One Hundred Years of Dirt – Rick Morton’s unflinching memoir – tells of growing up on a cattle station in Queensland: of witnessing a horrific accident befall his brother; his father’s alcoholism; his mother’s strength. It’s a story of poverty, drug addiction, cruelty, anger and tragedy; of love and endurance. The Age praised its ‘exquisite detail’; Christos Tsiolkas has described it as ‘honest and harsh and beautiful and loving’.
At the heart of the book is the question of social mobility – and it’s a question asked in a time of unfavourable odds. Wealth inequality in Australia is growing. The highest 20% of income earners make five times as much of those in the lowest 20%. In this lowest 20%, we’re most likely to see people who are unemployed, single parents, those aged over 65, migrants from non-English speaking countries, and those living in rural and regional Australia.
For many years, Morton was the social affairs writer for the Australian. One Hundred Years of Dirt blends Morton’s own story with reportage and social commentary on how these issues and stories play out every day across Australia. It is both a story of one man and one family, and a story of this country.
In discussion with Elizabeth McCarthy at Montalto in September, Morton will share the process of living and writing his story. Join us for a discussion about hope and celebrating survival; the lessons we can learn about Australia, and the work we could do to challenge and change inequality.
Presented in partnership with Montalto.
Antipodes Bookshop and Gallery will be our bookseller at this event.
Rick Morton has been a journalist and writer for over 14 years. He is the winner of the 2013 Kennedy Award for Young Journalist of the Year and the 2017 Kennedy Award for Outstanding Columnist. In 2019, Rick left The Australian, where he worked as the social affairs writer with a particular focus on... Read more
Elizabeth McCarthy has worked as a producer and presenter in radio for 20 years. She produces the breakfast show at Australia’s biggest independent broadcaster, 3RRR, and reviews books on 3RRR and ABC Radio Melbourne. In 2019 she was the convenor of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for F... Read more
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