Books and Ideas at Montalto

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Photo: Rani Chahal

at Montalto

Melanie Cheng

The Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript has an impressive track record for unearthing major literary talent. The winner of the 2016 Award, Melanie Cheng, joined an outstanding alumni, including Graeme Simsion (The Rosie Project), Maxine Beneba Clarke (Foreign Soil) and Jane Harper (The Dry).

Cheng’s winning work, Australia Day, is a collection of short stories presenting a rich and detailed mosaic of contemporary Australian life. Exploring themes of home and human connection, the novel poses subtle questions about faultlines in Australian society. Cheng – who was born in Adelaide, grew up in Hong Kong and now lives in Melbourne – writes with sensitivity, humour and bite. Her achievement as an author is remarkable on a number of levels, not least because she balances writing with her career as a doctor.

In conversation with RN Books and Arts producer Georgia Moodie at Montalto, this rising star of the Australian literary world will discuss inspiration, identity and the short-story form.

Please arrive 6.30pm for a 6.55pm start.


Portrait of Melanie Cheng

Melanie Cheng

Melanie Cheng’s debut book, the short-story collection Australia Day, won the 2018 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Fiction and, two years earlier, the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript. She was born in Adelaide and grew up in Hong Kong. She now lives in Melbourne, where she writes when she’s not working as a general practitioner. Room for a Stranger is her first novel.

Portrait of Georgia Moodie

Georgia Moodie

Georgia Moodie is a reporter and producer on Books and Arts, ABC Radio National. 

Books and Ideas at Montalto

Why go postal when you can go coastal?

On seven Fridays throughout the year, from March to November, 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.


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

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