Double Booked Club
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Double Booked returns in June, with a conversation between two superb Australian writers. Omar Sakr and Melanie Cheng are two very different voices with very different styles, but over the past few years, both have blasted welcome fresh air into the Australian literary scene.
Melanie Cheng is a GP as well as a writer and her debut short-story collection, Australia Day, won the 2018 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Fiction. Her new book, Room for a Stranger, is a novel set in Melbourne, about the unlikely friendship between an older woman and a young student from Hong Kong.
Omar Sakr's second book of poetry, The Lost Arabs, has been described as a 'seething, urgent collection' about sexuality, divinity and redemption. His debut collection, These Wild Houses, was critically acclaimed and shortlisted for several awards including the Kenneth Slessor Prize.
Hosted by Khalid Warsame, the pair will discuss their work at a lunchtime session in June. Ahead of the event, we’ll send you some readings to get you started. Can’t make it in person? Watch and participate from wherever you are – the event will be live-streamed, and you can sign up for reminders below.
Khalid Warsame is a writer, photographer, and arts producer who lives in Melbourne. His essays and fiction have appeared in the Lifted Brow, Overland, the Big Issue, Cordite Poetry Review, and LitHub. He has previously edited fiction for the Lifted Brow, worked as a creative producer at the Footscray Community Arts Centre and Co-Directed the National Young Writers Festival. He is currently working on his first novel.
Omar Sakr is a bisexual Arab-Australian poet. His debut collection, These Wild Houses (2017), was shortlisted for the Judith Wright Calanthe Award and the Kenneth Slessor Prize. His poetry has been published in English, Arabic, and Spanish, in numerous journals and anthologies. He placed runner-up in the Judith Wright Poetry Prize, and has also been shortlisted for the ACU Prize for Poetry, the Story Wine Prize, and the Fair Australia Poetry Prize. Omar has performed his work nationally and internationally. He lives in Sydney and his latest collection is The Lost Arabs (2019), out through UQP.
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Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Fiction and, two years earlier, the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript.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.
Need more fiction in your Fridays? Double Booked Club is for you.
For each of these monthly lunchtime sessions, we’ll bring together two great local fiction authors to discuss their work. They'll start with a chat about their latest books, before meandering off into conversation about backlists, shared themes and literary heroes.
Ahead of each event, ticket bookers will receive some reading material relating to the books in question – and each discussion will be live-streamed for those playing at home (or work!).
Get some extra smarts with your sandwich at our new lunchtime series.