Books and Ideas at Montalto

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Photo: David Johns Photography

at Montalto

Kaz Cooke

Columnist, bestselling author, cartoonist and now, history detective – Kaz Cooke is a household name. Her new book, Ada, is a fictionalised account of the eventful life of a fabulous 19th-century vaudevillian star, Ms Ada Delroy.

Cooke’s foray into fiction might be something of a departure – she’s best known for her funny and practical women’s health guides, including Up the Duff and Girl Stuff – but the forensic approach is nothing new to her work. Beneath Cooke’s light, comical touch has always existed a rigorous commitment to research. For Women’s Stuff, she consulted more than 100 medical and psychological experts. For Ada, she spent a year as a creative fellow at the State Library of Victoria, poring over old photographs and newspaper clippings from the 1800s, piecing together the life of this forgotten and extraordinary character.

In conversation with playwright and screenwriter Hannie Rayson, Cooke will delve into her career in writing and researching women’s lives. Join the pair for a discussion of comical writing and creative conjuring.


Portrait of Kaz Cooke

Kaz Cooke

Kaz Cooke is a former reporter and cartoonist turned history detective. She is also the author of the bestselling books Up The Duff, Kidwrangling, Girl Stuff, Girl Stuff 8–12, Women’s Stuff, and the children's picture books Wanda Linda Goes Berserk and The Terrible Underpants.

Her new novel, Ada, grew out of her research and exhibition during a Creative Fellowship at the State Library of Victoria, 2013–2015.

Portrait of Hannie Rayson

Hannie Rayson

Hannie Rayson is a playwright and screenwriter best known for Hotel Sorrento.

Books and Ideas at Montalto

What do good books and good wine have in common? They’re full of personality, and they can be the start of a great conversation. 

From March to November, the literary meets the culinary at Books and Ideas at Montalto. In Red Hill, on the Mornington Peninsula, join some of Australia’s most beloved writers for an intimate discussion about their work – accompanied by excellent food and wine, a relaxed setting and the sparkle of Melbourne in the distance.


More about this venue, including large map, parking, public transport and accessibility.

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