields. But if university syllabuses are any indication, it seems that when it comes to Australian literature, the cultural cringe is alive and well.

With major universities offering only the bare minimum in courses on Australian writing and its authors, the Wheeler Centre is filling the breach. Australian Literature 101 is the university education in Australian literature you never had.

In this major new weekly series hosted by Ramona Koval, running in parallel with the university calendar, contemporary writers speak on seminal Australian texts, giving context, sharing their responses and exploring each work’s status as a classic of Australian literature. Join us to be part of a brand new assessment of our national literature.

This week, we look at Helen Garner’s Monkey Grip.

Featuring

Kerryn Goldsworthy

Kerryn Goldsworthy is a freelance writer and critic, and a former academic who lectured in literature at the University of Melbourne for 17 years. A former editor of Australian Book Review and a member of the editorial team that produced The Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature (2009... Read more

Ramona Koval

Ramona Koval is a writer who has worked as a journalist and broadcaster. Her most recent books are A Letter to Layla: Travels to our Deep Past and Near Future, Bloodhound: Searching For My Father, and By the Book: A Reader’s Guide to Life (all published by Text). She was the editor of two volumes ... Read more

Location

The Wheeler Centre

176 Little Lonsdale Street Melbourne Victoria 3000

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The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land on which we live and work. We pay our respects to the people of the Kulin Nation and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders past and present.