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Karen Joy Fowler: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves


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Karen Joy Fowler is best known for her international bestseller The Jane Austen Book Club, a sublime comic novel of contemporary manners that Alice Sebold loved so much, she wanted to eat it (strange but true).

Her Booker-longlisted latest novel, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, is a daringly original exploration of family and loss, self and coming-of-age. It’s told through the prism of an unlikely psychology experiment (based on a famous real life one) – a girl raised, for a time, alongside an ape, by her researcher parents.

In the New York Times, Barbara Kingsolver called it ‘a novel so readably juicy and surreptitiously smart, it deserves all the attention it can get’.

Meet this wise, warm and much-loved writer – and let her be your guide through the invented worlds of her novels, and the ideas within them.

In conversation with Hilary Harper.

Presented in partnership with Brisbane Writers Festival.


Karen Joy Fowler

Karen Joy Fowler is the author of six novels and three short-story collections. The Jane Austen Book Club spent 13 weeks on the New York Times bestsellers list and was a New York Times Notable Book. Her latest novel is We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves. Sister Noon was a finalist for the 2001 P... Read more

Hilary Harper

Hilary Harper has a degree in English Literature and Cultural Studies, a Graduate Diploma in Professional Writing and Editing, and 30 years’ experience in radio. She’s been at the ABC since 2005. She’s covered everything from news and current affairs to traffic reporting, arts, health, gardeni... Read more


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