Books and Ideas at Montalto
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Set in a rural farming community, Jane Harper’s debut novel, The Dry, is a tightly-spun and suspenseful thriller. It tells the story of a Federal Police investigator who returns to his hometown after two decades of urban exile – tasked with examining the apparent murder-suicide of his childhood friend’s family. As he works his way through the drought-stricken settlement, a horrific truth begins to reveal itself.
The book has met with a sensational response from readers worldwide – as well as the attention of Hollywood, with film rights snapped up by Reese Witherspoon’s Pacific Standard production company. Critics have praised its sustained tension and unsettlingly vivid evocation of the Australian landscape’s most unforgiving traits.
Born in Manchester, Harper has moved back-and-forth between the UK and Australia, working as a journalist before developing her skills in fiction. A short story published in the Big Issue’s 2014 Fiction Edition provided a spark – but it was winning the 2015 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript that truly lit the fuse for Harper’s writing career.
Over dinner and drinks at Montalto, Harper will talk with Louise Swinn about the genesis of the novel, her creative path through different kinds of writing, and how she’s dealt with the joy (and pressure) of The Dry’s break-out success.
Please arrive 6.30pm for a 6.55pm start.
Jane Harper has worked as a print journalist for thirteen years both in Australia and the UK. Winner of the Victorian Premier's Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript, The Dry is her first novel with rights sold to over twenty territories. Jane lives in Melbourne.
Louise Swinn is a writer, editor, publisher and reviewer. Her work appears regularly in the Age, the Australian and the Sydney Morning Herald.
Louise was one of the founders of Sleepers Publishing, the Small Press Network, and the Stella Prize.
Why go postal when you can go coastal?
On seven Fridays throughout the year, from March to October, the Wheeler Centre brings the best of Australian writing to the Mornington Peninsula. Swap the hustle of the city for an unhurried, immersive look at the stories behind the stories – all while enjoying outstanding food and wine, fascinating company and the opportunity to hear from writers in an intimate and relaxed setting.
Share in Books and Ideas at Montalto – perfect for lovers of fine writing, good conversation and great wine.