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NonfictioNow Melbourne 2012

View all events in this series

at RMIT Storey Hall Auditorium

Nonfiction: The Art of Truth - Writerly Perspectives

There’s a huge public appetite for non-fiction storytelling in all its forms, from literary and political essays to the shelf-filling genre of memoir, and the much-maligned reality TV.

This is a chance for readers and writers alike to hear the perspective of four very different voices, all keynote speakers for the NonfictioNow conference.

Helen Garner is the author of novels that draw on life, and non-fiction with novelistic tendencies. David Shields, author of Reality Hunger: A Manifesto has been described as ‘a benevolent and broad-minded revolutionary’ by the New York Times. Jose Dalisay Jr is a director of the Institute of Creative Writing in the Philippines, and the author of 25 books (both fiction and non-fiction). And Margo Jefferson is a Pulitzer Prize-winning cultural critic and a former staff writer for the New York Times.

This event will be chaired by Michael Cathcart, presenter of ABC Radio National’s Books and Arts Daily.


Portrait of Margo Jefferson

Margo Jefferson

Margo Jefferson (US) is a Pulitzer prize-winning cultural critic and author of On Michael Jackson. She was a staff writer for the New York Times for 12 years, and has contributed to Bookforum, the Washington Post, New York magazine, Grand Street, The Nation and other publications.

Portrait of José Dalisay Jr.

José Dalisay Jr.

José Dalisay Jr. has published more than 25 books of fiction and non-fiction, winning many awards for his writing both in the Philippines and overseas. He has been a Fulbright, Hawthornden, British Council, David TK Wong, Rockefeller, and Civitella Ranieri fellow. He is director of the Institute of Creative Writing at the University of the Philippines.

Portrait of Helen Garner

Helen Garner

‘It is astonishing how much shit a woman will cop in the interests of civic and domestic order.’

Helen Garner is a legend. Our poet-laureate of the acute observation, the award-winning novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter and journalist has made a peerless contribution to Australian letters, Australian culture and our sense of ourselves. In 2006 she received the inaugural Melbourne Prize for Literature, and in 2016 she won the prestigious Windham Campbell Prize for non-fiction and the Western Australian Premier’s Book Award. In 2019 Garner was honoured with the Australia Council Award for Lifetime Achievement in Literature. Her books include Monkey Grip, The First Stone, This House of Grief and Everywhere I Look.

Portrait of Michael Cathcart

Michael Cathcart

Michael Cathcart presents the radio show, Books and Arts Daily for Radio National.

Portrait of David Shields

David Shields

David Shields is the author of 12 books, including Reality Hunger: A Manifesto, which was named one of the best books of 2010 by more than 30 publications.

NonfictioNow Melbourne 2012

NonfictioNow brings together leading writers from around the world and across Australia, inviting them to lay down their pens, step away from their keyboards and swap notes on writing (and reading) non-fiction – right now.

NonfictioNow is a three-day conference held at RMIT University, exploring creative practices, contemporary debates and new directions in non-fiction.


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

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