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Maria Tumarkin: Axiomatic


Event Status

‘Time is what makes everything OK. How it flows forward and circles round itself, both; how life, suspended, zero gravity, in time consists of so many things repeating.’

Maria Tumarkin is one of Australia’s foremost writers of creative non-fiction. With Axiomatic, her fourth book – seven years in the making – she explores the limits of stories and of institutions, and thoughtfully scrutinises disparate yet interlocking encounters with teen suicide, drug abuse and child Holocaust survivors.

Also a sought-after essayist, critic and cultural historian, Tumarkin has earned her reputation as a relentless excavator of human nature. In Axiomatic, she burrows deep into the nature of time and trauma – and, with rigorous precision, reveals how the past haunts the present.

With host Melinda Harvey, Maria Tumarkin will speak with some of the people whose stories – lives – feature in the book, including Lisa West McNeice, Vanda Hamilton and Sophie Bibrowska.

Note: Please be advised that this conversation will include discussion of traumatic and confronting subjects.

Hill of Content will be our bookseller at this event.


Melinda Harvey

Melinda Harvey has published widely as a book critic for over a decade and is a judge of the Miles Franklin Literary Award. She is Lecturer in Literary Studies at Monash University and is currently at work on a book about women critics.

Maria Tumarkin

Maria Tumarkin writes books, essays, reviews, and pieces for performance and radio; she collaborates with sound and visual artists and has had her work carved into dockside tiles. She is the author of four books of ideas. Her fourth (and latest) book Axiomatic won the 2018 Melbourne Prize for Lit... Read more

Lisa West McNeice

During her twenty or so years as a teacher in secondary classrooms, Lisa West McNeice has taught English, English Language, Literature and Art. At Monash University she worked with beginning teachers, and as a consultant she has worked with teams of teachers across the state to engage students and e... Read more

Vanda Hamilton

Vanda Hamilton worked as a journalist, in marketing and public relations and in theatre before undertaking a law degree as a mature age student. She spent nearly nine years as a community lawyer in St Kilda. Vanda currently works for the Mental Health Legal Centre, and runs legal clinics in a male p... Read more

Sophie Bibrowska

Sophie Bibrowska lectured in French literature at Monash, Melbourne and La Trobe Universities before returning to study to be a psychologist at the age of fifty. She worked with long-term unemployed people in the community sector, then with people suffering from trauma following the war in ex-Yugosl... Read more


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